Browsing the archives for the Overcoming Satan category.


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Philemon and I Timothy 1: I Need to Live to Save Sinners

Christian Living, Evangelism, forgiveness, I Timothy, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, salvation, sin

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Hebrews 3-4: Get Help From God’s Grace Right Now

Christian Living, forgiveness, grace, Hebrews, Jesus, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, victory, Victory in Jesus

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Matthew 17-18: Jesus On Tempting and Being Tempted

Christian Living, Matthew, Obedience, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, temptation

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Luke 11-12: Overcoming Habitual Sin by Asking for the Holy Spirit

Christian Living, Holy Spirit, Luke, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin

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Matthew 3-4: God’s Way or the Easier Softer Way?

Christian Living, Crucified with Christ, God's Way, Matthew, Obedience, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, relying on God, Sacrifice, salvation, satan, sin, suffering, Surrender, temptation, Testing, trusting God, Victory in Jesus
Wordle of Matthew chapters three and four (Matthew 3-4) in the English Standard Version (ESV)

Matthew 3-4 (ESV) by Wordle*

Today’s reading is Matthew 3:1-4:25.

“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, ‘All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan! for it is written, ” ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve” ‘ ” (Matthew 4:8-10).

Don’t miss the real temptation. Satan is not tempting Jesus with kingship, rule, and power. According to Psalm 110:1-7, Jesus was already promised all this from His Father. He was going to rule all the kingdoms of the world anyway. The temptation was that God’s way to the throne was going to be hard. He had already had to leave heaven to accomplish it. He was going to spend 3 years wandering as an itinerant teacher. He was going to be rejected, mocked, ridiculed, and eventually crucified to get to rule. Satan essentially said, “Hey, why bother with all of that? Here is an easier, softer way. Just bow down and worship me once. Just once. You don’t have to do it for the rest of your life. If you just worship me here and now, you won’t have to take up that cross.” But Jesus refused. He chose God’s way, though it included the cross. And I’m so thankful, because God’s way allowed me to be saved. Satan’s way might have given Jesus rule of the world (though I’m convinced Satan is a liar and would have yanked it out from under Jesus instead of really giving Him the rule), but it would have kept me and you from being saved.

I’m so glad to see this. First, because it lets me know I’m not alone. Satan tempts me all the time. Sometimes I begin to think I’m the only one going through this pressure. But even Jesus went through it. Second, it lets me know how to defeat the temptation. Just rely on God, His Word, and His way. God’s way always works. Third, I’m glad to read it because it helps me really identify Satan’s temptations. I often overlook temptation and sin with a dismissive, “Oh, surely God wouldn’t have a problem with that.” What I need to look for is when my choices include God’s way and the easier softer way. Satan often promises me the very same thing God does. He simply says I don’t have pick up my cross to get the promise. I need to be able to say, “Not today, Satan. I’m going God’s way. It may be harder, but it works.”

Which way are you going today? God’s way or the easier softer way?

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading? Add your input by clicking the following link: Post a Comment.

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*Today’s illustration was generated by the creative tool at Wordle.net. You can find all my wordles here.

 

 

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I Corinthians 10-11: Don’t Stand; Lean

Christian Living, I Corinthians, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, relying on God, Surrender

I Corinthians 10-11 (ESV) by Wordle*

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 10:1-11:34.

“Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

“Oh, I’ll never do that.” “I can’t believe that so-and-so did such-and-such, I’d never do that.” “I used to have that problem. Now I’ve got it under control.” These are the words of those who think they stand. They are words that I’ve said far too often. Usually I’ve said them just before a colossal fall. It almost seems like Satan is just waiting around to hear these kinds of words so he can jump on the attack and prove us wrong.

The real problem here is not with standing. It is actually thinking we can stand on our own two legs. Not so. We must quit standing and instead lean on God. We will only overcome the tempter if we rely on God. Sadly, the world wants to tell us God is a crutch. When we hear that, we think it is a negative. The problem with the world is they desperately want to stand on their own. They think they can. Yet, they are falling. I need a crutch, not in the negative connotation of  the word. But, I need to recognize that I’m broken. If I try to stand without God as my crutch to lean on, I’m going to fall.

The moment I decide that I’ve healed enough and can stand on my own without the crutch of Christ’s cross to lean on, that is when I will crumble under the weight of sin again.

Today, I’m not going to stand. I’m going to lean.

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading? Click the following link to add your input: Click Here.

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*Today’s illustration was generated by the creative tool at Wordle.net. You can find all my wordles here.

 

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II Peter 2-3: Don’t Worry about Falling from Grace

Christian Living, grace, Growth, II Peter, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, perseverance, relying on God

2 Peter 2-3 (ESV) by Wordle*

Today’s reading is 2 Peter 2:1-3:18.

“You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. to him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:17-18).

We spend so much time thinking about and talking against “falling from grace,” I wonder if we don’t push ourselves in that direction. The more we think about something, the more it occupies our hearts, the more it takes over our lives. I want to let this passage start to govern my thinking and meditating.

“Grow in grace.”

That’s what I want to focus on today. Instead of worrying about falling from grace, I’m going to focus on growing in grace. It stands to reason if I grow in grace, I don’t have to worry about falling from it. Peter says if I do that, I will not be carried away with the error of lawless people or lose my own stability. After all, I’m not even trying to have my own stability. Rather, I’m resting on God’s stability.

Keep the faith today and keep reading

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading? Click here to add your input.

PPS. For a series of sermons that came from this very thought, click here.

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*Today’s illustration was generated by the creative tool at Wordle.net. You can find all my wordles here.

 

 

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Mark 13-14: Don’t Make Rash Promises to God

Christian Living, Confidence, grace, humility, Jesus, Mark, morality, Obedience, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, perseverance, Powerlessness, relying on God, Responsibility, righteousness, Surrender, temptation, Victory in Jesus

Mark 13-14 (ESV) by Wordle*

Today’s reading is Mark 13:1-14:72.

“Peter said to him, ‘Even though they all fall away, I will not’” (Mark 14:29).

I believe Peter was absolutely sincere when he made this promise. He could not possibly imagine any future event that would make him fall away from Jesus. He was ready to die with Jesus. There was no way he would deny his Master. I’m certain that is true because the guy who pulls out his sword in Mark 14:47 and struck the high priest’s servant was Peter (cf. John 18:10). Peter was ready to fight. He was ready to die. But he was only ready to die on his terms. When Jesus told him to put his sword away, he was confused. He couldn’t understand. He was ready to die in a fight, but it never occurred to him that death might come without a fight. He fled.

How many times have I said, “I’ll never do that”? How many times have I thought that there was some line I would never cross? How many times have I told God, “No matter what, you can count on me to avoid such and such”? Or how many times have I said, “Alright, God, I’ve got this figured out. I’ll never do that again”? How incensed I would get if someone suggested I needed to be a bit more humble. “Oh no, no matter what anyone else does, I’ll never do that (again). How dare you think that of me.” How puffed up with pride. How much I have tried to stand on my own feet. And it was as if Satan was just waiting for that opportunity so he could kick my legs out from under me.

I’ve had to learn some humility. God is teaching me to turn away from rash promises and rather to say, “By God’s grace, I haven’t done that yet. I pray that God will keep me from it.” That reminds me that I have to rely on God and His strength if I will keep from whatever it is. If I ever start relying on me, I realize I will do whatever it is I’m committed to not doing (cf. Romans 7:14-24).

So, today, I’m not making God any promises. Rather, asking God to fulfill His promise to me and grant me the strength to overcome.

Keep the faith today and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading? Click here to add your input.

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*Today’s illustration was generated by the creative tool at Wordle.net. You can find all my wordles here.

 

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Mark 11-12: Will You Let Jesus Cleanse Your Temple?

Christian Living, Crucified with Christ, humility, Jesus, Mark, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, relying on God, repentance, righteousness, Sacrifice, salvation, Victory in Jesus

Mark 11-12 (ESV) by Wordle*

Today’s reading is Mark 11:1-12:44.

“And he was teaching them and saying to them, ‘Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations?” But you have made it a den of robbers’” (Mark 11:17).

So much for the mild-mannered, Caspar Milquetoast Jesus. This is the “I’ll be back” Jesus. He overturns tables. He clears out cheats. He runs off the insincere. What kind of emotions do you think we would have been able to read on His face in the midst of all this?

What I can’t help but think about is I Corinthians 6:19. My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. In one sense, my body is a house of God. What does that mean for me? Is God’s house a house of prayer? Or have I made it into a robbers’ den? Or have I made it in to some other kind of den?

Am I willing to ask Jesus to overturn the money-changing tables in my own heart? Am I willing to ask Him to take up His scourge and cleanse me of the den of wickedness that is in my own heart? Or do I want the Caspar Milquetoast Jesus who just sadly looks the other way? The latter leaves me in my sins, in guilt, shame, misery, and despair. The former is painful, but I’ve learned it is less painful than just leaving the robbers’ den in my heart. Only being willing to let God do whatever it takes to cleanse me and keep me on His path works for me (cf Psalm 141:3-5).

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. What struck you in today’s reading? Click here to add your input.

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*Today’s illustration was generated by the creative tool at Wordle.net. You can find all my wordles here.

 

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Romans 7-8: The #1 Choice for Us Today to Make Our Lives Better

Christian Living, Comfort, Encouragement, Growth, Healing, Overcoming Satan, overcoming sin, Powerlessness, relying on God, Romans, salvation, trusting God

Romans 7-8 (ESV) by Wordle*

Today’s reading is Romans 7:1-8:39.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-32).

For some reason, I keep thinking I need to save myself. I want the reins of my life. I want to be the one in control. I need to get it all fixed and then bring it to God to show how pleased He can be with me. And I wonder why I continue to be covered up with stress, anxiety, and then wander back into sin. It’s like I want to be able to say to God, “What then shall you say to these things? If I’m for You, God, does it matter who else is against You?” I need to see that this is getting everything backwards.

Instead, God is for me. Who can be against me? Satan wants me to believe that my mistakes mean God is against me. He’s not. He is for me. He is so for me, He sent Jesus to die for me. If He did that, how will He not give me all I need to overcome? I simply have to let go of my control and grant Him control. I have to trust Him. When I do, then I start to have peace and joy.

I have a choice today. I can either focus on how bad I mess things up or I can focus on how powerful God is to fix things? The first leads to despair and sin; the second leads to peace and victory. Today, I want to focus on God and His power to fix things. How about you?

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

PS. The struggle with these two chapters is they are my two favorites, jam-packed with all kinds of helpful stuff to me. I return to these chapters over and over again. It was hard to pick just one thing to talk about . So, what struck you in today’s reading? I know something had to impact you on than what I mentioned. You can add your input by clicking here.

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*Today’s illustration was generated by the creative tool at Wordle.net. You can find all my wordles here.

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