Archive for December, 2020

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 and the believer ceases to engage in self-destructive behaviors. Their hearts are purified as well, and their minds are quieted. However, the dispossessed demons are not satisfied unless they are causing misery and pain. As a result, they will often return to their previous hosts, stronger and more determined than ever. They then attempt to tear the faithful away from God. Sadly, some may 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 are plummeted back into destruction; a carnage far worse than they had previously known.
    I once met a man who had been a pastor for many years. After receiving 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 many years until suddenly renouncing the faith. Soon after denying Christ, he began willfully engaging in sexually deviant behaviors with multiple partners; he also started smoking and boasted to me of his severe daily dependence upon alcohol. Additionally, as an atheist, he began actively attempting 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.)
     Demons are very real; they roam the earth, attempting 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 repossessed by evil spirits and their lives plummet into even greater chaos. Maintaining our close relationship with God through prayer, bible reading, fellowship, and obedience, is the best way to defend 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, that we may 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 we pray, amen.” God bless all of you!

Christ’s Replacement

JESUS SPEAKING

    “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14: 25-26.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    The Lord informed his disciples that he would soon be taken away from them. In His absence, He promised to send them a replacement; a helper; someone to guide and direct them; a spiritual entity that would remind them of all of His teachings. After the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus ascended into heaven; having reached His eternal position, He sent the Holy Spirit into the hearts and minds of every believer (beginning on the day of Pentecost.) The disciples began to speak in foreign languages; they were given the power and authority to forgive sins; to cast out demons; to raise the dead; and to heal the sick. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit was, and is, proof that Jesus Christ did reach His destination. Today the work of the Spirit confirms that He is still seated at the right hand of God; a place of honor from which He continues to guide and direct His church.
    In the early 20th century a bold and daring explorer named Roald Amundsen set out to reach the remote poles of the earth. He succeeded in reaching the South Pole in 1911, and the North Pole in 1926. As the story goes, during his northern journey, he took along a homing pigeon (homing pigeons mate for life; in turn, when separated from their mates they have a unique ability to return to their nests from anywhere in the world. Before leaving for the North Pole, Amundsen, not wanting his wife to worry, promised to release the pigeon when he reached his destination; when the bird arrived at its nest in Norway, his wife was elated. The pigeon was a symbol; a message proclaiming that although the explorer had arrived in a distant land, he was very much alive.
    The Holy Spirit is also a symbol; it is a message and a reminder that Jesus Christ still lives. Many have received the message; still others have not. Those who have opened their hearts to God’s messenger have acknowledged that Jesus is their Lord and master. That He is a living God; that He currently guides and directs His church through the power of the Holy Spirit. If you have never received His gift, go somewhere quiet, and ask God to provide you with the Spirit of Truth. The Lord will never withhold this wonderful thing from those who genuinely ask Him.
     “Lord Heavenly Father, we believe that Jesus Christ is Your Son, and that He is seated at Your right hand. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit; guide and direct us; teach us and remind us of Your ways. May we be faithful believers; may we never waiver; may we never grow weary, and may we never turn away from Your truth. May You continue to use us to fulfill Your will in this place, until the time when we will see You again, face to face. 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!

Compassion

JESUS SPEAKING

    And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, “The Teacher has come and is calling for you.”  As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him.  Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, “She is going to the tomb to weep there.”  Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”  Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.  And He said, “Where have you laid him?”  They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus wept.  Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”  And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” (John 11: 28-37.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    Upon arriving, Jesus observed Mary and Martha weeping over the loss of their brother.  He was immediately filled with compassion and empathy; His heart was grieved and He began weeping with them.  And yet not one of Christ’s tears was shed for Lazarus (whom He would soon raise from the dead.) Instead, Jesus cried because He empathized with those who were mourning.  Concerning compassion, God has no equal; He’s filled with it.  Compassion is defined as “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate their suffering.”

    One day I happened by a man named Eric.  He was sitting outside of a coffee shop, slouching in a chair; he looked more dead than alive.  He was sweating profusely, and his skin was pale and clammy. His clothes were also old and ragged.  Having witnessed his pain, my heart was moved with compassion.  I promptly sat down and began speaking with him.  He informed me that he was withdrawing from heroine and was very sick.  I took him out to eat and provided him with some clean clothes.  I also ministered to him as best I could.  As his condition worsened, I drove him to the hospital and sat with him in the emergency room for hours; I even accompanied him in to see the doctor.  After being treated he was released.  Before dropping Eric off, I paid for his prescription and made sure he had enough food for the evening.  Nearly a year later, Eric showed up at the coffee shop to say hello.  He told me that after our interaction, he had nearly died of a heart infection and was hospitalized for an extended period of time.  He thanked me for my efforts, and said that without my assistance, he might not be alive.  He was grateful that (‘even when his friends had abandoned him’) someone had cared enough to help.  Despite his personal gratitude, I reminded Eric that it was God who deserved the credit; for it was God who had filled my heart with compassion; and in turn, it was the Lord who had moved me to act.

     Because Jesus Christ is filled with compassion, His followers are as well.  In turn, He moves human beings to accomplish great acts of kindness and mercy.  The closer we are to God, the more compassion we will feel for those who are hurting.  When someone is struggling, God feels their pain and inspires others to comfort them.  Wherever mercy and love abound, the Spirit of God is at work.  However, where there is indifference and a lack of compassion, there is an absence of Godliness.  There are so many broken people in this world who need to be loved.  May God’s compassion lead us to act; may we feel what God feels; may we see with His eyes; may we be filled with mercy, and may God use us to relieve the suffering of others.

     “Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to know You and to be filled with Your compassion.  Inspire us; that our hearts may be sensitive to those who are hurting.  Give us the strength to be kind when others are in need. May we love our families, our friends, and even those who are complete strangers.  Use us to express Your merciful benevolence.  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 we pray.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!


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