VIDEO Greater Is He

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Perhaps Satan’s greatest trick concerns his own identity. He has enabled the world to think of him as an impish demon, dressed in red, with a pitchfork and a pointy tail. He is pictured as sitting on one’s shoulder, whispering suggestions into the ear—a cartoon character worthy of a laugh. But nothing could be more wrong.

Instead of a red-dressed imp, Satan is a powerful being, portrayed in Scripture like a “roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He can destroy, divide, and discourage using that which reveals his character: lies, counterfeits, and deception. He was given the name “devil” (diabolos—accuser, slanderer) in Scripture because of his tactic of slandering us before God and slandering God before us. But for all his schemes and power, we do not need to fear him. For the God who is in us is greater than the devil who is in the world.

Be ready for spiritual battle by submitting to God and resisting the devil—and he will flee from you (James 4:7).

I fear not the tyranny of man, neither yet what the devil can invent against me.  John Knox


1 John 1-5 – The Bible from 30,000 Feet – Skip Heitzig – Flight 1JOHN

Perfect Justice

All [God’s] ways are just. Deuteronomy 32:4

In 1983, three teens were arrested for the murder of a fourteen-year-old. According to news reports, the younger teen was “shot . . . because of his [athletic] jacket.” Sentenced to life in prison, the three spent thirty-six years behind bars before evidence surfaced that revealed their innocence. Another man had committed the crime. Before the judge released them as free men, he issued an apology.

No matter how hard we try (and no matter how much good is done by our officials), human justice is often flawed. We never have all the information. Sometimes dishonest people manipulate the facts. Sometimes we’re just wrong. And often, evils may take years to be righted, if they ever are in our lifetime. Thankfully, unlike fickle humans, God wields perfect justice. “His works are perfect,” says Moses, “and all his ways are just” (Deuteronomy 32:4). God sees things as they truly are. In time, after we’ve done our worst, God will bring about final, ultimate justice. Though uncertain of the timing, we have confidence because we serve a “faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he” (v. 4).

We may be dogged by uncertainty regarding what’s right or wrong. We may fear that the injustices done to us or those we love will never be made right. But we can trust the God of justice to one day—either in this life or the next—enact justice for us.

By:  Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

Where have you seen justice abused or misrepresented? Where does your heart cry out for God to bring justice?

God, I see injustice all around me: in the news, in my relationships, on social media. Thank You for the hope I can have in You and Your just ways.

Our Financial Security

Deuteronomy 8

When you look at your paycheck, do you think of it as your hard-earned money? It’s tempting to view money as a result of our own efforts, but this perspective encourages us to act as if all our resources belong to us instead of to God. The truth is that God is the one who enables you to profit from your labors.

Thinking we have control over our assets gives the illusion of safety, but our sense of security quickly evaporates with the loss of a job or a bout with serious illness. True security is found only in the Lord, who owns all things—not in our monetary stockpiles or marketable skills. Knowing that God is in charge of our resources, whether we have much or little, should give us peace of mind because His is our provider and protector.

Recognizing that the Lord is in control of our material wealth helps with two things: It frees us from the discontentment of greed and allows us to be generous, because we never have to fear that we won’t have enough. He promises to supply enough for our needs as well as enough to share with others (2 Corinthians 9:8-10).

Marital Problems

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:17)

Marriage has always had a high place—a high calling. In the beginning, God’s stated purpose in marriage was to propagate children (Genesis 1:28) and to eliminate solitude (2:18). Such a state was deemed “very good” (1:31). But sin entered through Adam’s rebellion, and the universal Curse resulted. Out of this came a new marital relationship, one full of potential problems, for “he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (3:16). It is safe to say that the many excesses on both sides of a marriage that we see today are the legacy of sin.

Not only is marriage affected by the Curse, Satan himself delights in destroying marriage. Immediately after the Curse, we see that he introduced numerous practices that are detrimental to a proper marriage. The ungodly lineage of Cain began to practice polygamy (4:19). Later, Noah’s son, Ham, indulged in sexual thoughts and innuendoes (9:22). Even godly Abram participated in an extramarital affair that, even though not specifically condemned, was harmful to his marriage (16:1-3).

Soon after this, we read about all sorts of immorality, including homosexuality in Sodom and Gomorrah (19:1-10); fornication, rape, marriage to unbelievers (34:1-2); the practice of incest (35:22; 38:13-18); prostitution (38:24); and seduction (39:7-12).

What is the solution for this age-long attack on the family? We must heed the guidelines given in Scripture for a godly marriage. Passages such as those surrounding our text are well worth our study. JDM

“What Think Ye of Christ?”

Matthew 22:1-46

AS the enemies of our Lord seek to entrap Him, it is wonderful to watch His conduct and His replies. The Pharisees tried to snare Him on the question of tribute, but He answers: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are Gods.” The state has its claims, but we never must give it that allegiance which belongs only to God.

Next they asked Him concerning the resurrection—whose wife should she be who had married seven? Our Lord replies, laying down the basis of error: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.” So many believers today either do not study the Bible and depend too much upon experience, or else they read the Bible and do not heed what they read, so do not know the power of God.

He declares that earthly conditions and relationships do not prevail hereafter. For God said, “I AM the God of Abraham, of Isaac and Jacob,” not “I was….” In His sight all live; He does not speak of them as having been. Besides, God had made promises to these patriarchs which necessitated resurrection if they were to be realized (Gen. 17:8, 28:13; Heb. 11:13).

A scribe asks which is the “great commandment,” and our Lord quotes from the Old Testament (Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18) the two commandments of love for God and one’s neighbor, upon which hang all the others. Certainly if you keep the first, you will keep the first five of the Ten Commandments; and if you keep the second, you will keep the second five.

Now notice the grand climax. Our Lord Himself propounds the next question: “What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is He?” It is as though He said, “All these questions you have asked are secondary. What about Myself? That is the supreme issue.” It was the supreme matter then; it is today. After that, they asked Him no more questions. There are no more questions after that! For Jesus Christ is the last word, and when you stubbornly refuse Him as did these, there is nothing more to be said. They made Him to be only David’s Son, but He refuted it from the Scriptures.

Then he turned (in the twenty-third chapter of Matthew) to the most flaming condemnation of Pharisaism of His entire ministry. The charges He brings are terrific! They do not practice what they preach. They love clerical show and high places at conventions, and lofty titles. They obstruct the conversion of others. They cheat the poor and pray long prayers. They encourage dishonesty. They see little faults in others and commit great sins themselves. They are hypocrites—righteous without and vile within; whitewashed, not washed white. Their fathers had killed the great prophets of the past. They are snakes, sure for hell!

No more awful condemnation of any group of people has ever been delivered! It is noteworthy that our Lord never spoke of or to the Pharisees except in judgment, for they were blind leaders of the blind, and His attitude was “Let them alone.” Some people cannot be won, they can only be let alone.

From this fiery message Jesus turns to lament over Jerusalem. Notice, the responsibility is theirs: “and ye would not.” Jerusalem must be desolate until Israel receives her long-rejected Messiah.

God’s Great Masterpiece

And the Scripture cannot be broken.—John 10:35

I subscribe to the supervisal inspiration of the Bible. I believe God led the minds and hearts of the writers of Scripture to go to the right sources for information, to come up with the required data, and in the process protected them from exposure to error, deceit, or imposture. He supervised them in their research, in their reporting, and when He spoke directly to them, He was there also to make sure that they received clearly the message He wanted to convey. Ian Macpherson puts this truth most powerfully in his book The Faith Once Delivered when he says: “As in the mystery of the Incarnation, God linked Himself to humanity, so in the mystery of the inspiration of the Holy Scripture, God made use of human channels, yet He never surrendered His Divine authorship or permitted the Book to become the word of man rather than the word of God.”

Another writer, H. O. Mackey, put it like this: “Who built St. Paul’s Cathedral? So many masons, carpenters, iron-workers, carvers, painters—and then there was Wren. He was not a mason, or a carpenter … and never laid a stone. What did he do? He did it all. He planned it, inspired it with his thought.” Mackey does not intend to dishonor the workmen who toiled hard and long, but simply to make the point that in the final analysis St. Paul’s Cathedral is Sir Christopher Wren’s masterpiece.

Who wrote the Bible? Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John, Peter, Paul, and many others. But whose book is it really? It is God’s.

Prayer

O God, it is the entrance of Your Word that brings light, and the neglect of Your Word that brings darkness. Help me to expose myself more and more to that light, so that I may walk through life with a sure and steady tread. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Further Study

Rv 22:12-21; Dt 4:2; 12:32; Pr 30:5-6

What was the conclusion of the writer of Proverbs?

What was John’s warning?

On Practicality

Matthew 25:45

“Be practical” someone said,

“What can we do?

Don’t get involved,

You might get hurt.”

For the first time, I am practical

Because I am done with practicality.

Finished.

Didn’t the Master say,

“Go into the highways

And the byways?”

For need is often dangerous,

Not safe nor simple;

It is vicious, or dirty, or sobbing,

Or threatening, or dreadfully repulsive,

Or, I suppose, running at the nose.

Away with practicality!

If you will, call me a Samaritan person—

Good or bad or otherwise;

I am done with the right side of the road.

Can’t you hear the urgent callingness from other lives?

Walk with me where bloodied footsteps trail the wounded.

Where the hearts are cold.

Gray as granite, or broken, or crippled, or crushed.

The needy will be there,

And we shall care,

And share, each with each.

That will be sufficient.

And if pain comes, well, let it come.

Hurting will be preferable,

Under the circumstances, to not hurting.

Sallie Chesham, Walking with the Wind