Revelation 20:10 ” And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

Spoiler alert!  The bad guys lose in the end.  Satan’s nickname is the devil which means slanderer and/or accuser.  Satan’s mode of operation is to slander God’s word by deceivingly presenting false and blasphemous suggestions to gullible human minds.  He is also the accuser of the brethren before God…using shame and guilt to maim, kill and destroy lives.  And as I was staring at this word- devil – I saw why he was so aptly nicknamed this,  for within that word I saw just who Satan is and what he does…evil.  But his time is going to end,  for within the Book of Revelation we see many passages that tell of his demise..Revelation 12:9, Revelation 9:17, and Revelation 14:10-11 for a few.  Evil may exist for now…but not for long.

I Corinthians 14:20 ” Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.”

One of the biggest differences between children and adults is the ability to control our thoughts, attitudes, and emotions as grownups.  We rarely see a 40 year-old having a temper-tantrum!   Yet in this verse, Paul is exhorting us to be child-like regarding evil.  Now he doesn’t mean that we should be ignorant, naive or easily exploited by evil, but rather, we should be innocent in our motives and thinking about it…not allowing rationalization or deception to creep into our mindset.  This comes, Paul says, from growing up into spiritual maturity and taking all of our thoughts captive to make them obedient to Christ. (II Corinthians 10:5)

Ezekiel 28:17 ” Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.”

It’s vital to know the enemy and his mode of operation…ask anyone who has served in the armed forces.  The Scripture here is a lament or an oracle against Satan.  It speaks of him being created blameless but then allowing wickedness and willful rebellious pride to enter him.   Our enemy, Satan, also has many alias or aka – Lucifer, prince of this world, father of lies, the evil one, the devil, our adversary, a deceptive angel of light.  His mode of operation is simple and yet very effective…it’s destruction, deception, and death.  But it’s also essential to know the enemy’s limitations.  It tells us in the Bible that if we resist the devil he must flee.(James 4:7)  And when we are equipped with the armor of God, we are able stand against him victoriously. (Ephesians 6:11)  Finally and most importantly…the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (I John 4:4)

Matthew 6:13 ” And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Whenever God is the agent of trials (temptations)…it’s for the purpose of testing, never for the purpose of causing us to fall.  For God can’t be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone. (James 1:13)  And with each test, He will not only never tempt you beyond what you can bear, but He will also provide a way out. (I Corinthians 10:13)  But we know our biggest adversary  when it comes to temptation is the devil…the evil one.  In this verse of the Lord’s Prayer, we are asking to be rescued from evil or the evil one.  This statement is echoed in the Prayer of Jabez which says, “..Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me far from evil, that I may not cause pain.” ( I Chronicles 4:10) NKJV    So anytime we ask God to keep us from the evil one…the devil must flee.

Isaiah 5:20 ” Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

Even within my lifetime I’ve seen this huge shift of what we consider right and wrong.  And with the advent of mass media, the Internet, Snap-Chat, YouTube, and Hollywood…we see our societal mores slowly morphing into something our Great-grandparents would be appalled at.  But this blurring of ethical principles and practices didn’t happen overnight…for it relied on man’s pride,  rebellion and apathy to flourish.  So now we sit, so desensitized, we don’t even react anymore to what we know is wrong…but if we do, we’ll likely find ourselves being chastised for being intolerant and narrow-minded.    Job 24:13 warns of this Spiritual blindness…of evildoers who rebel against the light, who don’t know its ways or stay in its path.  I ask Heavenly Father, that we would be enlightened by Your Word, and that You would illuminate our minds with Your truth,  that we may be able to discern right and wrong correctly.  Amen.

Ephesians 2:10 ” For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

God has things for you to be doing.  It says here that with loving forethought, He readied them at the dawn of creation just for you. The Lord created you to fulfill these deeds of good to your fellow man…using the gifts, talents, and passions you possess in a totally unique way only you can.  Even the vilest of us have the capacity to be kind…for we all are made in God’s image and capable of showing consideration towards others.  We love because He first loved us is shown clearly in Titus 2:14, “Jesus gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people who are His very own, eager to do what is good.”  Let us be a people who are eager to do what is good.

Genesis 6: 5-6 ” The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that He had made man on the earth, and His heart was filled with pain. “

Rebellion…if you’ve ever tried to reason with a toddler why he can’t do something, only to see him do it…you’d think we were born defiant!   Unfortunately, since that moment in the Garden of Eden, humans have been on a path of revolution and resistance against God.  But where has our fierce independence gotten us?  Separated far from God as He looks on with great sorrow at the abject wickedness and corruption of His creation.  Rebellion is the road to hell…the time is now to turn from evil and embrace obedience and submission.

II Corinthians 4:4 ” The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

The darkness of evil is everywhere in this present world…obscuring the understanding of the Gospel to the lost.  As a Believer,  what can I do to make a difference?  The song, “My Father’s Eyes”,  reminded me that His light needs to be shining forth when someone looks at me.  I need to be unashamed of professing my faith in public and able to back it up with sound doctrine when questioned.  I need to be able to share the Good News of Jesus with anyone, at anytime,  in a manner that is easy to understand, non-threating, and loving.  Finally, I need to be able to share my testimony…my story,  in a concise, simple manner…for there is nothing more powerful than a declaration of what the Lord has done in my life.  Are you up to the challenge to make a difference in this fallen world?

Proverbs 27:12 ” The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

As human beings,  we have to learn some things  the hard way.  Growing up, we think of ourselves as invincible.  We take crazy chances.  We egg each other on…double dog daring…and sometimes paying for that  foolishness.  So as grown adults,  we should have gained some wisdom and good judgment  by now.  But how many people do we see that just haven’t learned that lesson?  Risky behaviors will eventually catch up with everyone…for no one is exempt.

James 3:6 ” The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and itself set on fire by hell.”

How many times have you regretted  a hurtful, unkind remark made in the heat of an argument?  And  thought to yourself, “I wish I could take back what I just said.”   The tongue has a way of causing trouble for all of us.  A flippant, or off-hand remark can cause irreparable damage to a relationship…and something we thought was said in confidence, will sometimes come back to haunt us.  The whole course of our lives can be ruled and controlled by our tongues…but for God.

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