Putting God's Word into Practice…

Revelation 12 ~ Satan Is…

Recently I was harsh and snarky with my sons.  I wasn’t really mad at them but at some other situation. They were just closest ones on whom to take out my anger.  It is like that with Satan.  He is really angry at God, but he takes it out on us.  He is an enraged enemy! (vs. 13)

Satan is a deceiver.  (vs. 9) There is not one place in the world where his deception is not heard, believed and acted on.  All evil in the world is a result of being deceived.  All pain in the world is a repercussion of people believing his lies.

Satan is an accuser.  (vs. 10) Day and night he is before the Lord throwing mankind under the bus!  He is a diabolical tattle-tale!  “Did you see what she did?”  But Jesus is an awesome absolver!  If our sins are washed away by Jesus, there is nothing that he can accuse us of that holds water.

Satan is a warrior. (vs. 17) Anyone who obeys God and trusts in Jesus, Satan is making war against.  His chief aim is to keep people from the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and to destroy anyone who already believes.  He can’t destroy the Lord, so he tries to demolish His followers.

SATAN IS DEFEATED!  (vs. 8, 12) He knows his time is short and that Jesus already claimed victory over him when He died on the cross and rose again.

Satan’s power is limited. (vs. 13-16) The Lord still controls everything.  Protection comes from the Lord.  He is our powerful, victorious ally!  Jesus and the armies of Heaven are fighting for us.

Satan is unstable. (vs. 17) When this chapter finishes, Satan is standing on the sand of the sea.  Sand is a false foundation!  There is no real stability or longevity for anything that puts its stakes down in sand!

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1 Peter 5:8-9 We Have an Enemy

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. 1 Peter 5:8-9

Peter knew he had an enemy who wanted to destroy him.  He had been tempted to deny that he knew Christ three times prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, and he blew it!  Yet he also knew of the grace, forgiveness and restoration that is offered freely through the Lord.  When Peter gives directives about how to avoid being devoured by our enemy, we would do well to listen!

Humbly depending on the Lord to care for us is one way that we can resist the devil.  The devil wants us to believe the lie that we need to protect, defend and care for ourselves.  If he can separate us from the truth of who God is and how He loves, the devil can destroy us.

Having an alert, sound mind is another way to resist the enemy.  If we know and apply God’s Word to our circumstances, we have truth as a weapon to defeat our attacker where the battle starts–in the mind.

We also need to widen our focus by taking our eyes off of our suffering and circumstances.  Satan wants us to isolate ourselves, to think that we are the only one who is suffering.   He uses suffering to make us anxious and angry.  He uses suffering to cause us to doubt God’s care and goodness.  He uses suffering to weaken us.  When we see that we are not alone in suffering, we can love and pray for each other.  We can encourage one another in faith and truth.  God uses our suffering to strengthen us!

Today if you feel like the Enemy is winning in your heart, mind and life; please message me.  I would like to pray for you!  God is bigger than our enemy, and He has the power to defeat him.

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John 13–Love

First I have to start with two confessions.  Yesterday I did not read my Bible and I was in the nursery during church so I missed the preaching.  Thanks to God’s grace, I am still “dailybiblereader2012,” but what I difference a day makes of not being in His pure Word.

Second, this chapter has given me cause for fear today.  There is one phrase that God consistently is playing over and over in my mind:  “Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”  This past week, a women who has been suffering with dementia passed away.  The last several years have been difficult on her husband, but he has tenderly cared for her and is saddened by his loss.  The following day I visited our next door neighbor who patiently and tirelessly cares for his wife who is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  I hope that if God brought that kind of trial or pain into my life, I would be able to “love to the end” like Jesus.  My husband reminded me that I can’t but that the Holy Spirit can do it through me.

How did Jesus love his own to the end?  He never gave up on them.  He never thought it was high time they start to serve Him.  He didn’t make them feel guilty for what He was about to do–lay down His life for them.  He just loved them–humbly, selflessly, and sacrificially.

Another amazing thought is that Jesus knew that Satan had already put it in Judas Iscariot’s heart to betray Him, yet He washed Judas’ feet too.  How could He do such good to His enemy?  I believe verse 3 holds the answer, “Jesus, knowing the Father…” Jesus had entrusted His entire earthly life into His Father’s sovereign plan.  Because He knew His Father’s heart and purposes, Jesus was able to love even His enemy to the end.

Jesus didn’t just wash their feet to love and serve them, He did it to set an example for His followers.  He commanded, “You also ought to wash one another’s feet,” and “do just as I have done to you.”  Foot washing was a menial task in those days…to be a foot-washer was humiliating and undignified.  Many would see it the same today.  Fortunately, I grew up in a church that made foot washing part of their communion services. (Don’t worry, we washed our hands between washing feet and breaking bread!)  It seemed as a young girl that I always got “stuck” washing the old ladies’ feet who left their stockings on. But, looking back, I can see the beauty in the tradition.  

In 2007, I had a difficult year in ministry. We had moved our family to start a church from scratch.  I went to work full-time.  And God didn’t seem to be working things out with the church on my timetable.  I became angry and bitter.  During the summer of 2008, God broke my heart and humbled me.  I felt Him asking me to wash the feet of the women in our summer Bible study.  I really just wanted to confess and make muffins for them, but I was sure that he was asking me to go “lower.”  I don’t know if they remember that day, but I do.  It was the pathway to blessing in my heart and life just like Jesus promised in verse 17:  “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”

Verses 21-30.  Jesus named His betrayer by giving him bread to eat.  How very like Jesus–He was always feeding people!  (As a mother of two healthy, growing boys, I can relate!)  Immediately Satan entered Judas, he left the building, and it was night.   I believe that is physical and well as metaphorical night.  Judas stopped following Jesus and went out on his own.  (8:12, 11:9-10, 12:35-36)

Verse 31-38.  Jesus went on to teach of the importance of love.  He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  Love means laying down my life, my rights, my reputation, my plans for someone else.  That’s how Jesus loved!  Peter thought he understood love by committing to lay his life down for Jesus.  But Jesus knew already that Peter would deny Him when times got scary, and that’s where my concern comes in.  I believe that I would say to Jesus like Peter, “I would lay down my life for you.”  But is that how I live on a daily basis?  When push comes to shove, will I love boldly and sacrificially?  Will I lay down my life for others who aren’t willing to lay down their lives for me like Jesus did?

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