Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Knowing, Believing and Speaking forth the Word of God

This is the day that the Lord has made! I will REJOICE and be glad in it! Oh yeah, I could choose to be mad, or sad…but TODAY I choose to be GLAD! God is so faithful to us isn't He? Take the time to slow down and think about His blessings and I know you will agree with me about His GOODNESS!

Please join me in this prayer as you read today's blog: "Lord speak to my heart and change my life."

Late one afternoon, an elderly woman stepped up to the meat counter and asked the butcher for a chicken. It was the end of the day and there was only one chicken left in the ice tub behind the counter. The butcher placed the chicken on the scale and weighed it. When the women saw the weight, she told the butcher, "Do you have something a little bigger? I think I need more." The butcher put the chicken back in the ice tub, swished it around a bit and placed the same chicken back on the scale, this time with a little thumb pressure so the chicken appeared to weigh about 1.5 pounds more. The woman said, "Great," but then on thinking about it a bit more, she said, "You know what, I'll just take both of them!"

This seems funny but isn't it true that we face this kind of deception all the time? For example, I get an email message at least once a week telling me that my bank information my have been compromised so for security reasons, I need to enter my account information – but if I were to enter that information, thieves would then use that information to steal my identity and wreak havoc on my accounts and credit records.

What we're seeing here is a symptom of what the Bible tells us, that there is an enemy that has come to steal, kill and destroy. These types of lies and deception exist because of that enemy however the Bible also tells us, "Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). We don't need to be afraid of this enemy but we should be aware, so here's what we need to know about the enemy:

"(Jesus speaking) '…the devil is a liar and the father of lies.'" (John 8:44 NIV)

"We know that we are children of God, and the whole world is under the control of the evil one." (1 John 5:19 NIV)

These passages are saying that this world is still under the control of the evil one and that's why there are so many liars and so many atrocities. The devil comes in and bombards us with lies. And if we're not careful, those lies start to get to us and we start to believe them…you're not smart enough, your marriage is beyond hope, you'll never be able to recover from that financial loss, etc…and we end up with no confidence or low self-esteem. When we are bombarded with those lies continuously, even when those lies are not true, they will affect you – the way you feel, think, and even the choices you make. If we hear the lies enough, we start to believe them.


So how do we deal with the continual input of lies? Jesus was the living example of how to overcome the enemy. Right after Jesus was baptized, He was led into the desert to be tempted by the devil. It was almost as if this was the plan all along…for Jesus to be tested. This suggests to me that we need to be prepared to be tested by the enemy from the beginning.


"After fasting forty days and forty nights, He was hungry. The tempter came to Him and said, 'If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.'" (Matt. 4:2-3)

The first temptation the devil challenged Jesus with was to turn rocks into bread after He had just fasted for 40 days and nights. In the temptation, the lie the devil was promoting was…

· You need to satisfy your flesh…now!

The devil is telling us the same lie today that he told Jesus over 2000 years ago, but he is not applying it just to food. He's telling us, "Satisfy your flesh now with that extramarital affair, or go ahead and buy that car even though you can't afford it." The devil is constantly lying to people to tempt them to sin, just as he did with Jesus so long ago.

When Jesus refused to believe the devil's lie, the devil tried a different one:

"Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 'If you are the Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down. For it is written: "He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone."'" (Matt. 4:5-6)

In this situation, the devil tempts Jesus by telling Him that He will not get hurt if He throws Himself down. This is the second lie the enemy tries on Jesus…

· You can do anything you want, God will understand and won't let anything bad happen to you.

The thing to really notice here is that the devil knows the scripture but he takes bits and pieces here and there and presents them together in the wrong context. The enemy is crafty so it is important that you know and follow the truth.

"Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 'All this I will give you,' he said, 'if you will bow down and worship me.'" (Matt. 4:8-9)

In this third temptation, the enemy is telling Jesus, "I know God has a plan for you but check out my plan! It's faster and easier!" This is the enemy's third lie…

· There's another way that's faster and easier than God's way!

The devil tried all of these lies against Jesus so you can be pretty sure that He'll try them against you too!

In spite of His circumstances, Jesus defeated the lies of the enemy. How? With the Word of God. For each lie the devil had, Jesus has answers from the Word.

When He was hungry and the devil tempted Him with food, Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'" (Matt 4:4). And when the devil tried to deceive Him into thinking that God would always rescue Him, Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test'" (Matt. 4:7). Then lastly, when the devil tried to convince Jesus that there was a faster, easier way than God's, Jesus commanded, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only'" (Matt. 4:10).

In these passages, we see how Jesus defeats the enemy simply by responding with the word of God. When we make getting the word of God a priority in our life, it raises the tide of our spirit – and the things that may have stopped us cold at a lower tide, are now no longer obstacles that affect our course. With a higher tide of spirit, we are able to sail right over the obstacles with no impact.

Each time the devil lied, Jesus defeated it with the Word of God.


"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor. 10:4-5 NIV)

"So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, 'If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.'" (John 8:31-32 NAS)

There are three steps in this passage, the first is…

Continue in My Word. You need to eat everyday for your physical health, by the same token, you need to eat [the Word of God] daily for your spiritual health. The devil doesn't take the day off. Why do we? And if we do take the day off, our spiritual tide goes way down.

You will know the truth. Do you know how bank tellers are trained to spot counterfeit $100 bills? It's not by showing them counterfeit bills but rather by having them become intimately familiar with what a true $100 bill looks like. You see, when they become intimately familiar with what a true $100 bill looks like, they can easily spot a bill that is not genuine. Same as us, when we are intimately familiar with God and the truth, we can easily detect lies!

And the truth will make you free.

Ephesians 6 talks about the armor of God. Each piece of armor represents something in the Word of God. In particular, the Sword of the Spirit refers to the Bible or Word of God; however, the Bible itself is not necessarily the Sword but the Word of God in your heart is. And when you have the Word of God in your heart, the Holy Spirit will bring it to remembrance when you need. Let me give you some examples.

If you are faced with the news that you have cancer, you may say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Or if you've are facing dire financial circumstances, you may unsheathe the sword by recalling, "My God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus…" (Philippians 4:19). Then lastly, if you're faced with the sad event of the death of a child, you can find comfort in the scripture, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28)

Remember, we are in a spiritual war with an enemy who will try to control us with his lies and deception. If you battle with worry, search verses that talk about worry and memorize them. If you battle fear, memorize 2 Timothy 1:7, and so on. The enemy of our soul is the "father of lies" and he uses lies daily to try to deceive God's people.

Some of his favorite lies are…

  • You need to satisfy your flesh…now!
  • You can do anything you want, God will understand and won't let anything bad happen to you.
  • There's another way that's faster and easier than God's way.

The good news is…we can defeat every lie of the enemy Jesus' way by knowing, believing, and speaking forth the word of God!

Remember, ONLY 15 MINUTES A DAY, and you will read the Bible through in 2008! I believe you CAN DO IT! The BEST IS YET TO COME! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Today's reading (January 9, 2008): Genesis 24:1-28:9

THIS WEEKS VERSE TO "HIDE IN YOUR HEART": Psalm 119:11 "Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

How did you do on last weeks verse? 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Bible Study Tools online: (This has different versions of the Bible for you to read from, as well as Audio Bible for you to listen to) (Different Devotionals. Some you can have sent to your email daily) (Great study sight) (My favorite. You can download Bibles, dictionaries, commentaries to your computer. I use this daily) (International Bible Society. Different translation of Bibles for you to read from) (My wife's online Bible Study) (Daily Bible reading, prayer request, etc. Laurie Adams (Associate Pastor Wife) developed and maintains)