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Monday, March 13, 2006

"The Devil's Schemes"

"So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes" (2 Corinthians 2:11).  "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes" (Ephesians 6:11). "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).

As a young Christian I so enjoyed the music of the late Christian artist, Keith Green.  He wrote many creative songs and one comes to mind today concerning the devil. The song is written as if the devil himself had written it.  He is gleeful as his strategy in convincing people that "no one believes in me anymore" is very effective.

We must recognize that Satan is our adversary, seeking whom he may devour. "Schemes" in the second daily text translates the Greek word "methodia", from which we get the English word "method".  From the beginning Satan's method has been to discredit God and His plan.  As the great old hymn says, "But still our ancient foe doth seek to work his woe."

Satan has a plot for our doom but God has a plan for our triumph. Satan's plot is summed up by Jesus in John 10:10 "to steal and kill and destroy." God's plan is to give life abundant and eternal.

Satan’s original plot causing the fall of man (Gen. 3) provides many clues to help us recognize his ongoing schemes and methods.  He distracts, causes doubts, distorts and deceives. We must not be ignorant of his schemes but rather we must put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6) and take a bold stand, being sober and vigilant. Let us do so today!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, though Satan has a sinister and deceitful plot for my life I do not cringe in fear.  Your guidance for me in discerning his evil schemes is revealed throughout the entire Bible.  Not only do You give me repeated warning through the prophets, disciples and other people of faith, but You are the supreme example of One who resisted the temptations of the evil one.  Your time of testing in the wilderness and in the garden of Gethsemane reveal that resistance to temptation brings future reward. Though Satan wants me so that he can destroy me, You want me so that You can save me.

Here are the lyrics to the song referenced in today's message.
No One Believes in Me Anymore - Keith Green
(Remember, it's written from the devil's perspective)

Oh, my job keeps getting easier
As time keeps slipping away
I can imitate your brightest light
And make your night look just like day
I put some truth in every lie
To tickle itching ears
You know I'm drawing people just like flies
'cause they like what they hear

I'm gaining power by the hour
They're falling by the score
You know, it's getting very simple now
Since no one believe in me anymore

Oh, heaven's just a state of mind
My books read on your shelf
And have you heard that God is dead
I made that one up myself
They dabble in magic spells
They get their fortunes read
You know they heard the truth
But turned away and followed me instead

I used to have to sneak around
But now they just open their doors
You know, no ones watching for my tricks
Since no one believes in me anymore

Everyone likes a winner
With my help, you're guaranteed to win
And hey man, you ain't no sinner
You've got the truth within
And as your life slips by
You believe the lie that you did it on your own
But don't worry
I'll be there to help you share our dark eternal home

Oh, my job keeps getting easier
As day slips into day
The magazines, the newspapers
Print every word I say
This world is just my spinning top
It's all like childs-play
You know, I dream that it will never stop
But I know it's not that way

Still my work goes on and on
Always stronger than before
I'm gonna make it dark before the dawn
Since no one believes in me anymore
Well now I used to have to sneak around
But now they just open their doors
You know, no one's watching for my tricks
Since no one believes in me anymore

Well I'm gaining power by the hour
They're falling by the score
You know, it's getting very easy now
Since no one believes in me anymore
No one believes in me anymore
No one believes in me anymore
No one believes in me anymore

Last Friday I used the Scripture verse "Bad company corrupts good character" I requested suggestions for descriptive words to fill in the blanks for the following phrases:
Bad company ___________ bad character
Good company ________ bad character
Good company ___________ good character

I  received the following suggestions

Bad company reinforces bad character
Good company repels bad character
Good company reinforces good character

Bad company stimulates bad character
Good company rebukes bad character
Good company accentuates good character

Bad company breeds bad character
Good company defeats bad character
Good company strengthens good character

Bad company gives an individual bad thoughts to possess bad character   
Good company can improve someone's bad character which can encourage and build up bad character
Good company can encourage/love and hold someone accountable to possess good character

Bad company gifts with bad character
Good company mends bad character
Good company enhances good character

Bad company ADDS TO bad character
Good company SUBTRACTS bad character
Good company MULTIPLIES good character

Bad company attracts bad company;
Good company influences bad company;
Good company encourages good company

"Bad company ACCELERATES bad character."
"Good company SHAMES/INFURIATES bad character."
"Good company ENCOURAGES good character."

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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