WHO LET THE DOGS OUT???


Philippians 3:2-6 – Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the false circumcision; 3 for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, 4 although I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If anyone else has a mind to put confidence in the flesh, I far more: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the Law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to the righteousness which is in the Law, found blameless.”  NASB

Many of you have either heard the song or heard of the song, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”  It was performed by a Bahamian group called “Baha Men” and released as a single on July 26, 2000.  It was not about dogs but men who women would consider dogs and in a great sense the idea here in Philippians is not about the canine creature but about human beings who are like scavenging dogs seeking destruction.

We have all seen the warning signs on fences, BEWARE OF DOG or BEWARE THE DOG.  We understood the warning to be valid and that should we dare to venture into the space behind the warning it could be hazardous to our health as we might be attacked by a creature bent on our destruction.  I find it interesting that Paul would begin his address with a warning about dogs and connected it to evil workers, and those who were false in their faith.  He was lumping them all into one basket and virtually every society understands the danger of a dog not tamed or one that is trained to guard or destroy. 

A particularly unpleasant verse is Proverbs 26:11 where we are reminded that one of the natural tendencies of a dog is quite disgusting.  He uses this illustration to compare that to a life that is not rooted and grounded in God.  I don’t know if you recall the passage in Psalm 59 where the Psalmist is addressing God’s punishment and judgment and the prayer for God to not show any graciousness to the treacherous.  The next sentence is, “They return at evening, they howl like a dog…” 

In a pack of dogs if one decides to attack the others will follow and they will turn on each other following the strongest dog in the pack.  In Psalm 22:20 the dog is once again mentioned in a negative light, “Deliver my soul from the sword, my only life from the power of the dog.”  Dogs are often used in the Bible to represent agents of destruction and we need to BEWARE of the lurking destruction the enemy plans for us. 

I recall years ago, I was working as an Insurance Debit Agent and had to collect payments as well as sell insurance.  I stopped at one house and saw a dog pen away from the house and a dog was obviously angry and seeking to be freed.  After conducting my business, I was walking back to my car and a hound dog came to meet me.  She was acting timid and I patted her head, then she rolled over on her back and I rubbed her tummy, not thinking anything was wrong.  I took about two steps toward my car and she nailed me behind the knee. 

That dog was not what she appeared and fooled me, which is a rarity for me regarding animals.  The bite was bad, but the sneakiness of the dog was more infuriating than the bite.  I should have been more alert and remembered the pen away from the house, but I was deceived. 

Agents of Destruction use deception as their primary weapon. We must always be on the alert and BEWARE of DOGS!  There are dogs in religious circles who are false and working evil behind the scenes.  They will appear as that timid cute dog that wants you to pat its head or rub its tummy but once you turn your back, they will seek to destroy you.  We are ignorant of the devices and schemes of the devil and this is another reason to put on the Whole Armor of God and Pray Always!

God, bless you as you enjoy this day in Him!

THE CHRISTIAN ENTITLEMENT MENTALITY…


Luke 17:5-10 –“And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”  6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.  7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?  8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?  9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.  10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.'”  NKJV

I have heard well-meaning and well-intentioned Christians and preachers speak of God being obligated to them because of their faith or obedience.  This passage is problematic to that view and while I am not suggesting that God does not commit Himself to us.  We should never develop the attitude that He owes us anything or is obligated to our directives.

The request was for “increased faith” and in responding to that request Jesus went far beyond what one would have thought and addressed what I call a “Christian Entitlement Mentality”.  He spoke of the seeming smallness of faith but illustrated its power and potential.  He then addressed something that is often overlook regarding faith and that is obedience.  Jesus addressed this in the Centurion whose servant the LORD healed.  The Centurion demonstrated his understanding of authority and the chain of command and in response to that Jesus said, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.”  That is powerful.

Here he speaks of a servant doing the daily chores and labors who comes in from the field.  The servant was operating in obedience doing what he was supposed to do.  Jesus asked if they thought the master would say to that servant, “Come at once and sit down and eat?”  He did not wait for their response but informed them that this would not happen.  The master would tell them to prepare him something and after he had eaten, they could eat.  He concluded by asking, “Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him?  I think not.”  He then says, “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants.  We have done what was our duty to do.” 

Some have made this about the impossibility of man living before God without sin, but He did not say “sinful servants” rather “unprofitable servants.”  We have earned nothing in our service.  We have not established a heavenly bank account from which we withdraw at our choosing.  If God blesses us it is “unmerited favor” not because we deserve it or have earned it.

God does not need our service. He chooses to allow us to participate in the Kingdom.  Our ability to live and perform His commands and our assignments is by Grace.  When we do what is right, we are simply doing our duty not earning favor with or obligating God.  The best service we can offer is mingled with imperfections and we continually come short.  But God in His incredible grace and mercy will bear with us and He chooses to lavish His good things on us because of love not because we earned it.

Please avoid a Christian Entitlement Mentality it will pervert and destroy our relationship with God and tends to create an elitist mentality that is counterproductive to the Kingdom of God.

God bless you as you go through this day!

HUNGRY FOR GOD???


Psalm 42:1-3 – “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God.  2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?  3 My tears have been my food day and night, while they continually say to me, “Where is your God?”  NKJV

When I read passages like this and compare the heart cry of the Psalmist to the deep cries of my soul I am moved deeply.  As I read these few verses, I cannot help but sense the incredible longing of the writer for God’s revealed and realized presence.  He was comparing his hunger and thirst for God to that of a deer in the heat longing for water to be refreshed.  He then adds that he has been so moved with a longing that the well of tears from within his being were like a never-ceasing fountain.  His tears have consumed him rendering him unable to consume natural food due to his quest for God.  He cries that his inner man continually asks, “Where is your God?” 

I have experienced times of intense longing and am currently so hungry and thirsty for God that I find myself weeping on my bed in the night crying out for His presence in a more pronounced way.  The intensity of His presence is not always a consuming passion in our lives and I’m not sure we could survive physically if it were.  However, the consciousness of His presence is needed for us to overcome the assaults hurled at us by the enemy of our souls.  It is by the strength of His presence that we are able to withstand the many twists and turns life hurls at us.

David was identified, by God, as a man after His own heart and when I read passages like this, usually attributed to David I understand how God could so describe him.  He was clearly a man, a leader, a king, a warrior who had a passion for God.  David instituted worship in the Tabernacle like never before experienced for he understood the importance of the presence of God.  He understood that through worship and praise we enter God’s gate and courts.  It is through our worship and praise that we invite His presence in a most powerful way.  Additionally, we know through Scripture and the life of our Lord Jesus Christ the importance of prayer as a means of communication and communion with God. 

I believe that appetites are cultivated in the natural and in the spiritual.  It is as we ingest His word, pray, praise, and worship that we cultivate the appetite for Him, and in so doing we develop a hunger and thirst that motivates us to press into His presence.  It is in His presence that we receive strength, renewal, and restoration enabling us to fulfill the purposes He has for our lives on planet earth.

If you are not hungry and thirsty for God, I suggest that you begin to develop a habit of prayer, reading the Bible, praise, and worship and I believe that the hunger and thirst will be a natural byproduct of those activities.  As we engage in those activities our hearts become conditioned to receive His presence and our souls begin to long for His presence. 

God bless you as you allow the Holy Spirit to make you hungry and thirsty for God.  Blessings as you move to the next steps and phases of your life on planet earth.

GOSPEL SIMPLICITY…


John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  NKJV

I know believers who are constantly seeking a “New Revelation.  I believe I understand what they are truly seeking. I sometimes feel like the new pastor who went into a church and preached a masterpiece.  The next Sunday he preached the same sermon and did so the next and the next weeks.  Finally, after many complaints from the congregation, the Deacons approached him and said, “Pastor, the message you have been preaching was a masterpiece the first time and okay the second, but you need to get a new sermon.”  He looked at them and calmly said, “Do something with that one first.”  If we have a Bible filled with the written revelation of God, His Kingdom, and purposes should we not be about doing something with what we have before we try to find something no one else has found?

Jesus spoke the Gospel in extreme simplicity here and elsewhere in Scripture.  He gives four extremely simple but profound truths in this short verse which would be well to examine.  I will hit the high points for time and space will not permit (if I could) giving an exhaustive exegesis of this passage.  Consider the declaration of the LORD:

  • I Am the Way.

Route or path.  Remember our LORD declared in Matthew 7:14, “…straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life…”  In today’s politically correct world that strives for “tolerance” and “acceptance” of everyone and everything this is anathema, but Jesus repeatedly declared, “I AM THE WAY…”  He did not say, “I am A way but THE way.”

  • I Am the Truth.

When He stood before Pilate, the earthly potentate asked, “What is truth, but did not wait around for the real answer.”  I have heard some nationally known and recognized preachers declare that a person can be a participant of various religions and still make heaven following their beliefs.  That is contradictory to the Bible and I will stand with the Bible.  God does say, “Whosoever will let Him come…”  However, that coming must be to Christ and must include repentance of sin.  It is by Grace that we are saved, through faith and it is not earned.  Jesus is THE TRUTH.  He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  He is the sacrifice for the sin of the world. 

  • I Am the Life.

He is not speaking of natural life although that could be included for should God remove His finger from our lives we would cease as the notes on an organ once the finger is removed from the keys.  He is Eternal Life! 

  • No one comes to the Father except through Me.

He is the Door to the sheepfold.  He is the gateway to the throne room of the Father.  He is our High Priest who makes intercession for us.  If NO ONE can access the Father except through Jesus what would make anyone declare that believing in Allah or Buda or any of the myriad of gods, man has concocted gain access?  The Gospel according to our LORD and His word is incredibly simple.  Jesus is our Hope!  Jesus is our Way, Truth, and Life.  Jesus is our only door to the Father and the only gate through which we can enter into eternal life.

May the LORD richly bless you as you go through this day!

TALK IS CHEAP…


1 John 3:18 – “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” NKJV

If you have ever dealt with someone who demonstrated an obvious dislike for you, did things to hurt or hinder you, and spread rumors or half-truths about you but would publicly say, “I love you” you will understand.  That is one scenario in which words do not match actions or attitudes and it is often painfully obvious.

Through the years of ministry, I have encountered marital situations where the marriage was hanging by a thread and both parties would tell the other, “I love you”.  I believe they believed what they were saying was the truth to the degree they understood truth.  If a husband/wife verbally declares, “I love you” but belittles the other, is unfaithful, fails to provide for the family as is needed their words are hollow.  I’ve observed parents telling their children, “We love you” and then proceed to berate, belittle, badger, and torment them publicly and privately.  Their actions speak so loudly the words are muted.

I have worked in ministerial alliances where some within the group would continually seek to drive wedges between various people attempting to build a coalition that elevated them.  They sought prominence seeking to advance their personal objectives.  Honey would almost drip from their lips as they declared in group settings their love for those they were tearing down and those who had heard the words from both sides of their mouths knew the hypocrisy with which they spoke. 

LOVE is not simply verbal it is an action. If I love you, I will seek to do you harm.  I will not allow envy to shadow my view or relationship with you.  I will not self-promote or behave rudely.  I will not be self-serving or self-seeking.  I will not rejoice openly or in my heart when you experience setbacks or problems.  I will be patient, kind, gentle, trusting, and willing to help. I will do that which I can to help you succeed even if it costs me.  I can declare how much I love the poor but if my effort is limited to words is that love?  LOVE is never passive and never without corresponding actions.  I would rather someone know my love by my actions rather than just hearing my words. 

A man or a woman that tells their spouse, “I love you” then is unfaithful has rendered those words meaningless.  A person that says, “I love you” but spreads gossip, rumors, and half-truths about another has transformed those words into meaninglessness.  Jesus said, there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for their friends.  When I read in John 3:16 that “God loves the world” I do not have to read far to see His corresponding actions that demonstrate that love.  When I read Job’s words that he made a “covenant with his eyes not to look on a woman with lust…” I understand that when he says to his wife, “I love you” he is committed to demonstrating that love.

I have had people tell me, “I love you” and knew that it was incredibly superficial and they deemed it the proper thing to say under the circumstances.  I have always resisted saying, “I love you” unless I truly meant it.  Understand that my desire is to LOVE EVERYONE and manifest the nature of my LORD in all that I do.  Do I succeed?  I wish the answer was 100% of the time.  Sadly, I realize that I am still pressing toward the mark and still find myself repenting.  I never want to allow my words to become superficial meaningless chatter but have them backed by the character of my heart.

God bless you as you go through this day!

WHOLE LOT OF SHAKIN’ GOIN’ ON…


Hebrews 12:25-29 “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”   27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.”  NKJV

I am not talking about the song of yesteryear by Jerry Lee Lewis, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” I am talking about the shaking God is about to and in some cases is doing.   The writer of Hebrews quoted a prophecy from Haggai 2 – “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place, I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.”  NKJV

The warning is clear as is the solution.  He refers to previous judgments of God and plainly stated that those who rejected God did not escape nor shall we.  The people of Noah’s day did not escape.  Those building Babel did not escape.  Sodom and Gomorrah did not escape.  They all had a common thread, they rejected God unlike the city of Nineveh which repented upon hearing Jonah’s preaching.  The warning is clear, if we reject God we will not escape, and I am totally convinced we are about to see a “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” here in this present world including the United States of America.

This shaking will remove that which is not rooted and grounded in God’s Eternal Truth.  If we modify the Bible to fit our politically correct world interpretation that will be shaken.  If we dilute the message of the Cross to make it anything other than a foundational element in the redemption of man that will be shaken.  If we reject the truth that Jesus is the way, truth, life, and the only door to God that will be shaken.  If we make our churches and ministries more of a social experiment than a spiritual hospital and university that will be shaken.  If we promote self that will be shaken. 

I have talked with many who are expressing being ‘fed up’ politically and political correctness and I usually say, “Do you think God is getting fed up with us?”  Have we become complacent and compromised our convictions for the sake of acceptance?  God is incredibly longsuffering as has been demonstrated over the generations, but the Bible warns of a time when He will say ENOUGH and then look out for “A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Is Going to Happen.”   

Can you be shaken?  Will you be shaken?  Will you find that what you have set your hand to is something that cannot be shaken?  All are questions we cannot fully answer until the shaking, but things we should be considering as we move through life.  Shaking is coming and if we have run with the footmen what will we do when horses come?  I plead for each of us to make it our ambition to only do what we see Him doing and only say what we hear Him saying.  Let us SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  May God be our Lord and our Savior!

God bless you richly as you go through this beautiful day!

WHAT CAN ONE MAN (Person) DO???


Romans 5:12-19 – “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned —  13(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and  of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”  NKJV

We have all heard stories and seen statistics of how one person or one vote changed the entire course of nations and history.  I call to mind the quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, for the want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”   That is a powerful reminder of how important one person, one event, one vote or one action can be and often is.

Here Paul reminds us of the power of one in two different situations.  Sin entered the race through the disobedience of Adam, one man. Salvation came to mankind through the obedience of Jesus, one man.  I wonder how often we read this and although we rightly focus on the work of Christ, we fail to grasp the importance and power of one.  It only takes one rotten apple to spoil the entire barrel and sometimes only takes one act of kindness to totally reverse years of animosity, hatred, bitterness, and conflict.  One word spoken at the right moment can completely change the course of events.  One word spoken at the wrong time can escalate things to full-blown warfare. 

I have heard people lament, “I am only one person” offering that a justification for not launching into the daunting task before them.  As the old saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” we should never allow ourselves to stop believing in the Power of One.  I do not recall when I first saw it, but I remember a Mercedes Benz television commercial in which the automobile collided with a concrete wall in a safety test.  Someone asked the company spokesman why Mercedes Benz did not enforce their patent on the energy-absorbing car design which was eventually copied by most manufacturers.  He stated simply, “Because some things in life are too important not to share.”   That is powerful!

You are one and I am one and we are one with Christ and are being formed into One (The Body of Christ) and although still one we are many and powerful.  In all matters of life, we must never lose sight of the importance of ONE!  You are having an impact on your world whether you realize it or not.  If you omit one act of kindness or Christian charity it impacts others and if you commit one act of kindness or Christian charity it impacts others.  Therefore, never diminish the importance of one word, one deed, one prayer, one testimony, one vote, or one life. 

God bless you as you make the devil know you are ONE whose life is hidden with God in Christ and as ONE in Jesus you are a majority and powerful.   God bless you as you enjoy this day impacting your world as One Man or One Woman united with Christ Jesus!

HE DID NOT SAY MAYBE…


1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  NKJV

Let me assert at the very outset of this devotional that I believe that repentance is required for salvation.  I also understand the word repent to mean to go in the opposite direction doing a 180-degree turn in our lives.  Unlike what I heard a preacher say once in talking about repentance, “You have to do a 360-degree turn.”  I had had three observations as I heard that statement.  First, I was totally convinced he simply misspoke.  Second, if you do a 360-degree turn you come back to where you were and there is no change. Third, the number of people that shouted Amen amazed me.

I occasionally hear preaching that seems to suggest that salvation is Jesus and…  On occasions in discussing salvation with believers, they seem to add something to the work of Christ on the Cross and present a pathway to salvation that requires more than grace through repentance and faith.  When Jesus was on the Cross He declared, “IT IS FINISHED or COMPLETE!”  I must ask how complete is complete?  It is not Jesus AND anything it is Grace.  By grace, we are saved through faith.  It is a free gift of God in response to our repentance and belief.  John’s word in John 3:16 proclaims loudly that WHOSOEVER can be and is saved through faith.

Repentance is not simply acknowledging that we have been exposed or confession alone.  It is a change of heart and a response to sin through the recognition that we have missed God’s mark.  If one is more concerned with the punishment than the sin, an attitude of repentance is unlikely.  Man’s depraved nature is usually susceptible to the wiles of the devil and if we confessed due to fear of punishment or as a result of exposure, we are open to the lie that maybe next time we won’t get caught.  Our hearts were not broken by sin and our view of sin was not God’s view but man’s view.  In that scenario, it is questionable if repentance was anything more than an admission of failure but not a change of mind toward the behavior or condition.

Without straining at gnats and swallowing camels I stand firm on the belief that if we confess (repent) of our sins God forgives.  I am totally secure in my confidence that if we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that God raised Him from the dead we will be saved.  I am anchored in my hope that if we repent, we will turn from our sin and they will be blotted out.  I believe that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.  I believe that when God’s conviction of sin smites our heart and we come face to face with the realization sin is an affront to God and separates us from His fellowship we can, should, and hopefully will repent and receive.

Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life and has opened the door to eternal life.  The simple prescription is repent which involves confession and belief.  He has extended His Grace to whosoever will, and it is not maybe He will forgive but HE WILL FORGIVE!  If the strings of your heart are being tugged by the Holy Spirit about anything, please do not resist His nudging.  All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and Jesus promised that if we come to Him, He will not cast us away.

God bless you as you go through this beautiful day!

DEFINITELY, NOT MAYBE…


2 Corinthians 11:14-15 – “…For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”  NKJV

Over the years I have had many conversations, heard much preaching, and listened to discussions and speculations about the Man of Sin or the Antichrist.  Most of those describe him as a reprehensible and disgusting individual and he is for he is or will be evil to the core.  However, I fear that many miss an important reality regarding the devil and his Antichrist. 

The Man of Sin will not come across as evil but good. Otherwise he would not be embraced by as much of the world as he will be.  He will come across as caring about people, problems, the environment, the world and truly desiring peace, and presenting ideas that will awe much of the world.  He will possibly be nice looking and appealing physically, intellectually, politically, socially, economically, and even religiously.  He will be disguised as an angel of light as is the devil.  He will be the epitome of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and deception will be his prime weapon.

Paul addressed the problem of false apostles.  He informed his audience to not be surprised that there are those who are not truly followers of Christ even if they are deceived and believe they are draw crowds and have a following.  Why?  Because the devil transforms or disguises himself as an angel of light.  It does not say he can he it says he does!  Therefore, when anyone deceived or diabolical strays from the biblical truth they participate in the disguise and/or deception. 

Paul says, that in the end their works will be judged by God and their exposure will be sure, even if it is not in this life.  Leading others astray carries a heavy judgment.  I have always trembled when I preach or lead congregations. I desire to guard against presenting a false doctrine.  I have always pleaded with people to never take what I say as absolute truth but study, examine the scripture and determine if what I say is biblical and if it is then follow it and if not help me understand and reject it. 

I am not surprised that we are seeing prominent ministers and ministries promoting a gospel I believe foreign to the Word of God.  They are calling things God calls abominations acceptable. Thousands if not millions of their followers are being swayed to follow a false doctrine in the name of compassion, political correctness, and tolerance.  They do not come across as evil and I do not believe that in most of those individuals their motive is evil but is a result of deception.  Sadly, as the Bible describes conditions of the Last Days some if not many will fall into deception and believe the lies of hell. 

I have been castigated by well-meaning people who name the name of Christ over my stance on abortion, same-sex marriage, false religions such as Islam, and other things.  They tell me that if I were truly a follower of Christ, I would embrace differences and realize that God made the homosexual that way (which I do not believe).  They insist that my Christian view that Jesus is the only way to God is not consistent with the Bible’s teaching on love thy neighbor. 

I believe they are deceived and the lie of the disguised one, as with Eve in the Garden she saw the good in the tree and in seeking the good disobeyed the commandment of God.  Disguised as an angel of light the devil has for centuries been able to deceive in the name of humaneness, love, and tolerance many.  They then become blind leaders of the blind and the ultimate end is both will fall in the ditch. 

I love people and want to do good for all mankind, whenever possible.  But I never want to offer a salvation that is contrary to the path described in the Bible, Jesus Christ!   I want to live in peace with all whenever possible.  But I do not want to cast aside my conviction that the true path from darkness to light is through the Work of Christ on the Cross.  The devil is not always easily detectible and often very convincing and presents partial truths in such an eloquent and powerful manner many are deceived.  Do I have all truth?  No, but I have the One that has and is all truth living in my heart!

May God be with you as you go through this day!

EXPOSING THE DEVIL – (Part III)


2 Corinthians 2:11 – “…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  NKJV

Joshua 9:3-4a – “But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors.”  NKJV

We have considered the reality that our victories invite a counterattack, by the forces of hell but we must not stop there.  Next, I would like us to note that before the full-frontal assault of the enemy, the inhabitants of the land in Joshua 9 attempted to deceive Israel into making a pact with them.  Cohabitation with and a Non-Aggression pact with the devil is impossible.  He is not a covenant keeper and wants your destruction.

The Canaanites knew the picture was dark and therefore decided that rather than risk an attack that would likely end in defeat they would try deception.  The Gibeonites arrived on the scene from Gilgal and pretended to be from a very distant land, a land that meant nothing to Joshua and Israel.  They came with all the visible signs of having been on a long journey. They were skillfully crafty, mentioning nothing of Jericho or Ai but talked about the Wilderness.  They also claimed to honor and respect the God of Israel.

If you can receive it, this exposes the devil’s tactics.  He knows, too well, that a believer who is totally committed to Christ will not be tempted or dissuaded by a frontal attack.  He knows that the child of God who is determined to press on and press into God’s Promise will not be stopped by an all-out assault so what does he do?

  • He suggests possible alliances that seem small and insignificant.
  • He talks to us about a certain area of our lives over which Jesus has given no specific command, a part so small and seemingly insignificant that it really won’t matter.
  • He challenges the need for total consecration in everything after all we are all human.
  • He warns us that overdoing it religiously and spiritually will result in being too heavenly minded to be any earthly good and will cause burnout.
  • He cautions us about becoming too narrow suggesting that we need to be more open to differing beliefs.
  • He suggests that there is no reason we should not indulge and even become a bit lazy occasionally for after all even Jesus drew aside to rest and relax.

He wants to steal our affection and move us from our first love.  He wants to get us to lower our Christian standards and compromise our convictions even if it is occasional.  He comes and suggests that what the church really needs is a common-sense approach and that we are in danger of being too radical in our faith and thereby turning people off.  He is often difficult to detect, and he offers help, but his objective is to shipwreck your life.  No wonder John warned us in 1 John 4:1 to “…try the spirits, whether they are of God…”

In this account we find Israel, for the first time, seeking to co-mingle with the enemy on Holy Ground.  They were doing what God told them not to do.  They were violating the principle of “coming out from among them and being separate spiritually”.  The Gibeonites crept in!  They found the door of gullibility and walked through.  Sheep, in nature, are among the dumbest creatures in existence.  In verse 14 we read, “…they did not ask counsel at the mouth of the Lord…”  Big mistake!  Every alliance must be seasoned in prayer.  That is why I refuse to make decisions without first taking them to prayer.  If a deal is so good that I have to decide immediately and not given time to pray I pass.  The Bible tells us, “…there is a way that seems right to a man, but the ends are the ways of death.”  Gullibility will result in deception and place us in disobedience.

The Bible declares that the devil comes as an “angel of light” and is not always easily detected.  Remember the foolish virgins resembled the wise, the tares resembled the wheat, the voice of the hireling sounds much like the shepherd and the wayward meadow is laid out beside the king’s highway and only a soft shoulder separates them.  Does a small concession and pact matter?  The record gives a clear answer YES!

What do we do attempt to match the devil in his subtle ways?  NO!  Do not trust your judgment, intellect, or perceived spirituality.  Take the matter, every matter to God in prayer and if after prayer you are still in doubt – DON’T!  Be strong enough and brave enough to stand still and wait for the Lord for none that wait on Him are ashamed and that is the only way to outmatch and outmaneuver the devil.

If you have failed it is not over!   All is not lost!  The devil would have you believe so but that is a Lie from the Pit.  Joshua and Israel once realizing their error placed the Gibeonites in a position of menial laborers and subjects.  God took the scheme of the devil and turned it against the deceivers.  Let your mistakes drive you to the altar and allow the Spirit of God to administer forgiveness, healing, deliverance, and restoration.  God wants to warn you, wash you, and welcome you!

May God be with you as you go through this day!