Tag Archives: Satan

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian

WEATHERING THE FINANCIAL SHAKEUP (1)

Writing about a recent conversation, Rich Hamlin says: “Another guy like me said, ‘I dread going to work.  All these layoffs are depressing.  I keep thinking I’m going to be next.  I’ve tons of work, and my clients appreciate what I’m doing, but I start worrying and there’s no stopping.’  Worrying is the worst of it, and the stories are piling up; friends, friends of friends, people from church, neighbors, parents of our kids’ friends.  An early retirement here, a downsizing there, a severance payment, a pink slip…all put faces on the statistics and…that gnawing fear can make every day an agony.”  The chances are, you may be feeling some shots of discouragement yourself-daily arrows of frustration that wear you down and steal your joy.  Satan’s like a terrorist specializing in guerrilla warfare.  He knows he’d lose big time if he went against the forces of heaven, so he singles out individual believers.  The question is, how do you stand firm when “everything that…can be shaken” is shaking?  Well for starters, Isaiah says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you” (Isa 26:3 NKJV).  If Moses had focused on his circumstances, he’d never have had peace standing between the Red Sear and the Egyptians.  His peace came from knowing he was where God wanted him to be.  Peace in and of itself isn’t the goal; peace is a by-product of knowing: “How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear (honor) you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you”(Ps 31:19 NIV).

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian, Satan Is Defeated (5)

The power of persuasion…

SATAN IS DEFEATED (5)

     The only power Satan has over you is the power of persuasion.  “The serpent..asked the woman, ‘Did God really say you must not eat”…Of course we may’…’You won’t die…God knows that your eyes will be opened…And you will be like God’…The woman was convinced.  She saw that the tree was beautiful and it’s fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her.  So she took some…The she gave some to her husband…At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame…When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden.  So they hid from the Lord God among the trees.  Then the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’  He replied, ‘I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid.  I was afraid because I was naked'” (vv. 3:1-10 NLT).  Never forget that story!  And keep this in mind also: Satan is a talker, and you’ll never out talk him.  The power of persuasion is an incredible thing.  The fashion industry can persuade you to take a wardrobe you paid a small fortune for last year, and replace it with what they’re selling now.  Clothes you felt good about then, you don’t want to be even seen in now.  The trouble is, in a few years’ time the clothes you wore last year will be back in fashion; you’ll be poor, and the fashionistas will be rich.  Temptation is all about persuasion.  But if Christ has already persuaded you, Satan can’t make you do anything.

From “Music For The Soul” by Alexander Maclaren

This speaks right to the heart of the matter with all of us.

THE THREE-HEADED EVIL THING – I

The heart is deceitful above all things, and it is desperately sick: who can know it? – Jer_7:9

I was going to use an inappropriate word, and say, the superb ease with which Christ grappled with, and overcame, all types of disease is a revelation on a lower level of the inexhaustible and all -sufficient fulness of His healing power. He can cope with all sin, the world’s sin and the individual’s. And, as I believe. He alone can do it.

Just look at the problem that lies before any one who attempts to staunch these wounds of humanity. What is needed in order to deliver men from the sickness of sin? Well! that evil thing, like the fabled dog that sits at the gate of the infernal regions, is three-headed. And you have to do something with each of these heads if you are to deliver men from that power.

There is, first, the awful power that evil once done has over us of repeating itself on and on. There is nothing more dreadful, to a reflective mind, than the damning influence of habit. The man that has done some wrong thing once is a rara avis indeed.  If once, then twice; if twice, then onward and onward through all the numbers. And the intervals between will grow less, and what were isolated points will coalesce into a line; and impulses wax as motives wane, and the less delight a man has in his habitual form of evil the more its dominion over him; and he does it at last, not because the doing of it is any delight, but because the not doing of it is a misery. If you are to get rid of sin and to eject the disease from a man, you have to deal with that awful degradation of character and the tremendous chains of custom. That is one of the heads of the monster.

But, as I said, sin has reference to God, and there is another of the heads. For with sin comes guilt. The relation to God is perverted; and the man that has transgressed stands before Him as guilty, with all the dolefulness that that solemn word means; and that is another of the heads.

The third is this- the consequences that follow in the nature of penalty – “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  So long as there is a universal rule by God, in which all things are concatenated by cause and effect, it is impossible but that ” Evil shall slay the wicked.” And that is the third head. These three, habit, guilt, and penalty, have all to be dealt with if you are going to make a thorough job of the surgery.

And here I want not to argue, but to preach. Jesus Christ died on the Cross for you, and your sin was in His heart and mind when He died, and His atoning sacrifice cancels the guilt, and suspends all that is dreadful in the penalty of the sin. Nothing else – nothing else will do that. Who can deal with guilt but the offended Ruler and Judge? Who can trammel up consequences but the Lord of the Universe? The blood of Jesus Christ is the sole and sufficient oblation for, and satisfaction for, the sins of the whole world.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian, Satan Is Defeated (4)

SATAN IS DEFEATED (4)

Standing on the deck of a US aircraft carrier at the end of the Pacific war, in a historic moment never to be forgotten, General MacArthur walked over to Tojo, the Japanese leader, and publicly stripped him of all his symbols of power.  And that’s what Jesus did for you at the cross.  “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them.”  First, Tojo wanted peaceful coexistence, then compromise, then concessions.  But he got none, because he was powerless.  In a card game an opponent with an empty hand will try to bluff and bully you.  But when you know you have a winning hand you can face him down, because knowledge is power.  And your power over Satan comes from knowing that he’s a defeated foe.  He was once known as the anointed cherub, but now Christ is the Anointed One.  He was once known as an angel of light, but now Christ is known as the Light of the World.  He was once known as the morning star, but now Christ is the Bright and Morning Star.  He was once the creator of a song, but now Jesus says, “I will sing in the midst of my brethren” (See Heb 2:12).  He was once known as one of the sons of God, but now Jesus declares, “I am the Son of God.)  Satan is called the prince of this world, but Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”  Satan is called a roaring lion, but Jesus is the lion of the tribe of Judah who has prevailed over him (see Rev 5:5).  Rejoice, Satan is defeated.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian – Satan Is Defeated (3)

For many of us, death is our greatest fear.  One comedian quipped, “I don’t mind dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens!”  But we can’t joke away the sobering reality the Bible describes as “the last enemy.”  So what’s the answer?  Jesus!  “Only by dying could He break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.  Only in this way could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying” (Heb 2:14-15 NLT).  Until Jesus came, Satan used the threat of death.  Until then we all lived in fear of it.  But because of the resurrection, all Satan has left are the lies he can tell about death.  The word “destroy” implies “to reduce to zero” (See 1 Jn 3:8).  Wow!  By His death and resurrection, Jesus reduced Satan’s power to zero.  And today Jesus says to you, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last.  I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.  Amen.  And I have the keys of Hades and of Death” (Rev 1:17-18 NKJV).  After destroying the prison of Death, Jesus came out and said to Satan the jailer, “I’ll take those keys,” then He went back to heaven.

We grieve the loss of a loved one, and that’s a healthy thing to do.  But you can handle the grief when you know you can live through it, and that you’ll be reunited in heaven with your loved ones.  So even in death, we win and Satan loses.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian – Satan is Defeated (2)

Something to take to heart…

SATAN IS DEFEATED (2)

     Satan is a deceiver, but Jesus is a revealer.  So any time you bring Jesus into the situation, Satan is unmasked and his plans for your life are exposed and foiled.  Satan is referred to in Scripture as “darkness,” and Jesus as “light.”  The moment the light moves in, the darkness has to move out.  So your first priority is not to conqueror Satan, but move closer to Jesus; to line up your will and your word with His will and His Word.  Instead of just lying down, taking it, and saying, “I guess there’s nothing I can do about this,” rise up in faith and say, “Satan it is written.”  Faced with a level of temptation none of us will ever be exposed to, that’s what Jesus did to Satan in the wilderness.  And the record reads, “Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him” (Mt 4:11 NKJV).
Recently we witnessed bankers and brokers take people’s money, lose it, then later come back and say, “Here’s another good plan; invest it.”  But now we know better, don’t we?  We no longer believe an investment is good just because somebody says so.  Don’t miss the spiritual analogy here.  When you know the truth of God’s Word and you use it as a weapon, Satan’s walls crumble, his plans for you come unglued, and his schemes fall apart.  When you understand who you are “in Christ,” you are more than a match for the Devil and he can no longer control your life.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian – Satan is Defeated (1)

SATAN IS DEFEATED (1)

     Have you ever watched one of those TV shows where the police show up, surprise the criminal and say, “You’re busted,” then put them in handcuffs and take them off to jail?  That’s what Jesus did to Satan.  The word “destroy” implies “to come unglued,” or “to fall apart.”  Imagine the mortar crumbling and the wall coming down, or the spool running out of thread so that when the garment is picked up it falls apart.  On what basis would you like to fight Satan?  By the power of your own intellect, or by the power of God’s Word?  By your own will, or by knowing God’s will, standing on it, and enforcing it’s terms?  Ever turn on the lights in a dark room and watch cockroaches run for cover?  You didn’t do anything, you just turned on the light!  Every wall Satan builds to keep you locked in crumbles when exposed to the light of God’s Word.  Satan’s act literally comes unglued.  And it happens fast, because light travels at 186,000 miles per second.  Satan’s greatest weapon is your ignorance of God’s Word.  That’s why he will fight you over Bible reading more than most other things.  Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32 NIV).  The truth itself doesn’t set you free; it’s “knowing” the truth, standing on it in times of trouble and trusting God to do what He has said, that empowers you not only to survive Satan’s attacks, but to triumph over him.

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian – Temptation (3)

     You have open doors before you all day long.  How do you choose which ones to go through?

TEMPTATION (3)

     Temptation enters through three doors: “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”  That’s how it entered the Garden of Eden.  “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food (the lust of the flesh), that it was pleasant to the eyes (the lust of the eyes), and a tree desirable to make one wise (the pride of life), she took of it’s fruit (Ge 3:6 NKJV).  Satan has no new tricks, he just dresses up the same old temptations in new attire.  “The lust of the flesh” is anything you recklessly go into debt for, manipulate for, or violate your integrity for.  “The lust of the eyes” has to do with your perception.  By the time you start seeing clearly, you’ve lost a great relationship or walked away from an opportunity, only to look back and say, “I was foolish.  If I’d only waited.”  “The pride of life” is the most subtle, therefore the most dangerous.  You need a certain amount of pride to succeed in life.  So when does pride cross the line?  When you start exalting yourself; when you neglect God and think your success is the result of your own effort;  when you can’t admit you’re wrong; when you’re willing to go all the way to the bottom; fighting and blaming others.  Someone who cannot repent cannot be restored.  After his affair with Bathsheba, David wrote, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Ps 51:17 NIV).

From “The Word For You Today” by Bruce Christian – Temptation (2)

     TEMPTATION (2) 

    Notice the three areas in which Satan tempted Christ:  (1)  Provision.  “Command that these stones become bread” (Mt 4:3 NKJV).  This addresses one of our greatest fears-that if we don’t look out for ourselves nobody else will.  So Jesus says: “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’…. your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt 6:31-33 NKJV).  (2)  Protection.  Satan took Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and said, “If You are the Son of God, throw yourself down.  For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over You'” (Mt 4:5-6 NKJV).  This addresses another of our core fears-that God may not protect us.  Satan whispers, “You’re on the pinnacle of success right now, but you could easily go over the edge.”  When you start thinking like that-claim this promise: “In the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavillion” (Ps 27:5 NKJV).  (3)  Position.  “The devil took Him up an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.  And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’  Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan!  For it is written, You shall worship the Lord Your God, and Him only shall you serve.'” (Mt 4:8-10 NKJV).  Now, there’s nothing wrong with wanting provision, protection, and position.  The temptation is to try and get them through your own devices and for your own ends.