We have watched and heard about the many debates of our political candidates in recent weeks. We have heard glowing words about the "winners" and "losers" and we must be prepared for many other such events for the next several months.
But may I draw your attention to THE greatest "debate" of all time?
Jesus had just completed His wilderness experience, when Satan showed up and confronted Him on several different levels. He was challenged regarding His personal needs, about His commitment to God and the Word, His religious beliefs and His desire for fame and riches.
Satan presented his ideas and Jesus responded each time with the Word of God. He did not shy away from the propositions, and He did not cower in fear, rather Jesus spoke the TRUTH, confidently and courageously. After Christ's last response to him, Satan tucked tail and left. Now that is what I call a decisive victory! The greatest in debate history.
I believe each of us are involved in similar "debates" regularly. We are tempted with so many offers for personal pleasure, and for our own profit and gain, and we often overlook the deeper issues at stake. Issues of what is best for us spiritually, for our family, and what will be pleasing to God.
Another problem that plagues us as Christians is that we oftentimes feel entitled or deserving of what we are offered by the Evil One. Or even if that is not the case, and we attempt to argue with Satan, we lose that battle because we attempt to stand on our wisdom or merits, and not on the Word of God.
Jesus Christ stood alone, armed with the Word of God and a deep conviction that God would never falter or fail. Now, some might say,"Well, you are talking about the Son of God here, and that's totally different than just me!" Oh really? Scripture says that as believers, we are now children of God. We have the opportunity to grow into someone who fears nothing but disappointing our Father, while trusting nothing but His Word. We can learn to stand on Scripture to "resist the Devil on every hand."
This is one "debate" we can and must win.
It's an annual event. Every year the U.S. President gives a speech supposedly informing the populace of where our country stands. It's a time of evaluation and reflection on successes, and a time of ideas and promises on needs.
Our politicians can often make grandiose reflections that don't even remotely resemble the same events that others recall. Promises are sometimes broken or ignored.
Just a thought...shouldn't you and I do regular "State of the Person?" Not a speech or presentation, but a time to realize what we've done, positively or negatively. A chance to evaluate our walk with Christ and our passions in life.
But if we hope to improve in our Christian lives, we must be honest enough to correctly evaluate ourselves. Face failures and seek the future. Repent when necessary and rejoice in all things. Ask God to inform you of needed changes and to remind you of His promises.
Yeah, it's a "State of the Person" time. I want to be better than I've been, and become all He has for me to be. Thanks for the Holy Spirit that convicts and challenges and confirms me.
Somedays I feel that I am conspired against. You know how it is, those days that you have the feeling that everyone and everything is against you.
The Theme of the Moment - "All is hopeless in my life, woe is me!"
Song of Choice at that point? "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen..."
Then God shows me a situation or circumstance that really is much worse than mine. Someone who is experiencing a "hell-on-earth" time in life, and suddenly I start to realize that my life ain't half bad. It is like the old saying, "I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet."
Now, honestly, it isn't easy to always keep a proper attitude or a positive outlook. My self-centered mind tells me that my life should be better than it is, that my bank account should be fuller, and my body should be healthier; but my God tells me to rejoice in what I have and to Whom I belong.
Oftentimes, it takes simply seeing another person's negative situation to remind us of how good we really have it. Truthfully....for all its issues, trials, problems, and setbacks, I think I will take my situation and LEARN to be content.
After all, I could be in their shoes!
"Inquiring minds want to know!"At least that's the slogan it seems we have been taught to believe.
The scriptures teach that in the last days people will believe a lie rather than believe the truth. Seems we are there. We have entire news shows (and I use the term loosely) that are dedicated to nothing but gossip, rumors and innuendo. Folks want to hear the "juicy stuff" on anyone.
Unfortunately, sometimes the same problem is found inside the church. Some people seem to enjoy hearing about another's misfortune and misery, and then seek to spread the event. With embellishments and misinformation.
Please, the next time someone starts telling you about a rumor or about the latest gossip, consider whether you would like to be the one being talked about in that manner, and then find a way to gently cut the topic off. (By the way, experience tells me that if folks gossip with you, they'll gossip about you!)
Recently I learned of a rumor in a small town that one of the local churches is closing its doors. Apparently the story has spread quickly among "Christian" folks about the predicament the church is in. Now believers are running with the sad news of their demise. Trouble is....the church is not closing up! They had recently dismissed evening services on Christmas and New Years, (just as many other churches did), and can only surmise that was the basis for the rumor. But as Mark Twain was quoted as saying, "I think the rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated."
Scripture says to let no vain communication come out of your mouth. May I add to that thought..."or enter your ear!" My granddaddy used to say, "Son, believe only half what you see and none of what you're told."
Why is it Christians seem to spread sad tidings so much faster than good news? Shouldn't we spend more time and effort on sharing God's love and grace? Christ should be talked about a lot more than anyone else.