The Magic Show

Please Read 2 Timothy 2:3-4

Are you at war? The Bible says that no one who is at war (or serves as a soldier of Christ) gets entangled with the affairs of this life. What a mission for the soldier of Christ. This world is filled with alluring entanglements. The soldier of God has to really love Jesus to keep himself free from them and available to serve his master.

Our commanding officer is also our best friend. (John 15:12-17) What a different relationship from those who serve human and demonic authorities. Our commander has also went through the fire for us. He laid down his life for us (his friends) so that we may live eternally. It was as if he said, “I would rather die than to live without you.” What a friend! (John 15:14-14) When we reflect on the love Jesus has for us it behooves one to be a good soldier of our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39) Love is eternal. This fleeting world with it's glamor and glitter is not. It's all one big fake magic show that is soon about to end.

THE SHOW

Every day you and I wake up to the magic show. We don't have to turn on our TVs to see it. We're living in it. This world system is ran by Satan the great magician and his fellow magicians the demons. Jesus called Satan the prince of this world. (Revelation 12:9 John 14:30 Ephesians 2:1-3) He possesses and gives human entities power to do false miracles (magic). (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 Revelation 13:1-2 12:9) Satan uses every form of falsehood to influence and manipulate human beings 24/7, everyday of the year. People don't realize just how much they are being influenced and are a part of the magic show. The Devil likes it that way. Part of the mission for the true soldier of Christ is not to be a willing participant in Satan's show, but to expose it and help others get out. (Ephesians 5:11 John 8:31-32 John 3:16 1 John 2:17)

Those who truly believe in Jesus are of particular interest to the Devil. (Revelation 12:17) Not only because they are God's ground forces on the earth working against the Devil's kingdom. Not only because they have something he will never have: eternal life. (John 3:16) But the Devil is interested in Christians too because if he can get any of them to become a willing participant in his magic show after they have received an accurate knowledge of the truth, they will suffer a special kind of doom. (Hebrews 10:26-27 Hebrews 6:4-6) The same fate he will eventually suffer. (Revelation 20:10)

THE END

How will the movie end for us individually? Remember, Satan is a trickster. He is not called, “that old serpent,” for nothing. (Revelation 12:9) Has his magic show bewitched us? Have we gotten entangled, even being strangled by the cares and affairs of this life? (Luke 8:14) Remember, it is written that is something a good soldier is not supposed to do. The good news is we can change if this is the case. Yes, we can press the reset button, or change the channel on our lives. We don't have to be an actor/actress in the Devil's show. We can play our part (though small) in God's show, by being in the world, but not being of it, and reflecting the glory of God seen in Jesus Christ.

Please Read 1 John 2:15-17

Demons

Please Read Matthew 8:16 12:22-23 Luke 4:33-37

Long before lies were taught about evil spirits in movies Jesus made known the truth about demons. With a simple word he commanded them to come out of people and healed them. That's right, they actually live in people, making their lives miserable. There's many weird speculations about who demons are and where they come from. But the only record in the Bible of spirits becoming evil (other than Satan the Devil) and where they came from is in Genesis chapter 6 where the sons of God (angels) came down to earth and had sexual relations with women. They took wives for themselves, any of whom they chose, and even had children by them. (Genesis 6:1-4 Jude 1:6) These children of fallen angels (demons) became the world's legendary bad dudes of old.

Our world has been plagued by the presence of great evil for millenniums. Mankind invited evil into our world in the beginning, in the garden of Eden when he sinned. (Romans 5:12) In the same way people today invite the harmful affects of evil spirits into their lives by toying with sin. Those who obey God and hold to the testimony of Jesus Christ are protected. They cannot be possessed or controlled by demons. Jesus protects them and covers their sins. They are born again, born of the Holy Spirit. It is impossible for them to willfully live in sin because God's seed is in them. (1 John 3:9 5:18-19) That means since evil and sin has no hold on them by God's grace neither does Satan, and they will never die. (John 3:16) For the wages of sin is death the Bible says. (Romans 6:23) But the free gift from God is eternal life through Jesus our Lord. That's why he is also called Savior. Jesus saves his followers from the harmful affects of this demon possessed world. Even death itself is conquered through him (Jesus Christ). (1 Corinthians 15:49-58) Jesus has made us more than conquerors indeed. (Romans 8:37-39)

Please Read Luke 10:17-20

Jesus also made it known that he gives mere human beings the power to command evil spirits to come out of people in his name. (Mark 16:17-18) The name of Jesus has authority. He is the son of the living Almighty God. The demons know this and shudder. (James 2:19 Matthew 8:28-34 Mark 1:22-24 ) Hence when a person becomes a true servant of Christ he/she too is given authority by Jesus over evil spirits. This doesn't mean the demons won't bother us. On the contrary they will take a special interest in you because you belong to Christ their enemy. (2 Timothy 3:12-13 Ephesians 6:12 Revelation 12:17) You too are now their enemy. But you have the upper hand in the battle because you have Christ. As long as your faith remains in him they cannot handle you. But they will keep trying you, coming through their human minions. They hope we will get fed up with persecutions and trials and just give up. They don't mind if you're a phony Christian; always professing God with your mouth, but living contrary to the faith. That kind of person has no authority over them. But a true Christian, woe! Remember, Jesus gave us authority over demons and over all the power of the enemy (Satan). That's a lot of power! Don't let it go to our heads Jesus said. Just be glad for what it means; your names are written in heaven. You have the kingdom of God and eternal life! Something your spiritual enemies wish they had never thrown away.

Please Read Jude 1:6 1 Corinthians 6:2-3

Do You Expect Respect?

Please Read Matthew 10:22

I get a little sad when I hear people say they expect respect from others. I especially am saddened when professing believers say this and even demand respect. I feel sorry for them because I know if their view never changes they cannot serve Christ. Jesus said that EVERYONE will hate his disciples because of him. So how could a true follower of Jesus expect or demand to be respected by all? That's not realistic thinking. Jesus also said the one who endures (or accepts) persecution to the end is the one who will be saved. Hence, can we accept being disrespected for the name of Christ? (Acts 5:40-42)

WHAT IT REALLY MEANS TO BE BLESSED

Please Read Matthew 5:10-12

You and I have a choice: Do we want to be respected by people, or be blessed by almighty God? We can't have both. Jesus said, “Blessed are you,” when people insult you, when they ridicule you, when they lie on you, and say all kinds of evil against you for his name. That is not respecting you. But you are so awesomely blessed because this is how the world treated every prophet before you. (Hebrews 11:36-40) You're in great company. The kingdom of heaven is yours. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad when this happens to you Jesus says. This reminds me of something the apostle Paul said regarding his hardships and persecutions for the faith. He said that he took pleasure in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in all persecutions for Christ. He said, 'because when I am weak then I am really strong because Christ's power is resting upon me.' (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) Paul learned not to focus on the persecution but on what it means: “I'm blessed! When I am weak I am really strong. Because the power of Christ is mightily with me.”

HOVERING

Please Read 1 Peter 4:14

To be taunted, abused, ridiculed, defamed, spoken evil of because of your belief in Jesus is a true blessing from God. He says you're happy if this happens to you because it is evidence that his spirit is resting upon you. Sometimes we forget that. Imagine the spirit of almighty God Himself, permanently fixed, immovable, stationed, upon YOU. God's presence is with you always! That is your true blessed state if you are persecuted for being a Christian. See why God says you are happy? Who can penetrate the presence and protection of almighty God? No one! You can say, “Though I am persecuted I enjoy communion with the king of the universe himself! His angel is stationed, encamped round about me like a fortress to protect me.” (Psalms 34:7) “I may be hated by most but I'm loved by those who matter the most.” So I ask you: Do you really want, expect, even demand the respect of puny humans? Or would you rather have the blessed approval of almighty God?

Sneaky Discontentment

Ever had someone sneak up on you and suddenly scare you? You probably had a good laugh. Did it make you any less of a person because they tricked you? No. So if after reading this article you find that Discontentment has snuck up on you and it scares you, please don't feel like less than a human being. We can't see everything. We don't have vision like God. But we do have extra spiritual eyes. We have the Holy Spirit and the word of God that exposes everything. (Hebrews 4:12-13) If after doing some heartfelt soul searching you find that Discontentment has snuck up on you thank God for revealing it to you. Confess it, repent, and keep it moving. (Proverbs 28:13)

MY CHILDHOOD

How often have we heard someone say or said ourselves, “If I had been raised this way or that way,” or, “If my childhood had gone like this or that I would be better off?” Might this person be Discontented? Yes, especially if this is a pestering thought. Anyone annoyed by such thoughts is not happy or satisfied with themselves or their circumstances. Some of us see the deceptive trick the Devil has played on someone who feels this way. And remember, it doesn't make us any less of a person if that trick has been played on us. Discontentment is a tricky dude. He sneaks up on us all at one time or another.

Please Read Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

Ecclesiastes 7:13-14 says that God has made the good time as well as the bad time. And no one can straighten what he has made crooked. So if we really believe what God's word says we will accept the good with the bad. That includes our childhood. If we believe God we will stop blaming our parents, our past circumstances, etcetera, for who we are today. Even if our parents sucked at raising us Jesus tells us to forgive them. (Matthew 6:14-15) We are now adults, and have way more control over our own lives. Changing for the better is a good thing. It is often hard but it's worth it. Our human nature though finds it a lot easier to blame others for what we don't like about ourselves. It's much easier to mope in self-pity. If this is how we feel deep down inside Discontentment has snuck up on us. God's word encourages us to deal with our feelings. Believing and following God will nullify all feelings of Discontentment and self-pity. (1 Timothy 6:8)

SHAKE IT OFF

Please Read Proverbs 28:13

The first step to overcoming any wrong thinking is to admit it. We must be honest with God and with ourselves by confessing any feelings of resentment we have towards our parents or anything else. Maybe you didn't have a normal childhood. Maybe there are things you wished you could have done as a child you never got to do. Be honest before God and tell Him how this made you feel. Then please follow His counsel and let it go. We can never change the past. But you can play a big part right now in choosing for yourself how life will be now and in the future. That doesn't mean it will be easy. But it can be done. Positive change is better than allowing resentment to secretly build up in our hearts and destroy us. (1 Peter 5:8-9) Self-pity is a trap of the Devil. Instead, if we delight ourselves in the Lord he WILL give us the desires of our hearts. (Psalms 37:4) Believe God. Don't believe feelings of Discontentment and resentment.

If you've noticed that Discontentment has snuck up on you and it scares you, good. It should scare you. But you can shake it off through confession and believing what the Bible says. Follow God's word not your heart. (Jeremiah 17:9) The human heart is the most treacherous thing of all. If you really want proof that negative things in one's childhood can turn out super good read what the Bible says in John chapter 9 about a man who was born blind, and how this brought glory to God. You are a unique human being. There is no one else on earth created exactly like you. Thank God for creating you and embrace who you are. With God's help make the changes that need to be made for His glory. Changes that will make you better not bitter.