Grieving With Grace

Stewarding the Heart: Grieving With Grace

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 03.27.2019” on Spreaker.

“And Job spake, and said, Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.” (Job 3:2, 3, 25, 26).

Touched by Affliction

I cannot imagine Job’s turmoil as he faced the most difficult trial of his life. Not many of us can wake up to all of our children, livestock, and possessions gone and not find ourselves depressed. Then, while grieving all of those losses, the Lord also allowed Satan to afflict Job with boils from head to toe. Searching for that sin he forgot to confess, Job needed answers. He needed to know why God was exercising such a harsh judgment over his life.

On one of many depressing days, Job found himself hating the very day he was born, and wishing he could find rest in the grave. Grief overwhelmed Job. This burden seemed far too much for him to bear. But while Job could not detect His presence, God was close by.

Grieving With Grace

After the many days of his trial had finally passed, after he endured the foul pessimism of his wife and so-called friends, after receiving a strong answer from the Lord to all of his complaints, Job praised the Lord. He said, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:5,6). Ultimately, these trials became the salve that Job needed in order to truly see the mercy, grace, and power of God more clearly than he’d ever seen them before. It was this clarity that shifted Job’s mindset from aspersion in chapter 3 to attrition in chapter 42. 

Yes, it was a hard revelation for Job, but it was well worth it. He finally had a better relationship with God than ever before. When we face tribulations, we should read the words of brother Job to encourage us to be faithful. If he did it, being human, so can we.

Welcome to the privilege of becoming faithful stewards of your hearts. Manage responsibly, in Jesus’ name.




God Supplies

Stewarding the Heart:  Having Patience When God is Freeing You.  Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, March 24, 2019

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 03.24.2019” on Spreaker.

“But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes” (Numbers 11:6).

The Lord demonstrated His love and patience for the Israelites for many years. He heard their cry and sent a liberator through whom He would deliver them from slavery. Through the entire process, He was restoring their religion, dignity, and respect among those who did not believe in God. All of this was done that they might know that God was desperately in love with them, and that the world would know that the God of heaven is the one true God who was worthy of worship.

When Freedom Frustrates

All too often the children of Israel complained about the way God was choosing to manifest their freedom. Murmuring became an intolerable habit that God hated. It is a blessing to know that in spite of the fact that God knew before He set them free, that they would behave this way, He still loved them.

How can our souls still be dry, when God has offered all to us?

One of the complaints they often related was their lust for the rich foods of Egypt. Food, for the children of Israel, like it does for many people today, enslaved their minds. The Lord gave them a miracle of provision while they wandered in the wilderness. “Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no” Exodus 16:4.

In spite of this perfect food that God provided, they still cried for the fleshpots of Egypt. “But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes” Numbers 11:6. How could their souls be dried up when God Himself, knowing their need, gave them bread from heaven? This bread was an object lesson about the Messiah, the perfect provision for all of our needs (John 6:35).

Reflection

Do we wander in our wilderness of life with dry souls? How can it be that God has given every provision for us and we still cry that our souls are dry? Eat and drink from the heavenly storehouse. God always supplies all of our needs (Philippians 4:19). Pray today, that the Lord will teach you how to accept His perfect provision and be satisfied. Why should your soul be dry?

Welcome to the privilege of becoming faithful stewards of your hearts. Manage responsibly, in Jesus’ name.

 

 




Seeking

Stewarding the Heart: Seek Him. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, March 17, 2019

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 03.17.2019” on Spreaker.

“If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God” (Proverbs 2:4, 5).

Solomon was the wisest man living in his day, and his admonition is proof. He was a man, though plagued with sin, as we all are, who knew what it was to seek after God. Solomon is the one who said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). It seems that he had a healthy obsession with godly wisdom.

Many are in hot pursuit of riches. Some spend almost all that they have on lottery tickets. Others invest large sums in the stock market and real estate. Still others dig in the earth with hopes of discovering some priceless artifact or precious gem.

Solomon is saying that the tireless energy we expend seeking the riches of this world, can be better used seeking God’s wisdom. It is in searching that we begin to understand reverence for God, and departing from evil. It is in seeking God with all of our heart, that we begin an intimate relationship with Him. Seek the Lord while he may be found. Search for Him and you will find the knowledge of God.

Welcome to the privilege of becoming faithful stewards of your hearts. Manage responsibly, in Jesus’ name.




The Extra Mile


The Extra Mile

Helping people the way they need to be helped can be challenging. Many know what it feels like to try to help someone and realize later on that you were only enabling them. Some have put effort into assisting others only to end up feeling used and abused. How did Jesus do so much for so many when He knew there would be those who wouldn’t do for others? Join us as we are challenged like Jesus to go The Extra Mile.

Read Luke 18:35, Luke 4:18, Isaiah 61:1

Jesus is walking with a group toward Jericho and there was blind man begging. Have you ever asked the question as to why the blind man was sitting there?  Someone, more than likely, had to bring him to that place. Have you ever wondered who it was? Do you ever look around and wonder about the stories of the people around you? Take some time today to say a short prayer for those that catch your attention. 

Read Luke 18:35-38

This man obviously needs help. Good thing for him that on this day that Jesus was walking by. But what about all the other days that he was dropped off in this spot to beg? How many weeks, months, or years had he been brought to the same spot with little progress in his life? What if the people who brought him could have done more? Can we do more? Do we have to do more? Let us know what you think about these questions on social media using  #MessageMag.

Read Luke 18:39; 1 Corinthians 9:19

Can you imagine being this man? He’s dropped off daily by people who, though they are doing him a service, could do more. Do we do the same? Maybe we have weakened what it means to be a servant. Maybe we’re more like the people who try to silence those who could use a little more assistance. Have we gotten to the point like Paul that we are willing to sacrifice our freedom for the lives of others? I haven’t. What about you? Talk to us using #MessageMag on Social Media.

Read Luke 18:39-40; Psalm 18:6; Psalm 34:19

The Bible promises that God will deliver. When I survey the stories and happenings of Biblical History I see that, more often than not, God uses people to carry out His deliverance. Jesus has the same people who were hushing the man to carry him over. The grace in this is that even if you haven’t been bringing people to Jesus, it’s never too late to start. Maybe God wants you to carry someone to Him. It’s a big responsibility, but I know that if God asked you, He’ll empower you to do so. Is there someone for whom God wants you to be responsible? If so I’d love to personally call their name out with you in prayer. You can call and pray with me at 614-266-9568.

Read Luke 18:41-42; Isaiah 59:1-2

This man could have asked for anything. He wasn’t going to waste being in the presence of Jesus with a misguided request. I expect he had been through enough for him to realize that his problem had nothing to do with anyone other than himself. That is the challenge of serving people—being able to stick with them until they realize their issues, and we see ours. When problems arise, do you check yourself before assigning blame on others? Is that hard or easy? Why? Share on Social Media using #MessageMag.

Luke 18:43; 2 Corinthians 4:8-10; 1 Corinthains 3:6-9

When the blind man receives his sight he immediately follows Jesus. Shouldn’t our servanthood cause us to lead people to the place where they no longer need our service, but are able to stop worrying about themselves and focus on others? It takes time, patience, and sacrifice for many. Some don’t get to that point in our time with them. The cost doesn’t exempt us.

Luke 18:31-43

Jesus had just told His disciples for the third time that He must die for the world to be saved. Immediately, He goes towards Jerusalem by way of Jericho. He did’t have to go this way because there was an alternate route, but He did because there was someone that God wanted for Him to serve. In other words, Jesus went the extra mile for one person. Are we willing to do the same?  

…......……………………………………………………………….

Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.


This article is part of our 2019 March / April
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Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God, Luke 18:35-39.

Think and Grow

“Go Teach All Nations,” p. 823, 824, The Desire of Ages,* by Ellen G. White

Christ feels the woes of every sufferer. When evil spirits rend a human frame, Christ feels the curse. When fever is burning up the life current, He feels the agony. And He is just as willing to heal the sick now as when He was personally on earth. Christ’s servants are His representatives, the channels for His working. He desires through them to exercise His healing power.

These lessons are for us. There are conditions to be observed by all who would preserve health. All should learn what these conditions are. The Lord is not pleased with ignorance in regard to His laws, either natural or spiritual. We are to be workers together with God for the restoration of health to the body as well as to the soul.

And we should teach others how to preserve and to recover health. For the sick we should use the remedies which God has provided in nature, and we should point them to Him who alone can restore. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to Christ in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the Great Healer. We should lay hold on His promise, and pray for the manifestation of His power. The very essence of the gospel is restoration, and the Saviour would have us bid the sick, the hopeless, and the afflicted take hold upon His strength.

The power of love was in all Christ’s healing, and only by partaking of that love, through faith, can we be instruments for His work. If we neglect to link ourselves in divine connection with Christ, the current of life-giving energy cannot flow in rich streams from us to the people. There were places where the Saviour Himself could not do many mighty works because of their unbelief. So now unbelief separates the church from her divine Helper. Her hold upon eternal realities is weak. By her lack of faith, God is disappointed, and robbed of His glory.

It is in doing Christ’s work that the church has the promise of His presence. Go teach all nations, He said; “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” To take His yoke is one of the first conditions of receiving His power. The very life of the church depends upon her faithfulness in fulfilling the Lord’s commission. To neglect this work is surely to invite spiritual feebleness and decay. Where there is no active labor for others, love wanes, and faith grows dim.

 

…......………………………….


This article is part of our 2019 March / April
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

…......…………………………………………..

ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

_________________

*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlineboks.





Our Part in The Healing


Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God, Luke 18:35-39.

Think and Grow

“Go Teach All Nations,” p. 823, 824, The Desire of Ages,* by Ellen G. White

Christ feels the woes of every sufferer. When evil spirits rend a human frame, Christ feels the curse. When fever is burning up the life current, He feels the agony. And He is just as willing to heal the sick now as when He was personally on earth. Christ’s servants are His representatives, the channels for His working. He desires through them to exercise His healing power.

These lessons are for us. There are conditions to be observed by all who would preserve health. All should learn what these conditions are. The Lord is not pleased with ignorance in regard to His laws, either natural or spiritual. We are to be workers together with God for the restoration of health to the body as well as to the soul.

And we should teach others how to preserve and to recover health. For the sick we should use the remedies which God has provided in nature, and we should point them to Him who alone can restore. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to Christ in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the Great Healer. We should lay hold on His promise, and pray for the manifestation of His power. The very essence of the gospel is restoration, and the Saviour would have us bid the sick, the hopeless, and the afflicted take hold upon His strength.

The power of love was in all Christ’s healing, and only by partaking of that love, through faith, can we be instruments for His work. If we neglect to link ourselves in divine connection with Christ, the current of life-giving energy cannot flow in rich streams from us to the people. There were places where the Saviour Himself could not do many mighty works because of their unbelief. So now unbelief separates the church from her divine Helper. Her hold upon eternal realities is weak. By her lack of faith, God is disappointed, and robbed of His glory.

It is in doing Christ’s work that the church has the promise of His presence. Go teach all nations, He said; “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” To take His yoke is one of the first conditions of receiving His power. The very life of the church depends upon her faithfulness in fulfilling the Lord’s commission. To neglect this work is surely to invite spiritual feebleness and decay. Where there is no active labor for others, love wanes, and faith grows dim.

 

…......………………………….


This article is part of our 2019 March / April
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

…......…………………………………………..

ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

_________________

*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlineboks.


The Extra Mile

Helping people the way they need to be helped can be challenging. Many know what it feels like to try to help someone and realize later on that you were only enabling them. Some have put effort into assisting others only to end up feeling used and abused. How did Jesus do so much for so many when He knew there would be those who wouldn’t do for others? Join us as we are challenged like Jesus to go The Extra Mile.

Read Luke 18:35, Luke 4:18, Isaiah 61:1

Jesus is walking with a group toward Jericho and there was blind man begging. Have you ever asked the question as to why the blind man was sitting there?  Someone, more than likely, had to bring him to that place. Have you ever wondered who it was? Do you ever look around and wonder about the stories of the people around you? Take some time today to say a short prayer for those that catch your attention. 

Read Luke 18:35-38

This man obviously needs help. Good thing for him that on this day that Jesus was walking by. But what about all the other days that he was dropped off in this spot to beg? How many weeks, months, or years had he been brought to the same spot with little progress in his life? What if the people who brought him could have done more? Can we do more? Do we have to do more? Let us know what you think about these questions on social media using  #MessageMag.

Read Luke 18:39; 1 Corinthians 9:19

Can you imagine being this man? He’s dropped off daily by people who, though they are doing him a service, could do more. Do we do the same? Maybe we have weakened what it means to be a servant. Maybe we’re more like the people who try to silence those who could use a little more assistance. Have we gotten to the point like Paul that we are willing to sacrifice our freedom for the lives of others? I haven’t. What about you? Talk to us using #MessageMag on Social Media.

Read Luke 18:39-40; Psalm 18:6; Psalm 34:19

The Bible promises that God will deliver. When I survey the stories and happenings of Biblical History I see that, more often than not, God uses people to carry out His deliverance. Jesus has the same people who were hushing the man to carry him over. The grace in this is that even if you haven’t been bringing people to Jesus, it’s never too late to start. Maybe God wants you to carry someone to Him. It’s a big responsibility, but I know that if God asked you, He’ll empower you to do so. Is there someone for whom God wants you to be responsible? If so I’d love to personally call their name out with you in prayer. You can call and pray with me at 614-266-9568.

Read Luke 18:41-42; Isaiah 59:1-2

This man could have asked for anything. He wasn’t going to waste being in the presence of Jesus with a misguided request. I expect he had been through enough for him to realize that his problem had nothing to do with anyone other than himself. That is the challenge of serving people—being able to stick with them until they realize their issues, and we see ours. When problems arise, do you check yourself before assigning blame on others? Is that hard or easy? Why? Share on Social Media using #MessageMag.

Luke 18:43; 2 Corinthians 4:8-10; 1 Corinthains 3:6-9

When the blind man receives his sight he immediately follows Jesus. Shouldn’t our servanthood cause us to lead people to the place where they no longer need our service, but are able to stop worrying about themselves and focus on others? It takes time, patience, and sacrifice for many. Some don’t get to that point in our time with them. The cost doesn’t exempt us.

Luke 18:31-43

Jesus had just told His disciples for the third time that He must die for the world to be saved. Immediately, He goes towards Jerusalem by way of Jericho. He did’t have to go this way because there was an alternate route, but He did because there was someone that God wanted for Him to serve. In other words, Jesus went the extra mile for one person. Are we willing to do the same?  

…......……………………………………………………………….

Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.


This article is part of our 2019 March / April
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 





Very Superstitious? Consider yourself enlightened?

Ten Modern Day Religious Superstitions that Stump the True Bible Scholar

In our hi-tech age, one might believe that there is no room in our thinking to support superstitions. However, such a belief would be stone cold wrong. Although, beneficiaries of the Age of Reason philosophies that flourished in Europe, then America, following the Middle Ages, 21st century citizens are nonetheless, subscribers to superstitions. Think not? Let’s see.

Superstition is defined by Merrian-Websters Dictionary as: “a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.” Writing in Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke called superstition, “the religion of feeble minds.” According to Burke, medieval inhabitants of the earth trying to find ways to explain perplexing natural phenomenon, developed pre-scientific rationales that basically became superstitions.

Perhaps, it’s not surprising to learn that superstitions made their way into the thinking of Christians. No? Here are ten superstitions that have found lodging in the hearts of believers.

How many of them are familiar to you?

1. “The Lord helps those who help themselves”

This often-repeated adage suggests that we are capable of meeting our own needs. Never mind that this superstition rejects the sovereignty of God. In truth, if we could help ourselves, we would have no need for God. Never, are we called to be self-dependent. Heaven calls for us to be God-dependent. The Psalmist reminds us in the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” Paul adds his testimony in Philippians 4:19 “… my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

2. “We’re all God’s Children”

If only that were so. We are all God’s creation. However, the Bible is clear on this point; the children of God have distinctive traits of character:

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12, 13) and 2.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons (children) of God” (Romans 8:14).

3. “To be absent from the body is to be with the Lord”

Paul’s statements in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 have been the source of countless misrepresentations of Scripture. We often hear this saying at funerals, the intention being to convey the idea that at death a believer goes straight to heaven. However, Paul’s words asserted no fact, nor the expression of a Biblical doctrine.

He did say, in 2 Corinthians 5:6 and 8: “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord,” and “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” Paul’s meaning is readily apparent. Verse six simply states that as long as we are alive, in these earthly bodies, we are not present with the Lord in heaven. Paul uses verse eight to emphasize his preference. He would much rather be absent from his physical body, and be present with the Lord.

4. The rich man and Lazarus

The parable of the rich man some call Dives (maybe Latin for “rich”) and Lazarus has been spun into a very interesting superstition. Christian communities around the globe teach this story as if it is evidence that upon death, Christians and non-Christians alike go directly to their reward.

However, this parable has nothing to do with the wheareabouts of the dead or their general state. For starters, Lazarus dies, but doesn’t go to heaven. Instead, he goes to Abraham’s bosom. That is the first clue that this is not a factual story, but a figurative story.

The key to the passage is found in the words of Jesus in Luke 16:31. “Dives” begs Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn Dives’ brothers of the perils of being lost.

Jesus, finishing the story for the listeners gives Abraham’s response, and the parable’s dramatic point: “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

Jesus was not talking about the death of the rich man or Lazarus. His parable foretold of the Jewish unbelief that would greet His resurrection.

5. The Bible guarantees that children raised in a Christian home will keep the faith.

The primary text to support this is Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child…” Maybe superstition is a little strong here, however, this passage should not be taken as a blanket promise regarding the salvation of our children. What the Bible offers is this truth: train the child in the ways of the Lord, and as they grow up they will not depart from the knowledge that has been instilled in them through the training they received.

6. “Once saved, always saved”

Perhaps no superstition is as deadly to our salvation than one that promises once saved, always saved. This superstition promises the salvation even of those who don’t want to be saved. This teaching is contrary to the Bible. Matthew 24:13 admonishes us to “endure to the end.” Hebrews 10:23 counsels us to “hold fast the confession of our hope.” And, Revelations 3:16 cautions that if we should become lukewarm, Jesus will spit us out of His mouth.

7. We have never-dying souls to save

This superstition mis-educates the living about the state of the dead. The Bible explains that we don’t have souls, we are living souls (Genesis 2:7). Furthermore, we’re informed by Ezekiel 18:20 that “the soul that sins shall die.” And, how many have sinned? Romans 3:23, “…All have sinned…”

8. “Moderation in all things”

Imagine moderation in drug use, alcohol intake, and promiscuous intimacy. Moderation in all things is a concept borrowed from the Greek philosopher Aristotle. While it is true that Philippians 4:5 says “Let your moderation be known…,” the actual meaning of the Greek word translated moderation is gentleness or mildness. The believer’s rule of faith for living is better expressed by 1 Corinthians 10:31, “…whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

9. “To thine own self be true”

Some mistakenly believe these words are from Scripture. They are in fact, taken from Shakespeare. We are not called to be true to ourselves. The redeemed answer to a higher authority. We have been made for God’s glory (Isaiah 43:7). In Malachi 2:6, God proclaims that Levi had truth in his mouth and no iniquity on his lips.

10. Dead ancestors speaking to the living

This superstition is significant, if only because it leaves the hearts of God’s people open to the false narrative that psychics, tarot card readers, and practitioners of the occult are able to carry messages between the dead and the living. Absolutely false. There is no dialogue between the living and the dead. Ecclesiastes 9:5 teaches that the “dead know nothing.” Then, Psalm 115:17 instructs us that “the dead praise not the Lord.”

Ten superstitions that 21st century believers have been deceived into accepting as “thus says the Lord.” Have we no protection from these superstitions infecting our faith? We do indeed. The answer is simple. We must study to show ourselves approved. Our only safety is found in God’s Word.


This article is part of our 2019 March / April Issue
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Tyrants, Terrorism, and the End of Time

There are many signs from Bible prophecy that suggest we’re nearing the end of time. One of these is the increase in earthly, tyrannical leadership. This type of leadership is rooted and founded in the behavior of Satan, as he is what I term, “chief tyrant.” Consider the following three characteristics of Satan’s tyrannical behavior.

Profile of The Original Tyrant

1. “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”1

2. “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.’”2

3. “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”3

Telltale Signs of Evil Influences

Based on the Biblical passages above, Satan is: (1) the deceiver of the world who deals in the pervasiveness of lies and falsehoods; (2) the accuser of the brethren who loves to play the blame game; and (3) having great wrath, throws temper tantrums, and fits of rage. These characteristics have led him to become a terrorist. He is a warmonger who seeks to harm and destroy innocent people. And when these tyrannical and terroristic traits manifest themselves in world leaders, we must remember that given the vast numbers of innocent individuals who are under their authority and control, these leaders, too, are capable of doing great harm.

From the moment Satan was forced out of the heavenly kingdom, he has sought to establish his own kingdom to overthrow God’s government. The father of lies,4 Satan is the main rumor mill that pits nation against nation, breaks treaties, and declares war on the hearts and minds of humanity. He is at the very root of all terrorism and every terrorist attack. His anger against God’s people has seethed for thousands of years, and he is determined to have dominion over the universe.

End Notes

The good news, however, is that God has the last word! Satan’s defeat in the courts of the kingdom of heaven prefigures his final defeat on the day of judgment! Satan is a tyrant, and when you see his tyrannical fingerprint in the lives of world leaders, be assured of two things: you know where it comes from and you know where it’s going.

“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”5

Tyrants and terrorism may be on the rise, but in the end, Jesus will win! “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”6

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CARLTON P. BYRD, D.MIN., is Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Church in Huntsville, Alabama and the speaker and director for Breath of Life Television Ministries.

1  Revelation 12:7-9, NASB.

2  Revelation 12:10, NASB.

3  Revelation 12:12, NASB.

4  John 8:44, KJV.

5  Revelation 20:10, NASB.

6  Revelation 22:20, KJV.


This article is part of our 2019 March / April Issue
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Downtime Praise

“Stewarding the Heart: Taking Time to Praise. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday March 3, 2019.

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 03.04.2019” on Spreaker.

“I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.” (Psalms 9:1, 2).

Not Enough Praise

Whenever we think of something that the Lord has done for us, we should praise Him. I know that I do not praise Him enough, and neither do many others. When we open our eyes in the morning, we should praise Him. Whenever we drink a glass of relatively clean water, we should praise Him.

As we eat our first bite of food, we should praise Him. When we almost have a car accident, but don’t, we should praise Him. And, if we do have an accident and come out alive, we should praise Him.

Make A List. Check It Twice.

The angels in heaven praise Him, and they are sinless. They do not know what it is to have the King of the universe become one of them and die the second death on their behalf, yet they praise Him all day long. If the angels praise Him, how much more should we upon whom the ends of the world are come? If we do not praise Him, inanimate nature will take our place. I do not want the rocks and trees crying out in my place. Make a list of the great things He has done. Go through them one by one, and praise Him.

Now, when you are tempted to feel forsaken of God, remember these words: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (Psalms 22:1-3).

Welcome to the privilege of becoming faithful stewards of your hearts. Manage responsibly, in Jesus’ name.




How God Forgives and Forgets

Stewarding the Heart: Embracing God’s Forgiveness. Message Magazine’s Daily, Online Devotional for Sunday, March 3, 2019.

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 03.03.2019” on Spreaker.

“And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left” (II Chronicles 34:2).

The Bible has a way of revealing the character of God that we would miss completely if the Holy Spirit was not with us. One of the characteristics of God that leaps from the pages is His ability to forgive and forget. Obviously, forgetting does not mean that He miraculously gives Himself amnesia. It does mean however that He does not hold forgiven sins against us while we remain in good relationship with Him. “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25).

I believe the Lord when He says that He forgives and does not remember, because God makes an interesting statement about young king Josiah. He said that he was right in the sight of the Lord just like His father David. Wait a minute! Is this a misprint? Did not David murder a man just to cover up his own lust and adultery? Did not David take the dead man’s wife as his own? How in the world can God say that David was righteous?

As is the case with all repentant sinners, God honored His promise to forgive those who repent and confess their sin to Him. You see, God’s accounting is not like ours. God’s love for the repentant sinner does not allow Him to keep a record of wrong. The simple fact is that God answered David’s prayer when he prayed, “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities” (Psalms 51:9).

Are there sins that you have confessed for which you feel unforgiven? Take a lesson from David’s experience with God. When he pursued God with his entire heart, all separation between them, including sin, was removed. Pray that the Lord will restore you through forgiveness, and you too will be called righteous. God’s ability to forget gives us the ability to live on streets of gold. Be sure to thank God for this blessing.

Welcome to the privilege of becoming faithful stewards of your hearts. Manage responsibly, in Jesus’ name.




God’s Name

Stewarding the Heart: Holy, Name of God. Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, February 18, 2019

Listen to “Thoughts in Worship 02.18.2019” on Spreaker.

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Exodus 20:7).

That Name

The name of God is holy. The ways in which He has revealed Himself throughout history, show us clearly, that He is no lightweight God. In His name judgments were pronounced, messages delivered, and vast armies defeated. Kings, pharaohs, and governors bowed under His name. In His name, diseases were cured, ailments sent to flight, and devils exorcised. The name of God is not to be treated lightly.

God’s people have associated names of God with important junctures in their lives. In the case of Abraham on Mount Moriah, God was the Provider. In the case of Moses facing the charge to begin the exodus, He was the Lord; the one who is with you. In the creation,the Almighty One established the worlds.

On The Lips

Looking closely at these realities gives us a view of why it is no small matter to misuse His name. Sometimes I watch shows on cable that are good in general, but I have noticed that even in the least offensive of them, people treat the name of the Lord lightly. One example is in all of the home makeover shows that I have seen. Invariably, when homeowners see the great job the designer has done, they begin to repeatedly use God’s name, not in worship or adoration, but in superficial surprise with no regard for His holiness. This neither pleases God nor does it bring Him glory.

Another way that may be more offensive is when we wear the name of God, and then chronically do things He disapproves of. Does He get any praise when we claim to be His, yet do not allow Him to control our lives? A whole world is watching even when we are not aware, and they blaspheme God when they recognize hypocrisy. Let us accept the name of God in our lives as it is our privilege to, and worship Him as He deserves. We can win many people to the Lord by simply living as those that reverence His name.

Protect The Power of That Name

Welcome to the privilege of becoming faithful stewards of your hearts. Manage responsibly, in Jesus’ name.