Thursday, November 22, 2012

Greetings Friends,

As we look forward to times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, I would like to give out a warning concerning Satan’s most powerful weapon.  We have all experienced this weapon of spiritual warfare at some point in time.  How often have we found ourselves smitten with a spiritual paralysis.  Paralyzed with fear, anguish, frustration, and disappointment.  Deep feelings founded in painful memories of days gone by and the lives that we lived and the lives that we brought much sorrow to when we were without Christ or when we did not have the grace of God at work in our lives.  Satan’s favorite weapon for keeping the developing disciple from grace is the weapon of guilt.

Revelation 12:9-10  9  And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.  10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

There is a good illustration of Satan’s activities in Job chapter 2.

Job 2:4-5  4  And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.  5  But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

Lucifer said, “Come on God…, You are protecting him.  Send a little trouble his way and he will curse you right to your face.”  He is the accuser of the brethren before our God.

There is another illustration in Luke 22:31  And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

“Beware Peter Satan seeks to shake you up…, to tempt and try you…, to press you sore on every side.”  He walks about shooting his fiery darts of guilt, loneliness and condemnation upon the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve.  He condemns them with his words and seeks to cover them with his darkness.  And then, the prince of darkness comes to us like the self-righteous Pharisees of John chapter 8.

John 8:1-11 
1  Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.  2  And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.  3  And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,  4  They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.  5  Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?  6  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.  7  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.  8  And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.  9  And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.   10  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?  11  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

She was guilty.  The Pharisees brought her to Jesus, so that, they might ACCUSE JESUS!  They cared not for this woman.  She was caught in the very act of adultery.  She was nothing to them.  Did they drag her scantily dressed to this public trial?  Was she not ashamed to be thrown down in the midst of these self-righteous men? Surely she felt the sting of shame in the presence of these men who were demanding Jesus condemn her to death.

This was a woman who knew about the practice stoning.  Maybe she had even seen a stoning in the past.  But one thing for sure, she was tormented by her condition.   She wanted to flee, but she could not flee.  These hypocritical Pharisees cared not for the woman their target was Jesus. 

They desired to accuse HIM and to condemn HIM!  They sided with the accuser of the brethren.  I do not know what Jesus wrote in the ground, but whatever He wrote it rocked these self-righteous hypocrites to their very foundation and they began to leave the woman and Jesus.  Darkness must flee at the presence of light.  Let me tell you something about grace.  When grace is received, worship is born.  When worship is born, the soul surrenders to the God of heaven.

“…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.”

I don’t want to fail.  I hate it when I fail.  My soul is tormented when I fail, but if I fail I have a standing promise from God.

1John 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jesus could have left the woman alone in the street.  She was an adulteress.  She was caught in the very act.  The law of God demanded death, but grace reached out and touched her life and she received that Grace.

Look at the shameful falls of King David and the apostle Peter, but grace overruled in each case and a life of love and devotion came forth.  Listen to this story of grace in Luke chapter 7.

Luke 7:36-38  36  And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. 37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, 38  And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

She worshipped.  She was forgiven.  She was not condemned.  There was no guilt and condemnation plaguing her soul, but rather, her soul was filled with love and devotion for her beloved, Christ.  Grace produces a heart of love and devotion for the Savior.

The accuser accuses, but the love of God forgives and heals.

Colossians 2:13-15  13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Revelation 12:11
  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

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