Sunday, November 1, 2015

Devotion: Jesus, Do You Really Know Him?

Not long ago we spoke of Paul’s assignment to inform others of the mystery of the gospel and to make clear, the good news of this gospel (Ephesians 6:19).  Paul wanted us to clearly understand that his knowledge in “the mystery of Christ” (Ephesians 3:3-4) was by revelation from God, so that he could inform, proclaim fully, and make clear the truth concerning Jesus the Christ through the revelation of the mysteries, which were kept secret since the world began.  The one thing we found amazing was the fact that there were many untruths circulating around about the person of Jesus the Christ in Paul’s day as he was making clear the mystery of the gospel.  The problem for Paul was that there was another force going about preaching another gospel, different from the one that he was preaching.  In a letter to those believers at Corinth, he spoke of his concerns.

“I hope you will be patient with me as I keep on talking like a fool.  Do bear with me and let me say what is on my heart.  I am anxious for you with the deep concern of God himself—anxious that your love should be for Christ alone, just as a pure maiden saves her love for one man only, for the one who will be her husband.  But I am frightened, fearing that in some way you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to our Lord, just as Eve was deceived by Satan in the Garden of Eden.  You seem so gullible: you believe whatever anyone tells you even if he is preaching about another Jesus than the one we preach, or a different spirit than the Holy Spirit you received, or shows you a different way to be saved.  You swallow it all” (II Corinthians 11:1-4 TLB).

In many ways, we have been led away from the simplicity that is in Christ.  The apostles preached a message that was pure, one of truth, one given by revelation of him who is truth.  They entrusted themselves to the approval of man’s sense of right and wrong in the sight of God (II Corinthians 4:1-6).  We are so confused, so influenced by Satan that we have lost that sense of right and wrong in the sight of God.  Do not take our word for it.  Just look around in the world today.  Churches are rewriting their own church doctrines, questioning their faith, changing their interpretations, reexamining their teachings, creating new precepts, and arguing over the word of God.  Institutions are splitting because of differences in beliefs, opinions, principles, and theologies.  Just as Eve was deceived by Satan in the Garden of Eden, we continue to allow him to deceive us.  We refuse to take control of our thoughts, control of our minds so that we can take the blinders off so that we can see the light which shines in our hearts that gives way to the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Satan has infiltrated the body of Christ and divided the kingdom (Mark 3:24-27).  He has entered the organization and has become part of it so much so that he is hard to recognize.  That one we believe to be him in disguise is usually not him but that one we believe to be a member of the body is actually him in disguise.  We have allowed him to get close to us and close to our hearts.  We have allowed him to come into our family and become a part of it.  We have allowed him into our house and have set a place at our table for him.  We have allowed him to influence whom we talk to, what we think of, what we say, what we believe in, and much more.

“But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion (opportunity) from them which desire occasion (opportunity) that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed (transforms himself) into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works” (II Corinthians 11:12-15).

We have allowed Satan in because he boasts that he is doing God’s work in just the same way we are.  We have allowed him to convince us that God has sent him.  We have allowed him to persuade us that he is Christ’s apostle.  We have allowed him to blind us to the truth that God never sent him at all.  He is a phony who has fooled us in so many ways.  And it should not be a surprise that he can transform himself into an angle of light.  His servants can also be transformed to appear like godly ministers.  You have been taught but by whom have you been taught and what have you been taught?  So many questions to ponder, so many question to ask but the fear of being ostracized has driven us to accept, never publicly questioning, those things of tradition.  Somewhere in the quagmire of answers lies the truth about Jesus.  Are you willing to put away your fears, lay aside those traditional views, and seek the truth for yourself?  Are you more concerned about the opinions of man than you are in finding the truth about one you confess to believe in?  So, who is Jesus?  Are you sure that the Jesus that you believe in is one of fact?  Or is the one that you believe in one of fiction?  Will you make the right choice?

We again give thanks to God for this avenue that he has given us to share his word through our commentary.  We continually pray that God’s grace will be upon you and that these devotionals will be a blessing to you.  If you are blessed by them, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

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