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Avoiding Witchcraft and the Occult

JESUS SPEAKING

Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'” (Luke 4: 5 – 8)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

During the forty days and nights Jesus spent alone in the dessert, satan presented Him with numerous temptations; of which he never once partook. Instead, He rebuked the devil, reminding him of God’s desire to be worshipped with absolute exclusivity. In much the same way, even today, satan and his demons seek to enter the hearts of men and women; to possess them and turn them away from worshiping God. Sadly, many unfortunate souls are lured into the occult; the idolatrous practices of sorcery, spiritism, and witchcraft. In Deuteronomy 18: 9 – 12, we read, “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire (human sacrifice), or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord.”

According to numerous sources, during the 1940’s there lived a 13 year old boy known by the alias ‘Roland Doe.’ One day Roland became despondent over the death of his aunt, who had taught him about spiritism and showed him how to use a ouija board. The family soon began hearing strange dripping sounds and scratching noises throughout the house; furniture and other objects also started moving on their own. Roland claimed he could hear someone walking in his room at night; and scratch marks began manifesting on his bed as well as his skin. The child began displaying all the hallmarks of a demonic possession. When the psychiatrists and medical health professionals had failed to alleviate his debilitating symptoms, a number of Godly men were called in to assist. Over the course of time, they performed an exorcism, which freed Roland from his evil spirits. According to a reliable witness, the boy was healed, and had become, “a fine young man.”

Throughout the world today, there are many who still practice spiritism, witchcraft, and are involved in the occult. Idolatrous endeavors such as using a ouiga board or consulting a fortuneteller are doorways through which satan can enter a human being and possess them. As Christians we are commanded to abstain from engaging in these activities; which must be shunned, avoided, and abandoned at all costs. We are the children of God; set apart from the desires of the devil. May we never succumb to temptation, but rather, serve the true and living God, in Spirit and in truth.

“Lord Heavenly Father, keep us from the evil one, and from the idolatrous activities of this life. May our hearts be filled with Your Holy Spirit, that we might discern the truth from the lies, and remain unstained, as we await the return of Your son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are Your people, and we exist only to serve You and to accomplish Your will in this life. 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!

Where to Cast Our Nets

JESUS SPEAKING

So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Then he got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5: 1 – 8)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

Although Peter was initially hesitant, he ultimately obeyed Jesus’ command to return to the sea and let down his nets. In so doing he observed a miracle that only God Himself could orchestrate. His nets could scarcely contain the abundance of fish they had captured. Because Jesus promised to make them “fishers of men,” this event is a symbol of the greater calling of every Christian. The gospel is the net that we spread, and the fish are those we have captured for Christ. If we are attentive, God will inform us of when and where to cast our nets. Although we are one body, we are often called to different ministries.

In the early 1800’s, an English missionary named Barnabas Shaw was forbidden to preach in Cape Town. And yet he chose not to leave Africa, but rather to push on into the interior. He purchased a yoke of oxen, put his wife and his goods into a wagon and stared out, resolved to settle wherever he would be allowed to preach. So they journeyed for three hundred miles. Then one night while camping they discovered that a band of natives (Hottentots) were camping nearby. In conversation with the leader Shaw learned that these tribal people were on their way to Cape Town to find a missionary to teach them about the Christian faith. Shaw was the exact man they were seeking. He soon realized that God had been leading him the entire time.

Like Barnabas Shaw, God has called every believer to accomplish some outreach in furtherance of the Gospel. Each of us has been endowed with different gifts, talents and abilities, which we can use to more effectively minister to others. If we are willing to listen, Jesus Christ will show us when and where to cast our nets; and those who are obedient will be fruitful. Therefore we must ask ourselves this important question: What ministry have we been called to accomplish for our Creator?

“Lord Heavenly Father, you are our strength and our redeemer; without You we are lost. As we journey through this life, we ask for Your direction. Where would you have us serve? And to what ministry have we been called? Grant us that wisdom; and give us the courage and passion to become the instruments of Your will. 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!

Guiding Loved Ones to Jesus

JESUS SPEAKS

‘Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him. And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus. When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has the power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.’ (Luke 5: 17 – 25)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

A group of loyal men set out to carry their paralyzed friend to Jesus. In a desperate attempt to circumvent the crowds, they puncture a hole in the roof, and lower the sick man down to the Lord. The man’s tortured body is healed and his sins are forgiven; thus permitting him to return home. In like manner, those who are faithful, are duty bound to escort their families, friends, loved ones, relatives, and acquaintances to the feet of Jesus Christ. In so doing, they too can be healed, forgiven and restored to a right relationship with God.

“Every atom in the universe can act upon every other atom, but only through the atom next to it. If a man would act upon every other man, he could do it best by acting, one at a time, upon those beside him.” —Henry Drummond—

Although many are called to be missionaries in some distant nation, there’s no shortage of souls that require saving right here at home. Those who are positioned directly beside us in this life are often the most inclined to accept the gospel message; our parents, our children, our brothers and sisters, our cousins, our nieces and nephews, our close friends and even our coworkers. Having been healed ourselves, we must then make an effort to guide them to the feet of Jesus Christ.

“Lord Heavenly Father, may we never be distracted or dissuaded from accomplishing our primary purpose; which includes spreading the gospel message to those You have placed directly beside us. Each day, may we strive to guide our friends and family members to the foot of Your throne, through the blood of our Savior. Open their hearts and minds, that they too might receive forgiveness and be healed. 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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