Happy Halloween – Satan’s Favorite Tricks and Treats - Purity 876
Purity 876 10/31/2022 Purity 876 Podcast
Today’s photo of the sun peaking through a section of a post-peak autumn forest comes to us from yours truly as I felt moved to capture a few scenes of the Autumn season as it seems to be quickly slip sliding away as I walked along them west side of Wait Rd on Saturday.
Well, Happy Halloween, although I suspect that some people would have been a lot happier if All Hallows Eve had fallen on a Friday or Saturday. But I know that those who may have wished that undoubtedly didn’t let the actual day of Halloween get in the way of celebrating it enthusiastically over the weekend.
I myself, volunteered at a “Harvest Festival” that was a Harvest Festival in name only as the event hosted by Operation Adopt a Soldier at Gavin Park in Wilton featured a Haunted Hayride and gave out prizes each night for the best Halloween Costumes. So even though today is the day, for many Halloween is all but over as most of us have celebrated it already and won’t be doing much tonight as Tuesday morning and its work responsibilities will be coming quickly.
However, today is the day and for some Halloween is their favorite holiday and they will be celebrating with all the gusto they can muster and may even arranged to take All Saints Day off in anticipation of the need to rest and recover from their less than Holy festivities.
And in light of the great enthusiasm some have for Halloween, I have to ask the rhetorical question:
If you like Halloween more than Christmas, does that mean you are going to hell?
I’m just saying, if you take delight in a holiday that celebrates the macabre and dark supernatural things of this world more that the celebration of the coming of Jesus Christ, is there any way that you have a place in God’s kingdom?
Or is Satan just driving around today looking at all the homes that are decked out with decorations that display witches, zombies, and ghosts and smiling and maybe singing that 1980 Queen Hit: “Another One Bites the Dust”?
I don’t mean to take lightly the fact that some will be separated from God and be confined to a realm where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, but when I see people literally proclaiming that what is evil as good in such an outlandish fashion, some will be dressing up as Satan today, as a devil, a demon, it makes me see just how sinister the prince of darkness is and how well he has tricked most of mankind to dismiss his actual existence and subsequently reject the Lord and His word which warns us to have nothing to do with darkness.
While today could serve as the most stark example of people either intentionally or unwittingly aligning themselves with the forces of darkness, Satan delights in deceiving us in subtle ways as well.
Satan disguises himself as an angel of light as well and so it doesn’t matter to him which of the many highways of hell that he diverts you to, He just doesn’t want you to put your faith in Jesus and decide to follow His narrow path that leads to the fruit of the Spirit in this life and ultimately to eternal life with God.
I was reminded this weekend of how Satan uses the traumas of our human existence to convince us that we can be so broken that even God can’t heal us and that we need something other than God to find peace in this life.
In my ministry work for Freedom in Christ ministries I have encountered Christians that have believed all kinds of lies about themselves that have kept them bond to sin and feeling defeated. One man who is on prescription medication for depression and anxiety confessed that he believed that he would always be depressed and that he sort of indicated that his hope lied in the abilities of his physicians to get the medications “just right”.
While I would never dissuade people from seeking medical treatments for physical ailments, I have trouble advocating medication as the way to peace. Better life through chemistry is the methodology of addiction and I don’t care if they are street drugs found in a back alley, some herbal treatment found in a zen garden, or distributed by a pharmacist through doctor’s orders when we look for a physical substance to provide peace, we should really question if this was God’s plan for your life, that the only way to find peace was through taking or ingesting something.
As someone who has worked in the mental health field as a counselor, I have seen the dangers of dependence on medications and becoming “put in the system” of mental health. I have seen people with relatively minor problems who once were somewhat self-sufficient become worse after they were diagnosed and told of their chronic problems.
Did their conditions worsen on their own or did they become indoctrinated in a system of belief that told them they were a hopeless case, that they should never go off of their meds and that they were basically incapable of taking care of their selves?
In mental health circles, there is much care but little hope for healing as the narratives surrounding mental maladies are that they incurable and the best we can do is manage the symptoms.
But Christ said something else.
14:27 (NKJV) HE said:
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
The world offers peace though medication, drugs, money, material possession, and creating the right circumstances or human relationships. Tonight, Halloween offers sweet treats and wicked thrills from the safety of hiding behind a mask in the shadows of darkness
But Christ offers a different type of peace. He offers us peace with God and He invites us into the light of His truth and righteousness where we need not be ashamed and we need not hide. And through faith in Him, Christ offers healing for our souls.
Long before any antidepressants or anxiety medications were developed. Christ offered us peace and through walking in the Spirit we can know it, along with love, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, self-control, and joy. He offers these things freely through faith and through His invitation to know Him and follow Him in the way we live our lives.
So don’t celebrate the dark things of this world or take delight in your dark habits that will ultimately fail to satisfy, instead seek the Lord and the peace that found in Christ Alone. That’s right keep walking and talking with God and you will see the truth and know the peace that comes from Him.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is:
1 Chronicles 28:9 (NLT2)
9 “And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the LORD sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.
Today’s Bible verse reminds us of the need to seek the Lord, because if we do we will find Him. So although short time this morning I made a point to share this verse because within in it there is the hope of peace and eternal life with the Lord.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.
The Sermon on the Mount
On the “Extraordinary” of Christian Life
The Enemy—the “Extraordinary” continues
In the New Testament, the enemy is always the one who hates me. Jesus does not even consider the possibility that there could be someone whom the disciple hates. Enemies should receive what sisters and brothers receive, namely, love from Jesus’ followers. The actions of the disciples should not be determined by the human actions they encounter, but by Jesus acting in them. The only source of the disciples’ action is the will of Jesus.
Jesus speaks of enemies, that is, of those who will remain our enemies, unmoved by our love; those who do not forgive us anything when we forgive them everything; those who hate us when we love them; those who insult us all the more, the more we serve them. “In return for my love they accuse me, even while I make prayer for them” (Ps. 109:4). But love must not ask if it is being returned. Instead, it seeks those who need it. But who needs love more than they who live in hate without any love? Who, therefore, is more worthy of my love than my foe? Where is love praised more splendidly than amidst love’s enemies?
This love knows no difference among diverse kinds of enemies, except that the more animosity the enemy has, the more my love is required. No matter whether it is a political or religious enemy, they can all expect only undivided love from Jesus’ followers. This love recognizes no inner conflict within myself, even between my being a private person and my being an officeholder. In both cases I can be only one who follows Jesus, or I am no follower of Jesus at all. I am asked, how does this love act? Jesus says: bless them, do good to them, pray for them without condition, without regard for who they are.
“Love your enemies.” While the previous command spoke only of defenseless suffering from evil, Jesus here goes much further. We should not only bear evil and the evil person passively, not only refuse to answer a blow with a blow, but in sincere love we should be fond of our enemies. Unhypocritically and purely we are to serve and help our enemies in all things. No offering which a lover would bring to a beloved can be too great and too valuable for our enemies. If, because of love for our kindred, we are obliged to offer our goods, our honor, and our life, then in the same way we are obliged to offer them for our enemies. Does this, then, make us participants in the evildoing of our enemies? No, for how should that love which is born not of weakness but of strength, which comes not from fear but from the truth, become guilty of the hatred of another? And to whom must such love be given, if not to those whose hearts are suffocating in hate?
“Bless those who curse you.” If our enemies curse us because they cannot bear our presence, then we should lift our hands to bless them: “You, our enemies, be blessed by God; your curse cannot harm us, but may your poverty be filled by the riches of God, by the blessing of God, against whom you rail in vain. We shall willingly bear your curse, if only God’s blessing comes over you.”
“Do good to those who hate you.” Words and thoughts are not enough. Doing good involves all the things of daily life. “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink” (Rom. 12:20). In the same way that brothers and sisters stand by each other in times of need, bind up each other’s wounds, ease each other’s pain, love of the enemy should do good to the enemy. Where in the world is there greater need, where are deeper wounds and pain than those of our enemies? Where is doing good more necessary and more blessed than for our enemies? “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 139–140.