Thursday, August 27, 2009

I John 2:15--17

"Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; But the one who does the will of God abides forever."

Satan, the one empowering the world system, the hater of God & deceiver of men, has a two-fold purpose: to steal God's worship, and to hinder our knowledge of Him. The three tools he has at his disposal (by the Father's sovereign permission) are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

John the apostle here exposes one of the enemy's strongest strategies to keep blinded men from understanding the truth: make the world system seem permanent.

Through the continual shouting at his senses, the relentless fear of death and the unknown, as well as the prideful rationalization of his supposed basic goodness, the devil lulls the lost one into believing that what he sees is all there is, and will last forever. Ironically, although there is physical sight, he is actually spiritually blind (II Corinthians 4:3,4).

Yet it is not to the blinded unbeliever that John is writing (!). No, his words of warning are to those who are "not to be ignorant of his (the devil's) schemes" (II Cor. 2:11). That the Holy Spirit of God should even compel the apostle to pen these lines implies that the power the world system wields is formidable. As Peter also warns, we must be continually vigilant, soberly alert, lest we be devoured by this lion-like foe (I Peter 5:8,9).

O Father,
Greater are You in me than he who is in the world! Praise to Your Name he is a defeated foe, crushed at the cross, and I rejoice in the victory the Lord Jesus won there as He took my place on the tree. Teach me afresh, Father, to walk in this truth, stand in it, immovable, refusing to impugn the character of my blessed Savior by yielding to Satan's intimidation. By Your blessed Holy Spirit, Father, teach me the wearing of the armor, that I may be usable for Your glory in the spiritual warfare that never ceases.
I ask in the Lord Jesus' Name,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

John 6:63--66

" 'It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, 'For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.' As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore."

On the heels of miraculous ministries where food was multiplied, healings were causing great excitement, and His fame spread like wildfire, the Lord Jesus reveals His utter resistance to the deceitful lure of popularity.

He always and only cared for the will of His Father, period. His was an unnerving lack of concern for so much that everyone else valued so dearly. He alone understood perfectly that the flesh profits nothing, and so He lived with nothing to lose, with a fearless spiritual boldness. In the face of intensifying hatred from the religious leaders, and increasing disappointment from the multitudes, He unflinchingly spoke every word the Father gave Him to deliver (John 17:8).

Interesting that, when the disciples withdrew and walked with Him no more, there is no record of His following after them, pleading for them to return. As far as we know, He let them go. He would not "water down" the message to increase its appeal.
Neither should we.