VIDEO A Liar From the Beginning – How the Devil Deceives and Why People Believe It

A Liar From the Beginning

[Satan] was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. John 8:44

People who are fluent in only one language speak, think, and dream in that one language—their native language. However they choose to express themselves, their thoughts, words, and actions begin in their native tongue. They can’t not speak that way; it’s all they know.

Satan has a “native language” also (John 8:44, NIV). And that native language is lies, deceit, counterfeit—anything but the truth. Jesus said, “There is no truth in [Satan].” Since that’s all he can speak, he must have lied to the angels of heaven who followed him in rebellion against God, promising them something wonderful. As many as a third of the angels believed him and chose to trust his counterfeit promises (Revelation 12:4). Sadly, their end will be nothing like what they were promised (Matthew 25:41).

Part of maturing spiritually is learning to separate truth from lies. God is the Father of truth, Satan the father of lies. Let us learn our native language by living in the presence of God.

Lies and false reports are among Satan’s choicest weapons.  J. C. Ryle


How the Devil Deceives and Why People Believe It | John 8:44

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Dumb Sheep, Good Shepherd

As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. Ezekiel 34:12

My friend Chad spent a year as a shepherd in Wyoming. “Sheep are so dumb that they’ll only eat what is right in front of them,” he told me. “Even if they’ve eaten all the grass in front of them, they won’t turn to look for a fresh patch—they’ll just start eating dirt!”

We laughed, and I couldn’t help but think about how often the Bible compares humans to sheep. No wonder we need a shepherd! But since sheep are so dumb, not just any shepherd will do. Sheep need a shepherd who cares about them. When the prophet Ezekiel wrote to God’s people in exile, captives in Babylon, he compared them to sheep led by bad shepherds. Instead of caring for the flock, Israel’s leaders had exploited them, profiting from them (v. 3) and then leaving them for the wild animals to devour (v. 5).

But they were not without hope. God, the Good Shepherd, promised to rescue them from the leaders who exploited them. He promised to bring them home, put them in lush pastures, and give them rest. He would heal the injured and go after the lost (vv. 11–16). He would banish wild animals, so that His flock would be safe (v. 28).

Members of God’s flock are in need of tender care and direction. How blessed we are to have a Shepherd who is always leading us to green pastures! (v.14).

For more on the topic of spiritual growth, see christianuniversity.org/SF212.

Am I listening for the voice of my Shepherd?

By Amy Peterson

The Consequences of Impatience

Luke 15:11-21

How serious is a lack of patience? We generally write it off as inconsequential. It’s often seen as a weakness rather than a sin—after all, it’s not as bad as adultery, theft, or murder. But have you ever considered what your impatience reveals about your attitude toward God?

When we demonstrate an inability to tolerate delay, we are telling the Lord, “I don’t trust Your timing; mine is better.” Can you see the seriousness of this attitude? Impatience is a display of pride because we are elevating our understanding above that of our all-knowing God.

The prodigal son’s journey toward disaster began with impatience. He wanted his inheritance immediately and was unwilling to wait. After taking matters into his own hands, he faced the following consequences:

He brought sorrow on his family. Likewise, our impatience hurts those we love.

He left the security of home. When we run ahead of God, we often leave behind the voices of reason and wisdom in our life.

He found himself in ruin. God’s blessing accompanies our obedience, so we stand to lose a great deal when we ignore His timing.

He felt unworthy. We don’t experience fellowship with the Lord when impatience keeps us outside of His will.

Although the prodigal son was welcomed home, he could never regain the inheritance he’d lost. We, too, must often live with painful consequences as a result of jumping ahead of God. Let’s remember it’s better to wait patiently until the Lord moves us forward.

Be Mortified

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Romans 8:13) 

To mortify something means to put it to death. Paul taught in our text and in other passages that the “deeds of the body,” or its fleshly actions and appetites, all that pertains “to the old man,” should be mortified, or put to death.

This mortification is first of all judicial—Christ having been put to death in our stead. “Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6).

But the mortification must not stop there, with only a positional death. It must also be an actual mortification in practice, for “they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24-25). “For as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness” (Romans 6:19).

Elsewhere, Paul identifies specific deeds and attitudes that must be mortified. “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence [or evil desires], and covetousness” (Colossians 3:5). The first four listed will be recognized as various forms of sensual sins, indicating how detrimental this category of sin is to spiritual life. The fifth is covetousness, or inordinate love of money and material things. These five comprise deadly sins to men and women of any historical age—particularly our own. If they are not put to death, they bring death, “for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh” (v. 6).

The choice is clear! It will be either death to the flesh, or death to the spirit. JDM

The love of money is the root of all evil

1 Timothy 6

The first epistle to Timothy concludes with a practical exhortation relating to various classes in the church, and with an earnest word to the young minister himself.

1 Timothy 6:1, 2

For Christian servants to take undue liberties because their employers are believers, is shameful, they ought rather to render them higher respect and more willing service.

1 Timothy 6:6

It makes us truly happy, by making our little into much and sweetening all the trials of life: “Poor and content is rich, and rich enough.”

1 Timothy 6:7, 8

Enough is as good as a feast, and frequently better, for it saves us from the ills of surfeit,—the sure punishment of greediness.

1 Timothy 6:9, 10

Money can be used for the best of purposes, but the love of it is idolatry and the cause of countless evils. How is it that so many professed Christians live only to make money, and are just as eager after wealth as the avowed worldling?

1 Timothy 6:17-19

Having spoken to those who seek riches, he now admonishes those who possess them, that they must not hoard for themselves, but lay up treasure in heaven by generously distributing their goods on earth. Have we property? Let us hold it as stewards of the Lord. It is both our duty and our happiness to use all that we have to glorify him who, though he was rich, yet became poor for our sakes. Is he truly ours? Then let all ours be truly his.

1 Timothy 6:20, 21

O Lord, grant that grace may be with us also, this day and till the last great day. Amen.

 

Let us, in life and death,

Thy steadfast truth declare;

And publish with our atest breath,

Thy love, and guardian care.

 

Correct, Faith Must Be Restored

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief. (Hebrews 3:12)

The Bible tells about man’s being alienated from and an enemy to God. Should this sound harsh or extreme you have only to imagine your closest friend coming to you and stating in cold seriousness that he no longer has any confidence in you.

“I do not trust you. I have lost confidence in your character. I am forced to suspect every move you make”—such a declaration would instantly alienate friends by destroying the foundation upon which every friendship is built. Until your former friend’s opinion of you had been reversed there could be no further communion.

People do not go boldly to God and profess that they have no confidence in Him and they usually do not witness publicly to their low view of God. The frightful thing, however, is that people everywhere act out their unbelief with a consistency that is more convincing than words.

Christianity provides a way back from this place of unbelief and alienation: “He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” God took the wrong upon Himself in order that the one who committed the wrong might be saved!

 

The Unfailing Watch

“Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.” Ps. 121:4

Jehovah is “the Keeper of Israel.” No form of unconsciousness ever steals over Him, neither the deeper slumber nor the slighter sleep. He never fails to watch the house and the heart of His people. This is a sufficient reason for our resting in perfect peace. Alexander said that he slept because his friend Parmenio watched; much more may we sleep because our God is our guard.

“Behold” is here set up to call our attention to the cheering truth. Israel, when he had a stone for his pillow, fell asleep; but his God was awake, and came in vision to His servant. When we lie defenseless, Jehovah Himself will cover our head.

The Lord keeps His people as a rich man keeps his treasure, as a captain keeps a city with a garrison, as a sentry keeps watch over his sovereign. None can harm those who are in such keeping. Let me put my soul into His dear hands. He never forgets us, never ceases actively to care for us, never finds Himself unable to preserve us.

O my Lord, keep me, lest I wander and fall and perish. Keep me, that I may keep thy commandments. By thine unslumbering care prevent my sleeping like the sluggard, and perishing like those who sleep the sleep of death.

 

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