Beneath the Sheep Clothing

DECEMBER 1

MATTHEW 7:22_and in thy name done many wonderful works.

The devil has power. He uses it for evil.  As we have learned, he can also disguise himself as an angel of light to use his powers in ways which appear to be good. 

The word wonderful in this verse can be translated powers. The devil empowers those he enslaves. His goal is to destroy as many Christians as he can before he comes to the time of his doom. Revelation 20 (KJV),1And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. ‘10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

The devil knows his end is coming. He blames Jesus and any who are Jesus’ disciples. In the meantime, he enslaves any who do not recognize him beneath the sheep clothing.

He even deceives them into believing they will enter the kingdom of heaven.  

PRAYER

Powerful God, I know Your power overpowers the devil and his demons. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                             

Christ empowers me – The devil will not enslave me!

Rulers in the Darkness

NOVEMBER 30

MATTHEW 7:22_and in Thy name cast out devils…

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV), “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

This verse says there are rulers in the darkness and they have powers. It is good to have a healthy fear of these powers. It helps you live in the reality that the devil is powerful and you are no match for him.

That’s as far as your fear needs to go. When you chose to accept Jesus as your Savior—you defeated the devil. He knows he no longer has power over your eternity. Beware that he will come after you in this life with his deception and lies about your unworthiness. 

Colossians 1:12-14 (KJV), “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet [worthy] to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear son:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”

That’s why the devil is defeated.

Be knowledgeable about the spirits of darkness, but do not pursue experiencing first hand any kind of occult practices. Don’t go there, even if you think you are learning something for the good of helping a friend.

Grow strong in Jesus and know your Bible—that’s how you help friends!

PRAYER

Jesus Savior, Praise You for defeating the devil for me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ has defeated the devil and his demons—For me!

Quench Your Thirst

NOVEMBER 20

MATTHEW 7:20_Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

You already know good fruit is salt and light. Salt that preserves the truth once it’s found. Salt that whets the appetite so you thirst for more truth. A thirst that can only be quenched by a relationship with Jesus. If you are being led to quench your thirst by anything other than Jesus—you will not produce good fruit. 

In Matthew 13 (KJV), Jesus tells a parable about planting seeds in different types of soil and how the seed responds to where it is planted: “19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. 22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. 23 But he that received seed into the good ground [heart] is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

PRAYER

Only Wise God, Please plant in my heart the words of Your kingdom. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.    

Christ plants His kingdom in my heart—I receive it!

The Storms of Life

NOVEMBER 13

MATTHEW 7:18_A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit…

Jesus builds a foundation first and then brings in the necessary tools needed to build upon it – His Creation Principles.

Jesus warned us to beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing. He taught to recognize deception by the fruit it produces. He taught fruit always reflects its source. Jesus’ principles are sturdy and durable. They’ll stand against the storms of life. They’ll stand throughout the ages. I Peter 2:6 (KJV) , “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him [Jesus] shall not be confounded.”

The apostle Paul used this same idea in I Corinthians 3:9-11 (KJV), “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye [Christians] are God’s building.10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I [Paul] have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

Paul’s teachings are built upon a foundation. That foundation is Jesus.

We are God’s building, studying Jesus’ direct teaching.         

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Thank you that I am Your building. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                        

Christ builds on principles—I will live in that house!

Inward Character

NOVEMBER 5

MATTHEW 7:16_Ye shall know them by their fruits…

The word fruit here is not literal, as in something to eat. It is a metaphor of the outward character of a person produced by the inward character of their heart.

Beware of any teaching or persuasion that is not in-sync with what you have learned from the Bible! If someone is teaching the Bible and living completely contrary to its principles—beware! If someone tells you the Bible has errors because it was written by men—beware! If someone of the opposite gender says if you love me you will express it physically—beware! If someone uses the expression married in the eyes of God to get you to be sexually involved—beware!

Jesus left heaven, came to earth, and lived in the flesh. He knows how strong fleshly desires can be. His desire is to keep you from becoming snared into bondage. Hebrews 4:14-16 (KJV), “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, You feel all the temptations of my flesh. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                                      

Christ was tempted in the ways that I am—He helps me!