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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Does the Devil Do It?

There was a comedian years ago (way before Madea) who dressed like a woman named Geraldine. She (or he) had a  famous response when she was caught doing something wrong, "The devil made me do it!" It made everyone laugh. The problem with that line of thinking is that every time something bad happenings it's Satan's fault. Personally I don't like to give him that much credit. We live in a fallen world, with broken bodies, and all have sinned and fall short of God's perfection. Sometimes though you have to wonder about what the evil things of this world are doing, and where the responsibility lies.

Two interesting things happened to me last week that made we wonder about where the blame should go. On Sunday we video tape the services (posted on our website) and also have an audio recording as well (for podcasts). They were recorded like normal but when they went to down load them there was nothing there - no audio or video. This service was the beginning of a series I am preaching on, God's Grace During Troubled Times. The message is titled Why Me? The response after the service was incredible and many were asking when the recording would be available. When I was informed immediately I felt that it wasn't any mistake that that caused this to happen. I also re-recorded the message by preaching it again to an empty sanctuary on Tuesday. That version is available now. 

The second thing happened with my blog entitled Power in Weakness. Let's just say a major social media outlet deemed the post to have "abusive content" (I spoke about Jacob's wrestling match with God in which his hip came out of it's socket) and removed it from my site.It's back up but it to led me to think something else was going on. It reminded me of a few years ago I had a sermon video kicked off another "major social media outlet" for using "hate language" (I said Jesus is the only way to God)  

The Bible tells us the Gospel is offensive to the lost because of it's exclusivity and non-seeker sensitivity. We teach that Jesus is the only way and we have all sinned. 1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us, For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. So I guess we shouldn't be surprised when we face rejection and forces trying to eliminate the truth.

I love what Paul shares (and all should try to live out) in 2 Corinthians chapter 4, Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (1-6)

I am going to keep sharing God's truth regardless what happens, and always trust in Him. I read the end of the Book - God wins!