And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 15, Number
In this issue:
Joe R. Price
The end of the calendar year is a good time for reflection and resolution; for remembering and pledging to do better and be better in the coming year.
It is right to evaluate where we are and where we are headed. The word of God says, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves” (2 Cor. 13:5).
Are you still living in sin? If so, now is the best time to put away your sin, obey Jesus in faith, and be saved from your sins. If you are not a Christian you are living in sin – you are walking in darkness (Jno. 8:12). It takes more that saying you are in fellowship with God; it takes practicing the truth that Jesus has given us (1 Jno. 1:6; Jno. 12:35; Jas. 1:22). Why are you waiting? End the darkness of sin in your life and become a Christian today (Acts 2:37-41; 22:16).
Are you becoming a better husband or wife? If not, it is past time to begin. We must improve ourselves as husbands and wives. Each person has a responsibility to the other – before God – to honor and serve one another in marriage (Eph. 5:22-29; Col. 3:18-19; 1 Pet. 3:1-7; 1 Cor. 7:3-5). Love is shown in marriage by actions of unselfish service and sacrifice (1 Jno. 3:16-18). Husbands and wives must not only say “I love you,” but also show their love in their treatment of one another.
Are you doing the things you know will please God? Or, do you know what God’s will for your life is, but choose instead to do your own will? “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin" (Jas. 4:17). Are you putting Christ and His will first in your life (Matt. 6:33)? Do pure thoughts fill your mind and come out of your mouth (Matt. 12:34-37)? Is it your mind to do the will of God and no longer live for the lusts of the flesh (1 Pet. 4:1-2)?
These are just a sample of the things to consider as we end 2012 and begin 2013. By the way, we must never forget that God is not defined by the ending of one year and the beginning of another; He inhabits eternity (Isa. 57:15; 2 Pet. 3:8).
Do not delay to do God’s will. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor. 6:2)
-Edited and Reprinted: The Spirit’s Sword (X:12), December 31, 2006
The Scriptures describe Satan as being active. In Job’s day, we see Satan “going to and fro on the earth, and … walking up and down on it” (Job 1:7, 2:2). Satan was walking all over the earth looking for a righteous man. In the New Testament, Peter warned, “Be sober-minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (I Pet. 5:8). In nature, a lioness will creep and wait patiently for her time to strike and kill her prey. In hunting, she is active and has a goal in mind — food for herself and her cubs. Notice, Satan is also described as being as active as that hungry, hunting lion! Jesus said that Satan was a murderer from the beginning and the father of lies (Jn. 8:44). He is the author of lies and murder, and his actions continue to this day.
Notice the terminology used in reference to Satan. Satan is not sitting somewhere on a beach relaxing. We do not get the impression that Satan gets up some mornings and says, “Today, I will take the morning off.” Look at this world. Satan has his hand in the TV stations, in the newspaper, in magazines, in radios. He is in our schools, our military, our government, and in our homes. No, friends, Satan does not rest! Satan works overtime!
Satan Works Overtime In Families
Observe the character and content of most families, and we will see Satan’s work. Divorce, abuse, (verbal, physical, etc.), ungodly behavior, being lax in training the children, hypocritical behavior, and many other things are present in families due to Satan’s influence. Remember, as goes the home, so goes the nation. Therefore, we find Satan working “overtime” in the home, and especially in the homes of Christians to try and lure them away from God and His will so as to have an impact on the home, and by extension, the church and government.
Satan Works Overtime In Government.
When laws of men are enacted which encourage and sanction sin (ex: gambling/lotteries, legalized alcohol, abortion of babies, homosexuality, etc.), you can rest assured that Satan has been working overtime among government’s leaders! He has been working among the nations of men ever since government began. Consider the wicked kings God names among the Jews and the Gentiles in the Old Testament! Then, look into the New Testament and be reminded of the sins of Herod the Great, Agrippa I and II, Caesar, etc. In studying these leaders, we find such sins as pride, lying, stealing, murder, homosexuality, etc. were committed. When we look at government leaders today, we find many of them falling into the same trap! These facts all bear record to the fact that Satan has been at work in the government!
Satan Works Overtime Among Individuals.
The book of I John lets us know that men are tempted with the lusts of the flesh and eyes, and the pride of life (I Jn. 2:15-17). Truly, Satan walks around as a lion looking for his next meal (I Pet. 5:8)! Satan has not stopped yet, but continues to look for the “weak,” “sickly,” and those who are just unaware of their surroundings. When we see folks caught up in alcoholism, abusive behavior with others, lying, stealing, pornography, being unfaithful to God, ignorant of His word, not praying, not living as we should in Christ, etc., we are seeing the evidence of a people who are victims of Satan. Yes, Satan works overtime!
My observation is that many Christians are lax in their attitude toward Satan and his work. For this, we can also thank Satan. He wants folks to be unimpressed with him, and make light of his tactics. If folks think Satan is a myth, or a joke, he is happy with this, for he knows those who will not take him seriously, will not take the salvation of their souls seriously, either (contrast Jesus’ teaching: Matt. 16:26). Solomon wrote, “Fools mock at sin” (Prov. 14:9). How Satan loves those “fools”! He wants even more people to be foolish, and works “overtime” to make this happen!
Can we fight against Satan? Absolutely! He is powerful, but Christ has given us the weapons and armor for fighting Satan (Eph. 6:10-17; Rom. 13:12, 14; II Cor. 10:3-5). Now we must use them!! Perhaps we forgot that we are at war with Satan. Let us awake from sleep and be busy fighting temptation, as well as living a faithful life (I Cor. 15:58). Look to God (not self) for strength (Phil. 4:13). Exercise your senses (Heb. 5:14). We can win!
The Old Paths (Nov. 11, 2012)
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Scripture Reading:Hebrews 3:7-11
1. A Christian
can fall away and be lost, Lk. 8:13; Gal. 5:4; Heb. 3:12-13; 2 Pet. 2:20-22.
I. HEBREWS 3:12-13: DUE TO AN EVIL HEART OF UNBELIEF.
A. Evil: A
Heart that Degenerates into Unbelief, 3:12, 6, 18-19; 4:11; 3:13.
Are We to Do?
II. HEBREWS 6:1-6: DUE TO A LACK OF GROWTH TO MATURITY.
Immaturity in Knowledge and Living, Heb. 5:11-14; Col. 1:9-11.
Are We to Do?
I’m coming home” – Home to faithful diligence, home to spiritual growth, and
home to truth and godly living – home to God.
Please Stop Giving!
I just read where the folks in Newtown, CT, have been so overwhelmed with donations from good, kindhearted people from all over the US that they have had to issue a public request for people to stop sending gifts. What a tragedy these parents and this community have experienced! And what a wonderful outpouring of generosity from their fellow citizens!
As soon as I read this, I thought of when the people of Israel “were restrained from bringing” more free-will offerings for the building of the sanctuary (Exod 36.2-7). The people in charge of the construction of the tabernacle “came … and said to Moses, ‘The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the LORD has commanded us to do.’ ” Wow! What a wonderful outpouring of generosity for doing the work of the Lord!
God has given us work to do today, both as individuals and as a church. May we all strive to be more generous in
· helping others as individuals,
· doing our part in our local church,
· and in giving more to the work of the local church.
I’ve often said how awesome it would be to be a part of a local church where the members gave so much that the elders had to come before the congregation and, in the words of Moses’ command, say, “Let no man or woman do anything more for the contribution for the [work that the LORD has commanded us to do].” Can you imagine how effective such a church could be in working for the Lord?! Don’t believe me? Try it!
-Have Bible Will Preach
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 12/30/2012
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA