A Fishing Lesson
Resist [the devil], standing firm in the faith. 1 Peter 5:9
I was fishing quietly on the clear, still waters of Piatt Lake, casting next to a lush weedbed. I watched a large smallmouth bass sneak out of the thick vegetation to investigate. He approached the tempting night crawler on the end of my line, stared at it, and backed into the weeds. This happened several times until he spotted the hook. Then he whipped his tail and disappeared into his lair, never to come out again.
Satan dangles temptation, like a fishhook, right in front of us. It looks tasty. It promises gratification. But Satan’s power ends there. He cannot force us to take the hook. His power stops at the edge of our will—at our decision point. When we are warned by the Holy Spirit and decide to say no, Satan can do no more. James says he runs away (4:7).
As believers, we can receive great comfort from the words of the apostle Peter, who himself experienced great temptation (Matt. 26:33-35). In later life he wrote, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion . . . . Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Just as that big old bass ignored my hook, we can in God’s strength successfully resist Satan’s most enticing tactics!
Father in heaven, thank You for the promise of Your help when we are tempted and for the truth that Satan’s power is limited. Give us the wisdom to recognize temptation and the humility to rely on Your Spirit for the strength to resist.
Respond to the lies of Satan with the truth of God’s Word.
By David Egner
The Missionary’s Master and Teacher
You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am ….I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master… —John 13:13, 16
To have a master and teacher is not the same thing as being mastered and taught. Having a master and teacher means that there is someone who knows me better than I know myself, who is closer than a friend, and who understands the remotest depths of my heart and is able to satisfy them fully. It means having someone who has made me secure in the knowledge that he has met and solved all the doubts, uncertainties, and problems in my mind. To have a master and teacher is this and nothing less— “…for One is your Teacher, the Christ…” (Matthew 23:8).
Our Lord never takes measures to make me do what He wants. Sometimes I wish God would master and control me to make me do what He wants, but He will not. And at other times I wish He would leave me alone, and He does not.
“You call Me Teacher and Lord…”— but is He? Teacher, Master, and Lord have little place in our vocabulary. We prefer the words Savior, Sanctifier, and Healer. The only word that truly describes the experience of being mastered is love, and we know little about love as God reveals it in His Word. The way we use the word obey is proof of this. In the Bible, obedience is based on a relationship between equals; for example, that of a son with his father. Our Lord was not simply God’s servant— He was His Son. “…though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience…” (Hebrews 5:8). If we are consciously aware that we are being mastered, that idea itself is proof that we have no master. If that is our attitude toward Jesus, we are far away from having the relationship He wants with us. He wants us in a relationship where He is so easily our Master and Teacher that we have no conscious awareness of it— a relationship where all we know is that we are His to obey.
Civilization is based on principles which imply that the passing moment is permanent. The only permanent thing is God, and if I put anything else as permanent, I become atheistic. I must build only on God (John 14:6). The Highest Good—Thy Great Redemption, 565 L