Posts Tagged ‘satan’


Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Chapter 20 brings in the actual judgments and shows what is finally to take place. Satan’s thousand year imprisonment is introduced, the ones who died for the gospel and the many who survived tribulation without being marked on their forehead or hands live together in Jesus’ presence for the period and then Satan is released only to try and cause the people of God harm but God rains fire on him and his adversaries and puts them into the lake of fire. This is hopeful and wonderful news!

After that, the white throne judgment takes place and while the thought of white seems to indicate a good judgment, it is not all wonderful. It is in fact something I pray no one I know would ever go through for the ruling is horrendous!

What is God’s yardstick for people who are to be judged in the white throned judgment, who are these people and is there hope for us from this gruesome end? (more…)


Revelation 13:8-10 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.

Day by day, the reality of these end times prophecies are getting more intense and scary. The reference to beasts makes the forces of evil look worse than they seem or are they as heinous as their description? What is God saying to us today? (more…)


Revelation 12:10-12 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”

The mysteries of the book of Revelation get more mysterious as we proceed further and today’s chapter talks of a woman in labour, the child born who will rule with an iron scepter, the dragon with many heads waiting to devour the child and more.

In all this heavenly imagery, I found this song most interesting as it seems to sum up the entire chapter in its entirety. After the battle with the dragon by Michael and his angels, the dragon was not strong enough and was sent down to earth because there was no place for him and his fallen angels in heaven.

The question that first comes to mind is why would God send the dragon or Satan to earth to torment us and is there any message from God to us today through this terrible event? (more…)


1 John 2:15-17, 22-25, 27
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever… Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—even eternal life… As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

In recent days, I have been exploring the web  to understand what non-believing christians find contentious about the christian faith. As expected, there are thousands of articles and videos that cast doubt on the very existence of God, let alone the christian God and there are many christians who have responded to some of these challenges either successfully or not. Believing is the most critical part of our faith and knowing why we believe is critical as well when we hope to share what Christ has done for us. Questions like the need for a God, the authenticity of the Bible, the worth of a God who does not save people from suffering, etc. are hard questions and because we cannot get an answer, it might cause us to doubt if our faith is correctly placed in the first place. How then can God remind us to hold firm to our faith when we do not have answers to basic issues such as these? (more…)


1 Thessalonians 3:4-8
In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless. But Timothy has just now come to us from you and has brought good news about your faith and love. He has told us that you always have pleasant memories of us and that you long to see us, just as we also long to see you. Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.

When we take a stand for Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we go against the grain of this world and against Satan who is like a roaring lion, waiting to devour people (1 Peter 5:8). Paul reminds us of the reality of persecution but that is not the point of God’s message to us today. When Paul, Timothy and Silas were being persecuted, they were concerned that the Thessalonians would start to lose their faith and drift away from God. The fact that sincere followers of Christ were not blessed but rather were being attacked constantly would cause anyone who believed in Christ to doubt if their faith was rightly placed. Is this what you have experienced or witness in other believers? What is God’s response to this?

As you can note from Timothy’s feedback to Paul, the Thessalonians were not discouraged but instead full of faith and love. They had good memories of them and were longing to see them again. That was only possible because their faith was correctly placed. When we fully understand God’s calling in our lives and are willing to follow Jesus, we know that we will be persecuted just as He was for our faith in Him. Therefore when we suffer or see other christians suffer, we know that it is our responsibility to pray for them and our Lord and Savior is in complete control. When I think of suffering, I praise God because through suffering, our faith is strengthened and our desire for God is intensified. Lets not be shaken and tossed like the people of this world because our God is bigger than the little storms in our lives and our lives are secured by Christ’s resurrection.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.

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2 Corinthians 12:7-10
To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I quite enjoy writing and feel comfortable expressing myself with pen and keyboard better than I might communicate verbally. I can write at the pace I want, chose my tone, correct my thoughts, erase mistakes and in effect present myself and my thoughts better. However writing about Christ is another matter completely. As hard as I try to write these devotionals I fail when I try. There is only success when I follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and for that I need to be walking with the Lord. I enjoy talking to people too but again when I am counseling someone, I am a failure when I try to do it on my own strength. However, I have seen how powerfully the Lord can work through us when we submit those conversations to God and ask for His leading.

As wise as Paul was, as eloquent as he was, as well thought as he came across, I do not think Paul would have such an impact on the world as he has had without the leading of God. Like Paul we are ineffective in our lives minus the working of the Lord in our lives. Minus Jesus Christ, we are always ‘Trying’ but with Christ in our lives, we are ‘Achieving’. The Lord has permitted Satan’s thorns in our flesh to show us our sinfulness but in Christ we have His grace which is sufficient for us to cope and in Him we have the power to rise above our failures to succeed for His glory. I write and speak and do all things now in Christ because even though I am weak in many areas, through Christ I am strengthened and I can now work for His glory alone. Are you trying or are you achieving?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

2 Corinthians 5:15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.


Acts 5:3-5a, 9-10a
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died…Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” At that moment she fell down at his feet and died.

The believers were all one in heart and mind and shared everything they had with each other. Those that had land and property sold them and brought the money to the apostles to use in the community and no one lacked anything. This is not something we can do today because we are worried how we will manage before we can worry about even our own family, forget our family in Christ. The issue highlighted in today’s passage is not just about sharing all we have with each other but about lying to the Holy Spirit. Is that an issue we face?

I have had severe difficulty dealing with lying because I lied for no reason most of my life and the Lord had to scrape it out of me in very painful ways. I am still tempted to lie about things just to sound ‘cool’ or to get away from a situation and the consequences are often dire. In the passage above, it talks about lying to the Holy Spirit and to God and this might sound alien to you but it’s really not. What Ananias and Sapphira did might have seemed like self-preservation but to the Lord, it was a break of trust. We are reminded today that we are not people of this world but God’s chosen ones and our lives are a living testimony of God`s saving grace. Therefore, we need to seek ways to glorify God and not to shame him or we will face his wrath!

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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John 13:2,18,26-28
The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus… “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me’… Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.

Up to this point in Jesus’ ministry, he avoided being caught by the Pharisees and Sadducees because his time had not yet come and nothing they did resulted in his capture, either physically or verbally. However, when Jesus realized it was time for him to be glorified, he seems to make elaborate preparations for his own murder and that is so mysterious. He washes the feet of Judas, an act that is considered so lowly for anyone, feeds him from his own plate and then sends him off to betray him. We can never understand the mind of God because the last thing on our minds if we knew we were going to be murdered would be to accommodate our murderer. Worse still, if we knew who was going to murder us, we would certainly not be cordial to the person, forget showing love like Jesus did. Does this give you an insight into how God’s love is pure and perfect and he loves like no man can?

God is love and this love is not anything we can describe. God’s love is so amazing that the likes of Saul who tormented God’s own was called into his own service. This amazing love is available to all who seek to reform their lives but cant. Are you guilty of sins you committed, however big or small? Do you like Macbeth see blood on your hands of the sins you committed and are constantly battling it? Jesus is willing to forgive and to forget even the worst of sinners if they are willing to call on his name. My life has been a tragedy of sorts and only because God was gracious do I sleep a restful night anymore. Are you washed in the blood of the lamb of God? What’s holding you back? For those of us who are washed in his blood, are we loving the lost like he did or are we staying in our comfort zones? When was the last time we tried to love the lost like Jesus did?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Luke 22:3-6, 31-32, 39-40, 45-46, 61-62
Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present… “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift youa as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”… Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”… When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”… The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.

As you read the passages above, you will notice that they all refer to our sinfulness and how Satan uses it to attack us and God. Judas’ weakness was his love for money which eclipsed his love for God. Simon’s weakness was his need to protect himself at the cost of his savior’s life. The disciples weakness on the mount was their need to rest which was prioritized over being in prayer. Obviously Satan knows our every weakness and plays it against God and us. Satan knows that our weaknesses are his strength but we are also reminded by Jesus that in our weakness, he is made strong. What a paradox? What is the Lord saying to us today?

When we examine our lives through God’s lens, we know our areas of weakness and these may be few or many. The challenge we face is to ensure that our weaknesses never take over our strengths. When we are saved by the Grace of God, we are no longer bound by sin because he has paid the price for it but we are called to pray that we will not fall into temptation. Jesus reminded the disciples over and over again on the mount that they need to pray to God not to fall into temptation. When we submit our issues to Christ, he will cover and protect us like he did for Simon Peter, else we could stumble like Judas and lose everything we had, most importantly our salvation! Let’s acknowledge our weaknesses before the Lord and pray for his protection that we will not fall into temptation from today.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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"Elepal"


Mark 8:34-38
Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

As the pressure from the Pharisees mounted on Jesus to make the world doubt him, he traveled from place to place sharing the gospel because he knew his time was short and there were many who need saving. He dint fight back with the Pharisees because he knew how futile it was to try and change the mind of the hard hearted who had no space for a messiah in their lives. Today’s passage is one that most of us have heard but don’t enjoy much because these are not words of encouragement to the world. Instead, they are words of caution and only a genuine follower of Christ would see the sweetness of what the Lord was saying.

I am the sort of person most people might think of as nice whereas in reality I had some serious issues with sin. I still have areas of difficulty and not to turn back to my old ways is very hard. If there has been change, it was only because the Lord has enabled it in me. However, the big issue is that sometimes, we feel like God would understand if in our humanness we faltered a tiny bit. Unfortunately, that is Satan tripping us into our old selves and we need to always stand guard. To be able to witness real change, we need to hand over the reins of our life to God. When we do so, we will look foolish and ‘uncool’ to the world and might face persecution for it but we will be giving God glory. Are you willing to be shameless to the world for God to transform you and gain victory over sin or do you want to gain the world and loose eternity with God?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

Nut Cracker in the Woods