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Archive for the ‘wicked’ Category

For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him (v. 64)

“Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (v. 70)

He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him (v. 71)

 

Jesus knew who it was “from the beginning,” according to verse 64.  He chose the twelve and knew well that one of them was “a devil.” He spoke of Judas Iscariot, “who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.”

 

Jesus knew it and had dealt it with it a while.  We see in John 12 that the objection of the anointing of Jesus at Bethany is limited to Judas in John’s version.  Unlike other gospels, Judas is the singular objector here and John is quick to point out his character here, saying: He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. (John 12:6, NIV).” John even denotes him, in verse 5, as “Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him.”

The Bible is full of bits and pieces about betrayal, especially by those who are said to be close to us.  David says that he could have handled a stranger betraying him, but it was a friend, a “man my equal.” The prophecy of Zechariah points out that Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silverIsaiah presents the “man of sorrows” to the believer as the suffering and sacrificial Savior.  James simply said for us to submit to the Lord and that the devil would flee from us. 

We have to understand that these show us that we can withstand the devil’s attacks.  Just as Jesus withstood him during the temptation presented in the wilderness, we can withstand the fiery darts of the devil as he attacks us from all sides.  We can put on the whole armor of God, as it is written in Ephesians chapter 6, and have our defenses girded up against the enemy.

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings
For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it. – Genesis 19:13 (NKJV)

Sodom was bound for destruction. Gomorrah was bound for destruction.  The men who visited the city appeared to Lot, the relative of Abraham, and warned him to depart from the city because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord.  Imagine that.  You live in the midst of mayhem and in a den of debauchery, but it seems normal to you until someone says that it will be destroyed.  Take a long hard look at Lot’s situation and think about where you are today.  Do your surroundings grieve the Lord? Is the sin that has settled in and taken root around you impairing your vision of what the Lord despises in His own sight?

There was a plan in the works long before these men even arrived at the city gates of Sodom that evening.  It is obvious from the previous chapter of Genesis:

20 Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

God had His mind set on wiping out the entire inhabitants.  Yet, in the previous verses, He acknowledges Abraham as “right and just,” seeking not to hide His intentions from the man whom He had chosen (verses 17-19). 

In His dialogue with Abraham, God hears Abraham’s rationale as the man asks: Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  It then becomes a narrowing down from fifty righteous souls to forty, all the way down to ten, in order that the righteous not be wiped out with the wicked.

Are you the one, like Lot, caught up in the bright lights of the city and immune to the pungent odor that offends the very nostrils of the Lord? You live among those who do evil and seem to get away with it at every turn.  Yet, your voice is silenced somehow.  You fear speaking out against it.  You take the position of one who is in the vicinity but not involved.  Is that you?

Or, could you be like Abraham? Could your relationship with God be so strong that He shares with you and speaks intimately with you? Does He lay burdens upon your heart of atrocities that seem to linger without an outspoken word? Does He show you how people are caught up, chewed up and spit out by the system with any systems of support? Does that sound like you?

Be sure to take note of Abraham’s response to God’s words.  He did not breathe a sigh of relief and say that it was not his place or his concern.  He did not thank God for bypassing his domain.  He asked about those who might be righteous within those cities.  He showed compassion. 

We all should be concerned when we hear of a Katrina, wild fires, earthquakes and other so-called natural disasters.  People die in such times.  Our hearts should still ache for those families who lost loved ones in the Oklahoma City bombings, 9-11, and other terrorist attacks.  It should pain us when lives are lost needlessly in our midst or in our times.

Will you be Lot or Abraham?

Lot?

Abraham?

A Voice in the Wilderness: A Pastor's Journal of Ground ZeroThe choice is yours today.

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For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.- Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

Satan gets a lot of credit in the church.  Much of what the average Christian gives over to Satan is truly undeserved credit.  Satan is a fallen angel and a created being just like us.  The biblical story of Job demonstrates that he only does what God allows him to do.  He still must work on a limited basis.  He has no real power beyond what God affords him.

However, Satan is real.  He is not lurking behind some shadowy mist that drifts in and out of the atmosphere.  He is present, seeking to destroy all that can bring glory to God and tear down anything that builds the kingdom of heaven.  He is a liar and will stop at no means to kill, steal and destroy.

Satan attacks on a spiritual level.  If you leave him room, he will get between you and your spouse, you and your children, and even you and fellow believers.  His methods are divisive and destructive.  His aim is to keep us from growing closer to God.  He wants us to turn our backs on God.  He hopes that we will give up hope and seek help from anywhere but God.

He attacks at some critical times.  Check out these two examples for starters.  Later, after you have thought about it, check out the Lord’s words to him through prophecy (Isaiah 14:12-17).  It may help you understand some more about how he goes about things and why he is so persistent in attacking us.

Offering: Satan subtly seeks to convince us that the church doesn’t need our money.  After all, you hear yourself rationalizing, they’ll only waste it away with poor stewardship anyway.  That’s the type of thinking that can invade one’s heart and mind.  It’s a spiritual attack.  He wants to separate us from God.  He doesn’t mind starting with a small seed of doubt.  He’ll keep on us and at us until he reaches us somehow.  Be on guard.  Be in prayer.  Don’t give him a foothold.  Faithfully seek God out.  It’s the type of battle that can only be won by His spiritual might, not our own.

Invitation: Angels jump for joy and sing praises over one soul coming to the Lord for salvation.  Satan is a fallen angel.  He doesn’t rejoice over souls being saved in the name of the Lord.  He wants to get into the heart and mind of the unbeliever and show them how unworthy they are and why they don’t belong in church to begin with.  He attacks the unbeliever as the pastor prays and offers the invitation.  He seeks to embarrass the unbeliever and make the unbeliever fear the rejection of all of those people who seem to be staring and gawking.  He uses whatever he can to keep that person from even considering that now is the right time.  He even says that they can take care of it another day and in another way but not here and not now.  That’s junk. 

Be careful what you let get into your head and your heart at such a time.  He wants to keep you from the freedom that you will have in Christ.  He wants you to continue to be burdened by what has been bothering you for the longest.  He doesn’t want you to experience anything that is remotely close to salvation and all that it offers you.  He wants to keep you away from the church and out of God’s family. 

Don’t allow him to even start.  Learn what he is about and how he attacks believers and unbelievers alike.  Know that he will continue until he is utterly destroyed.  Meanwhile, he will seek to destroy as many as he is able to get a hold of as often as he can.  He has nothing that he can offer you that will last for an eternity.

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If you live a life guided by wisdom, you won’t limp or stumble as you run.
– Proverbs 4:12 (NLT)
Do not do as the wicked do or follow the path of evildoers.
– Proverbs 4:14 (NLT)
We all need could use some good counsel. Our youth could use good counsel as well, especially those whose parents have been distracted or detoured with drugs, incarceration, substance abuse, and other issues. Some youth just haven’t been disciplined by their parents in this day and age. They haven’t been exposed to positive role models, especially by those adults who are supposed to take care of them day after day. Good counsel that comes from godly wisdom is the prescription for the condition that is ailing those who stand at the crossroads of life about to wander down the wrong path.
There is a way that will keep you from stumbling or falling prey to life’s many obstacles and obstructions. Also, there is a way that is ascribed to the “wicked”and “evilddoers.” You have the power of choice, a free will to choose your path in life. Your options can be viewed as limitless or limited, but you have the choice. Either you can accept good counsel and godly wisdom or you can reject it, going the way of the wicked or the foolish. No matter which you choose, the choice is yours.

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