Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Where Satan Will Attack You Today

You wonder why it’s so hard to find some peace of mind? Well, peace is hard to come by when you live in a warzone. And like it or not you are in a war — a very serious one. This war is cosmic in its proportions. It involves God, humans, angels, demons, principalities, powers, nations, and antichrists.
And do you know where the front of the battle is? It’s in your head.

We Destroy Arguments

Here is how Paul describes it in 2 Corinthians 10:3–5 (emphasis added):
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
What are the satanic strongholds that spiritually imprison people, the strongholds that we seek to destroy? Arguments and opinions. Where is the battle raging? Where our thoughts are.
And arguments are not merely strongholds, they are weapons of mass destruction. Adam and Eve (and all of us with them) fell because of an argument. They believed the serpent’s argument and stopped believing God.
That is the deadly essence of sin: not believing God. To not believe God is to ally with Satan, whom Jesus said is “a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth… for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).
You don’t want Satan as an ally. He’s treacherous. He’s out to murder you with lies.

Watch Your Emotions

Watch your emotions. They are signals of arguments. Your emotions, which can land on you like vague impressions or moods, are usually responses to an argument. Moods don’t come out of nowhere. When we are angry, discouraged, depressed, anxious, self-pitying, fearful, or irritable, it is likely because we are believing something very specific.
To battle sin is to battle unbelief — or destroy arguments. And in order to battle unbelief effectively, we must press doubts and temptations into specific arguments. What specifically is being asserted or promised to us? Only then can we destroy the enemy’s false arguments with true ones.

The Victory That Overcomes the World

The victory that overcomes the world is our faith (1 John 5:4). This is precisely why the devil does not want us to think clearly about sin. He wants to keep things vague so he can imprison or disarm us. But Jesus wants us to think clearly. He wants us to know the truth because the truth brings freedom:
If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31–32)
So as freedom fighters let’s fight against “unbelieving hearts” by exhorting one another every day (Hebrews 3:12–13) to live in the freedom — and peace (John 16:33) — of the truth.

Because our most important battles are won and lost with arguments.
by Jon Bloom
http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=94431c7fc1ffa54485d1c84fe&id=c2aa2b5269&e=2eda23e6e1
(www.DesiringGod.org), posted 9/29/14.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In the Face of Death

“When the centurion, who stood facing him [Jesus], saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’” Mark 15:39

“This way”?  After six agonizing hours on the cross, Jesus cries out in a loud voice (not easy to do when you can barely gulp enough breath to stay alive), “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  Only a few moments later, it says Jesus “uttered a loud cry and breathed his last” (v.37).  We know from John 19:30 that loud cry was “It is finished”.  Papyri receipts have been found marked with this single Greek word [tetelestai] to indicate “paid in full”.  His work was complete, our sins were "paid in full".  The Lamb of God, who became flesh, then bows his head and gives up his spirit [no man took it from him].

“In this way”, a hardened Roman soldier, accustomed to watching people die, sees something so remarkable, different, godly that he recognizes Jesus as the Son of God.  Think about that for a moment.  The soldier is a Roman centurion, a leader over 100 other soldiers, trained in mortal combat.  He has probably seen hundreds of people die and what he sees in Jesus is so incredibly opposite of every other person, that he is instantly convinced that the man who died "in this way" was indeed the very Son of God.

In the face of death, a gentile soldier is brought to life.  In the face of death, Jesus satisfies the wrath of God for all who believe, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).

Do you see what the centurion saw?

All to Jesus, I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

[Refrain]
I surrender all, I surrender all,
All to Thee, my bless├Ęd Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

Refrain

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

Refrain

All to Jesus, I surrender;
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power;
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

Refrain

All to Jesus I surrender;
Now I feel the sacred flame.
O the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory, to His Name!

"I Surrender All" by Judson W. Van DeVenter (1896)