Encouragement for 2019 – Stories and the True Story

Good morning,
Over the past few days, I have been listening to the “Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. The book captivated my imagination because of fast action and how the author tied references to pieces of art, historic landmarks, and talks about ancient organizations in order to maintain verisimilitude. Where I struggled with the book was that it belied everything we have been taught about our Savior. As a born again Christian, I know in whom I have believed and nothing this book has to say would ever change my mind. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same mindset as I do or are not as strong in their faith and this is the point I want to bring out. When we are not strong in our faith for whatever reason, books like this tend to cause confusion; or, as Proverbs puts it, “One who is full loathes honey from the comb, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet (Proverbs 27:7). For this reason, the Devil leverages stories against mankind; look at what he did to convince Adam and Eve that fatal day in the garden (Genesis 3:1-4). In Proverbs7, we see a young man going down the street towards the prostitute. Notice how the exuberant woman spins the tale of a “night in paradise”, “no one is home so no one will ever know”, “I have paid my vows” so what we are doing is ok, “I have food offerings at home”, “I came out to look for you” this makes the young man feel pretty special. in the end, he walked off with the woman not knowing just what awaited him and just how many have fallen for the same trap. As you know, the Devil never comes out in a scary outfit to frighten his target, he uses conversation to disarm his target. When he tells you things, he gives you just enough information to make the whole conversation seem genuine or to be genuinely concerned for you. There is a caveat to this conversation, though, and that is “Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle.” (The Screwtape Letters C.S. Lewis)

In scripture, we hear the word “idol” and it conjures images of items that are made from wood or stone; however, there are many things in our lives that can become idols and as such will be used by the Devil to lead us down roads that we don’t want to go. As an example, I heard other people talking about the Cisco certification track and I wanted to get certified. I spent plenty of money trying to get it but always coming away empty. Every time I failed the test, I became resentful and this caused problems in my life and in my home. I envied people that were able to take tests and pass successfully. The Devil will use whatever medium he needs to get the child of God spun in the wrong direction and it always starts with a simple conversation. Unfortunately, we will not always know we are on the wrong road until we are hopelessly trapped. My encouragement for you today is for you to become fully versed in the true story of Jesus, his love for you, and the desires he has on your life.

Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32 NLT. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. Martin Luther King Jr.

Father,
Thank you for all that you do in our lives. Help me to banish from my life the lies which hamper the words of encouragement to lost and hurting world. Grant that my eyes, ears, hands, feet, and heart be always open to you so that you may use them. The Devil is a roaring lion seeking to destroy of that there is no doubt. Yet, he is no match for you. The Devil will always have a story to tell and knows just how to twist the words in such a way as to persuade even the most intellectual of people; Yet, his lies will not stand up in your court. May your lead and direct our lives today.

In his Name
Mike
All of my writings can be found at http://www.mikesencouragement.net

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