Archive for October, 2018

Demonic Possession

JESUS SPEAKING

        “When an evil spirit comes out of a man, he goes through dry places seeking rest; and finding none, he says, ‘I will return to the house from which I came.’ And when he arrives, he finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then he goes and takes seven other spirits, more wicked than himself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first” (Luke 11: 24-26.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

        Evil spirits, although often considered to be a myth, are very real. They dwell within the hearts of those who deny God. When an individual receives Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, all demonic apparitions are expelled; the child of God is set free; the chaos and devastation of evil living subsides; the believer ceases to engage in self-destructive behaviors; their hearts are purified, and their minds are quieted. The dispossessed demons however, are not satisfied unless they are causing misery and pain. So, they often return to their previous hosts, stronger and more determined than ever. They tirelessly seek to turn the faithful away from God; sadly, some fall victim to their schemes and reject the Holy Spirit. Without the Lord’s protection, the blasphemer is again invaded by demons and their lives plummet back into destruction (a destruction far greater than any they had previously known.)
        I once met a man who had been a pastor for many years. After he had received the Holy Spirit, his life began to change in wonderful ways. He experienced an immense peace and began to preach the gospel with great enthusiasm. He served the Lord for some time before suddenly renouncing the faith. Soon after his denial of Christ, he joyfully began engaging in strange sexual deviancies with multiple partners; he also started smoking and boasted of his severe daily dependence upon alcohol. Additionally, as an atheist, he actively attempted to turn others away from the faith. I would occasionally see him out in the community from time to time; and he appeared to be physically and mentally deteriorating (a condition I could only attribute to demonic possession.) The words of Christ are true, in that this man’s situation is likely worse today than it would have been if he had never received the Lord.
        Demons are very real; they roam the earth, trying to possess those who are weak. Individuals who receive the Holy Spirit are no longer capable of being possessed. Unfortunately, some believers do eventually reject the Holy Spirit; in turn they are possessed and their lives plummet into even greater chaos. Maintaining our close relationship with God through prayer, bible reading, fellowship, and obedience, is the best defense against evil spirits [If you have never received the Spirit of God and you would like too, please contact me and I can lead you in a prayer of acceptance and faith.]
        “Lord Heavenly Father, give us more of Your Holy Spirit. Deliver us from the evil one and protect us from demonic attacks. Remain in us and continue to work through us; give us the strength to endure; may we never turn away from You; may we always continue in Your ways; and may we never return to the bondage of sin and death. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.” God bless all of you.

Gossip

JESUS SPEAKING

        The high priest then asked Jesus about his disciples and his doctrine. Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet and have said nothing in secret” (John 18: 19-20.)

INSPIRED THOUGHT

        After being arrested, the Lord was taken before the Jewish leaders to be interrogated. They sought to find something in his teaching by which to condemn him. Jesus was considered a Rabbi; Rabbi’s spoke publicly; they gave everyone the opportunity to ask questions and to cross examine them (In fact, the religious leaders sent many servants in disguise to ascertain the nature of Christ’s doctrine.) Jesus never said anything in secret that he did not also profess openly. Speaking in secret is a sign of ungodliness (Gossip for instance is a type of destructive, private communication. The Lord never gossiped, and he never slandered; instead, he spoke the truth publicly and without remorse.)
        One day a group of pastors began to talk. They all agreed that those who confessed their sins on a regular basis were more joyful. So the four men decided that they should meet and confess their sins to one another. Upon meeting, the first pastor confessed that he routinely called in sick so he could attend the theatre. The second pastor confessed that in the evenings he liked to smoke cigars. The third pastor confessed that he had a major gambling problem; he often flew to Las Vegas where he would lose large sums of money. The final pastor refused to confess. But the other pastors pressed him until finally he made his admission. He said, “Well, I confess that I really like to gossip, and I can hardly wait to get out of here.”
        Although this fictional illustration is humorous, Gossip is not. Jesus never engaged in gossip, and his followers should strive to be like him, ‘in thought, word, and deed.’ Everything we say must stand up under scrutiny. Our private communication must be congruent with our public communication; if what we say cannot be printed on the front page of the newspaper, perhaps we have no business saying it. Speak openly; speak truthfully; speak lovingly; and you will never be ashamed.
        “Lord Heavenly Father, help us to avoid gossip; may we speak openly; may we never speak out of hate or contempt, but out of love. Fill our hearts with Your Holy Spirit, and may our mouths always speak the truth. May Your words be our words; may Your thoughts be our thoughts; may Your desires be our desires. May we glorify You in ‘thought, word, and deed.’ We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Making a Stand

JESUS SPEAKING

         Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And he found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. When he had made a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers money and overturned the tables. And he said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make my Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then the disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house has eaten me up” (John 2: 13 – 17.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

         Long ago King David prophesied that the messiah would be zealous concerning the things of God. Jesus, having witnessed his fellow Israelites using the temple for selfish gain, became enraged. After constructing a whip, he drove out those who were defiling his Father’s house. Today, we too will occasionally observe acts of unspeakable evil. In such instances, the Holy Spirit will eradicate our fears and fill our hearts with zeal; enabling us to publicly oppose those engaging in malicious conduct.
         One afternoon, while studying in the coffee shop, a man and his teenage son sat down beside me. Without provocation, the youngster began persistently berating and verbally abusing his Dad. As the disrespect escalated, my heart was filled with righteous anger. The boy eventually threatened his Dad, saying, “Have you ever been punched in the face?” I lashed out; telling the young man to ‘Shut his mouth!’ The boy fell silent. I proceeded to lecture him concerning the fifth commandment; honoring his father and mother. Embarrassed and afraid, he stepped outside; later returning to apologize.
         In this life, we will occasionally witness acts of such unspeakable evil, that Jesus will inspire us to intervene. In these moments, He will fill our hearts with zeal; giving us the words to speak and the strength to overcome our fears. The Lord will use us to rebuke, to exhort, and to correct many who eagerly violate the basic laws of God.
         “Lord Heavenly Father, give us the courage to speak the truth when necessary. May we love what is good and be zealous for Your ways. When great acts of evil are being practiced, may we stand against them; allowing our desires for righteousness to eradicate our fear of reprisal. We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you.


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