VIDEO If I Were the Devil by PAUL HARVEY

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April 5, 2013

Long time radio newsman/commentator Paul Harvey created the original of this homily around 1965. It was updated as the years went by and therefore versions of it vary over time. It is a description of how the devil works. He also meant it as a warning to us about our decay and to America about its decay.

Paul and the False Apostles 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 13)For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14)And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15)Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Matthew 4:10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”

Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Colossians 1:12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

Colossians 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,

This reminds of the book written by C.S. Lewis called “Screw Tape Letters” which I highly recommend. Uncle Screw Tape, the devil, writes to his nephew about how he works to get believers to fall away from Jesus.

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TIMELY HELP

He rained manna down on them to eat; he gave them grain from heaven. PSALM 78:24

God’s help is timely. He helps us the same way a father gives plane tickets to his family. When I travel with my kids, I carry all our tickets in my satchel. When the moment comes to board the plane, I stand between the attendant and the child. As each daughter passes, I place a ticket in her hand. She, in turn, gives the ticket to the attendant. Each one receives the ticket in the nick of time.

What I do for my daughters God does for you. He places himself between you and the need. And at the right time, he gives you the ticket. Wasn’t this the promise he gave his disciples? “When you are arrested and judged, don’t worry ahead of time about what you should say. Say whatever is given you to say at that time, because it will not really be you speaking; it will be the Holy Spirit” (Mark 13:11).

God leads us. He will do the right thing at the right time.

from TRAVELING LIGHT

Reflecting God’s Glory

Our faces, then, are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:18

The purpose of worship is to change the face of the worshiper. That is exactly what happened to Christ on the mountain. Jesus’ appearance was changed: “His face became bright like the sun” (Matt. 17:2).

The connection between the face and worship is more than coincidental. Our face is the most public part of our bodies, covered less than any other area. It is also the most recognizable part of our bodies. We don’t fill a school annual with photos of people’s feet but rather with photos of faces. God desires to take our faces, this exposed and memorable part of our bodies, and use them to reflect his goodness.

Just Like Jesus

Thou Shalt Not

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” (Exodus 20:4)

Many secularists criticize Christianity as being a religion of negativism filled with prohibitions. In response, Christians often try to blunt this criticism by stressing Christian love and freedom from the law.

The fact is, however, that the New Testament also contains many prohibitions, including a restatement of all those in God’s laws as expressed in the Ten Commandments. The first of these in our text prohibits idolatry. Six others also begin with “thou shalt not.” “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain”; “Thou shalt not kill”; “Thou shalt not commit adultery”; “Thou shalt not steal”; “Thou shalt not bear false witness”; “Thou shalt not covet” (Exodus 20:7, 13-17).

It is inappropriate for any Christian to ignore these commandments. Godly behavior is more important now than ever before. Not only are these prohibitions all repeated in the New Testament, but there are numerous other “shalt nots” as well, all directed to Christians saved by grace, apart from the works of the law.

For example: “Be not drunk with wine” (Ephesians 5:18); “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26); “Mind not high things . . . Be not wise in your own conceits” (Romans 12:16); “avenge not yourselves” (Romans 12:19); and many, many others.

There are numerous positive aspects to the Christian life, of course, but there are also things a Christian should not do. We do not work for our salvation, but we must work out our salvation, putting off the works of the flesh and putting on the works of a regenerate life. HMM

The Lord hath sent strength for thee

“The Lord hath sent strength for thee.” (Psa. 68.28, P. B. V.)

THE Lord imparts unto us that primary strength of Character which makes everything in life work with intensity and decision. We are “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” And the strength is continuous; reserves of power come to us which we cannot exhaust. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be”—strength of will, strength of affection, strength of judgment, strength of ideals and achievement.

“The Lord is my strength” to go on. He gives us power to tread the dead level, to walk the long lane that seems never to have a turning, to go through those long reaches of life which afford no pleasant surprise, and which depress the spirits in the sameness of a terrible drudgery. “The Lord is my strength” to go up. He is to me the power by which I can climb the Hill Difficulty and not be afraid.

“The Lord is my strength” to go down. It is when we leave the bracing heights, where the wind and the sun have been about us, and when we begin to come down the hill into closer and more sultry spheres, that the heart is apt to grow faint.

I heard a man say the other day concerning his growing physical frailty, “It is the coming down that tires me!”

“The Lord is my strength” to sit still. And how difficult is the attainment! Do we not often say to one another, in seasons when we are compelled to be quiet, “If only I could do something!” When the child is ill, and the mother stands by in comparative impotence, how severe is the test! But to do nothing, just to sit still and wait, requires tremendous strength. “The Lord is my strength!” “Our sufficiency is of God.” —The Silver Lining.

Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called

“Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called.” 1 Corinthians 7:20

Some persons have the foolish notion that the only way in which they can live for God is by becoming ministers, missionaries, or Bible women. Alas! how many would be shut out from any opportunity of magnifying the Most High if this were the case. Beloved, it is not office, it is earnestness; it is not position, it is grace which will enable us to glorify God.

God is most surely glorified in that cobbler’s stall, where the godly worker, as he plies the awl, sings of the Saviour’s love, ay, glorified far more than in many a prebendal stall where official religiousness performs its scanty duties. The name of Jesus is glorified by the poor unlearned carter as he drives his horse, and blesses his God, or speaks to his fellow labourer by the roadside, as much as by the popular divine who, throughout the country, like Boanerges, is thundering out the gospel.

God is glorified by our serving Him in our proper vocations. Take care, dear reader, that you do not forsake the path of duty by leaving your occupation, and take care you do not dishonour your profession while in it. Think little of yourselves, but do not think too little of your callings. Every lawful trade may be sanctified by the gospel to noblest ends. Turn to the Bible, and you will find the most menial forms of labour connected either with most daring deeds of faith, or with persons whose lives have been illustrious for holiness.

Therefore be not discontented with your calling. Whatever God has made your position, or your work, abide in that, unless you are quite sure that he calls you to something else. Let your first care be to glorify God to the utmost of your power where you are. Fill your present sphere to His praise, and if He needs you in another He will show it you. This evening lay aside vexatious ambition, and embrace peaceful content.

Only ye shall not go very far away

“Only ye shall not go very far away.” Exodus 8:28

This is a crafty word from the lip of the arch-tyrant Pharaoh. If the poor bondaged Israelites must needs go out of Egypt, then he bargains with them that it shall not be very far away; not too far for them to escape the terror of his arms, and the observation of his spies. After the same fashion, the world loves not the non-conformity of nonconformity, or the dissidence of dissent, it would have us be more charitable and not carry matters with too severe a hand.

Death to the world, and burial with Christ, are experiences which carnal minds treat with ridicule, and hence the ordinance which sets them forth is almost universally neglected, and even contemned.Worldly wisdom recommends the path of compromise, and talks of “moderation.”

According to this carnal policy, purity is admitted to be very desirable, but we are warned against being too precise; truth is of course to be followed, but error is not to be severely denounced. “Yes,” says the world, “be spiritually minded by all means, but do not deny yourself a little happy society, an occasional ball, and a Christmas visit to a theatre. What’s the good of crying down a thing when it is so fashionable, and everybody does it?” Multitudes of professors yield to this cunning advice, to their own eternal ruin.

If we would follow the Lord wholly, we must go right away into the wilderness of separation, and leave the Egypt of the carnal world behind us. We must leave its maxims, its pleasures, and its religion too, and go far away to the place where the Lord calls His sanctified ones. When the town is on fire, our house cannot be too far from the flames.

When the plague is abroad, a man cannot be too far from its haunts. The further from a viper the better, and the further from worldly conformity the better. To all true believers let the trumpet-call be sounded, “Come ye out from among them, be ye separate.”