Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. —2 Corinthians 11:14
Crunch. Crunch. Whoosh! In the early days of film, Foley artists created sounds to support the story’s action. Squeezing a leather pouch filled with cornstarch made the sound of snow crunching, shaking a pair of gloves sounded like bird wings flapping, and waving a thin stick made a whoosh sound. To make movies as realistic as possible, these artists used creative techniques to replicate sounds.
Like sounds, messages can be replicated. One of Satan’s most frequently used techniques is that of replicating messages in spiritually dangerous ways. Paul warns in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.” Paul is warning us about false teachers who turn our attention away from Jesus Christ and the message of His grace.
Jesus said that one purpose of the Holy Spirit living in us is that “when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). With the help and guidance of the Spirit, we can find the safety of truth in a world of counterfeit messages.
We need You, Holy Spirit, to help us discern truth from error. We can be easily deceived by others or even by our own hearts. May we be open to learn from You and not be led astray.
The Holy Spirit is our ever-present Teacher.
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” (1 Peter 5:7, AMP).
It is a guarantee that we will face adversity and trouble in our lives. Rather than struggling miserably and trying to handle tough situations ourselves, we can give them over to God. He can handle them much better than we can.
YOU ARE BLESSED …
How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ. – Ephesians 1:3, TLB
When you become a follower of Christ, not only do you receive eternal life but you are blessed with spiritual blessings. Scripture tells us that we are blessed with every blessing in heaven. What are the spiritual blessings of heaven? Peace, joy, favor, abundance, grace, and so much more! You are blessed with earthly talents, and you are blessed with spiritual blessings!
Today, let that sink down into your spirit. God has also given you talents, fulfillment, favor and abundance. You are blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. You are blessed with confidence and assurance that your God is who He says He is. You are kept safe and secure in the hand of Almighty God. Think about all of the blessings that God has given you and thank Him for them today!
WHOSE FAITH WAS IT
Luke 7:13-14, “And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not, And he came and touched the bier: and they that bear him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.”
This example of the widow’s son being raised from the dead is often used to demonstrate that Jesus produced many miracles without any faith from those receiving the miracle, but by His faith alone. However, the prayer in Mark 6:5-6 shows that Jesus could not (nor would not) do many mighty works in His home town because of the people’s unbelief. Many scriptures reveal that faith must be present to receive from God (Mk. 11:23-24; Jas. 1:5-7).
So, whose faith was present in this instance? First, the mother of the boy responded to Jesus in faith. For this woman to allow Jesus to interrupt the funeral procession and tell her to stop weeping has to be viewed as a positive response. These people were no different from mourners at funerals today. If she had rebelled at Jesus’ intrusion, the crowd would have sided with her because of pity, but none of these reactions are recorded. Jesus was in command.
Second, it cannot be proven that a dead person has no choice in what happens. We may take it for granted, but the scriptures don’t state that. A person doesn’t cease to exist at death; he simply leaves his body. The person is still very much alive. Many people who have been raised from the dead have mentioned that they had a choice in whether or not to enter their bodies again. Although this principle cannot be verified by scripture, it cannot be ruled out by scripture either.
In any case, to be consistent with the rest of scripture, some degree of faith had to be present in either the person receiving the miracle, or an intercessor (in this case, the mother). Reach out in faith to receive your miracle today.
RESCUED FROM DEATH
Since the children have flesh and blood, He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death HEBREWS 2:14-15
Did you know that God never meant for man to die?
God counts death as an enemy. He hates death. All things that lead to death, that sap life out of us, including all forms of sickness and disease, are not from God. Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb because He remembered that it was never God’s heart for man to fall sick, grow old and die.
But because the consequence of sin is death, God sent Jesus to bear the punishment for all our sins. And at the cross, Jesus conquered death once and for all, setting us free from sicknesses and diseases forever (Isaiah 53:4–5)!
Today, know in your heart that God wants you healed and whole, strong and full of His life. He loves you so much that He sent Jesus to redeem you from death in all forms. The cross of Jesus is the reason you can enjoy His divine health and abundant life today!
A HABIT OF PRAYER …
To You, O LORD, I called, and to the Lord I made supplication. – Psalm 30:8, NASB
God promises so many things to those who call on Him. He is always listening, He is always ready to receive us when we come to Him. The question is, how often are you calling on Him? A lot of times people think, “Oh I need to pray about that.” But then they get busy about their day and distracted with life. But thinking about praying isn’t the same as praying. Knowing that you need to pray isn’t the same as praying. We have to be diligent to make time every day, throughout the day, to stop and pray and call on Him.
One way to develop a habit a prayer is to have a prayer partner, a friend who you agree to connect with and pray together. It doesn’t have to be long or formal. But scripture tells us there is power in agreement. When two or more come together in His Name, He is there. If you don’t have a prayer partner, Jesus will be your prayer partner! Just make sure you carve out time each day to develop a habit of prayer!
THE HOLY SPIRIT (2)
…He will give you another…Counsellor.’ John 14:16 AMP
In the Bible, Solomon lists 28 different seasons in life. Here they are: ‘A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to stop searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:2–8 NLT) God determines each of your life’s seasons. The Psalmist said, ‘My times are in Your hands…’ (Psalm 31:15 AMP) So what should you do when you enter a new season of life? Reach for the Holy Spirit’s help because He’s a ‘Counsellor’. Jesus told His disciples, ‘I will ask the Father, and He will give you another…Counsellor…to be with you forever.’ (John 14:16 AMP) When you need an advisor because you’re not sure what to do or which way to go, the Holy Spirit is available to guide you. That means you must be sensitive when He highlights a particular Scripture you’re reading, or plants a persistent thought or idea in your mind that won’t go away, or speaks to you through a friend. You’re not alone, unless you want to be. Just consult the ‘Counsellor’ within you.
THE HOLY SPIRIT (3)
…The Holy Spirit–He will teach you everything…’ John 14:26 NLT
As a departing teacher might introduce the pupils to his or her replacement, so Jesus introduces us to the Holy Spirit. And what a ringing endorsement He gives Him! He calls the Holy Spirit His ‘representative’. The Holy Spirit within you comes in the name of Christ, with equal authority and identical power. How comforting it is to know that, when you’re entering a new season of life in which so many things will be different. This verse is translated in different ways. In the New International Reader’s Version, the word ‘counsellor’ is rendered ‘friend’. In the New King James Bible, He’s called ‘Helper’. In the Amplified Bible, He’s referred to as ‘Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener’. In the original Greek, the Holy Spirit is referred to as ‘parakletos’, a compound of two words: para, which means ‘alongside of’, and kletos, which means ‘one who’s designated to you’. The Holy Spirit has been assigned to come alongside you. He is the presence of Jesus with and in you. Can you see how the disciples needed this encouragement? It’s the evening before the crucifixion. By sunrise they will all have abandoned Him. Within 24 hours He will be hanging on the cross and their world will seem like it’s been turned upside down. But Jesus wants them to know: ‘You’ll never face the future without My help.’ And neither will you. Wherever the journey leads, He will be there by your side. The songwriter said, ‘And He walks with me, and He talks with me. And He tells me I am His own. And the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known.’
Ephesians 3:19-20 (KJV) Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
This day, like every other, is full of opportunities, challenges, and choices. But no choice you make is more important than the choice you make concerning God. Today, you will either place Him at the center of your live, or not. And the consequences of that choice are both temporal and eternal.
Sometimes, without our even realizing, we gradually drift from the One we need most. Thankfully, God never drifts away from us. He remains always present, always steadfast, always loving.
As you begin this day, place God first in your thoughts, on your lips, and in your heart. And then, with the Creator of the universe as your guide and companion, you can face today’s journey with courage
THE DEFINITE CHOICE
We will serve the Lord! —Joshua 24:21
Coming from someone who used to value ancestral gods, my 90-year-old father’s statement near the end of his life was remarkable: “When I die,” he spoke laboriously, “nobody should do anything other than what the church will do. No soothsaying, no ancestral sacrifices, no rituals. As my life is in the hands of Jesus Christ, so shall my death be!”
My father chose the path of Christ in his old age when he invited Jesus into his life as Savior. His contemporaries mocked him: “An old man like you shouldn’t be going to church!” But my father’s choice to follow and worship the true God was definite, like the people Joshua addressed.
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,” Joshua challenged them. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (24:15). Their response was resolute—they chose to worship the Lord. Even after Joshua warned them to count the cost (vv.19-20), they still resolved to follow the Lord, recalling His deliverance, provision, and protection (vv.16-17,21).
Such a confident choice, however, calls for equally confident actions, as Joshua strongly reminded them: “Put away the foreign gods . . . and incline your heart to the Lord” (v.23). Have you made a choice to live for God?
Teach me all it means, Lord, to choose You. I want my words, actions, and attitudes to show the love for You that I have in my heart. You are worthy of far more than I could ever do.
A definite choice demands definite actions.