Monthly Archives: January 2016

Slamming the Door Shut on Satan

3-12-13-mainLast week, when talking about Jesus “watching Satan fall from heaven,” we were encouraged by the fact that Satan is a defeated foe.

As you will be reminded in this week’s PODCAST, Satan isn’t losing the war; he has already lost it.

Be that as it may, however, the devil is winning his share of battles, and the destruction he causes is painful in the extreme.

Of all of the names of Satan I shared with you last week, of which there are many in the Bible, arguably the most personally troublesome is the one found in Revelation 9:11. Speaking of the demonic realm,

“Their king is the angel from the bottomless pit; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon—the Destroyer.”

I say “most personally troublesome” for three reasons:

1. There is a suffix added to the adverb translated “in Hebrew,” as in “his name in Hebrew is Abaddon,” which makes this term particularly forceful. As if to say that Satan is the ultimate destroyer going all the way back to the very beginnings of the Bible.

2. His “most personally troublesome” name because the word means to destroy, corrupt, to exterminate, or to kill in battle or in prison, as in a prison of addiction.

3. His “most personally troublesome” name because, as you well know, it is painful enough for us to personally experience the devil’s devastation in our own lives. But it is exponentially more painful to watch when he has his way in the lives of those near and dear to us. It is one thing for us to suffer personally the consequences our own regrettable choices. Indeed, to have to stand by and watch helplessly as those whom we love suffer the consequences of their regrettable choices? That is agonizing beyond description. And I don’t need to add a suffix to that word agonizing to make it more forceful. You know how much that hurts.

Yes, his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon—the Destroyer.

Yet, with all of that, as will be illustrated and demonstrated, underscored and emphasized in this PODCAST, Satan is a defeated foe.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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Lightning Strike

lightningYou and I are embroiled in a cosmic collision of good and evil, a spiritual war that is taking place in real time, in the present tense, on a scale of epic proportions.

As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, there can be no doubt in any thinking person’s mind that this war is real, and that it has a profound affect upon our world and our lives.

Even an atheist who denounces the existence of God as a delusion, the reality of Satan as a myth, and the authority of Scripture as a collection of fairy tales, cannot deny that operating in our world today is a force for righteousness and a force for unrighteousness, and the daily-if-not-hourly collision of the two.

This is how the Apostle Paul described this to the Christ-followers in Ephesus:

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

Words that are downright sobering, if not outright chilling. But words that are equally revealing and encouraging.

Sobering and chilling because who are we to stand firm against an unseen enemy like that? Specifically, the Devil and his many demons?

Revealing because this does indeed describe exactly what we are witnessing in our world on a daily basis.

Encouraging because as Paul made clear in Ephesians 6, as Jesus made equally clear and His 70 messengers indeed experienced here in Luke 10, this war is eminently winnable.

Indeed, as you will soon hear, this war has Already.Been.Won.

We are less than 6 months from the crucifixion. Jesus will spend these final days visiting every town and village in the South of the Land: Judea and Perea. In anticipation of His visits, Jesus sent out 70 emissaries to prepare the way.

He sent them out as gentle lambs in the midst of ferocious wolves, an unmistakable allusion to the hostile spiritual climate they were about to enter. This was but the latest skirmish in an ongoing spiritual war.

The battle lines were drawn. The harvest was ready. Even as they stood on the cusp of the Crucifixion, there was a godly remnant primed and ready to hear and receive their message:

God’s peace could be theirs.

So off they went, on a several-weeks’ excursion into enemy territory, all to bring God’s message of peace to the tormented souls just trying to survive day-by-day.

Back to Jesus they finally returned, in order to give Him their reports and to debrief their experiences. Which is where we join the narrative here in Luke 10:17…

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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THE Gold Standard of Dynamic Christian Living

gold-bars-1As you are about to hear in this PODCAST, there is IMHO a no more beautiful blessing in all of the Bible than the one we are going to discuss here.

I honestly cannot put into words how excited I am for you to listen in.

As you are about to hear, Jesus perfectly defined the Gold Standard for dynamic Christian living. Not only that, but He also gave to each of us the highest calling, the loftiest privilege, the grandest purpose statement for our lives. One that makes getting up in the morning so worth it.

Be encouraged as you listen. Take Jesus’ words to heart. Experience His blessing. And then get ready to share that blessing with the world.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you as you listen.

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How to Repair a Broken World (It’s Easier Than You May Think!)

tikkun-olam_bet_shalom_barcelonaAs I publish this week’s PODCAST, I am brimming with optimism.

Whether you realize it or not, we are blessed with a singular privilege: To be alive at this time, in this place, at this precise moment in human history.

As you will hear in this study of Luke 10, we have been handed a golden opportunity to fulfill that which is the highest calling that can be bestowed on any human being.

Lofty words, those. But words that I believe with all of my heart.

After hearing this podcast, I believe that you will too.

Last week, I introduced you to the foundational purpose statement that defines why exactly our Jewish friends are God’s Chosen People. Do you remember what it is? Tikkun ha-olam. Which is defined by our Jewish friends as “repairing the world,” ideally by bringing the world under the rule of God in the world.

In the words of the rabbis, Tikkun ha-olam “is deeply embedded in the Jewish ethos.” Indeed, defines it. The acknowledgement, the understanding that our world as a whole, and that every one of us who lives in this world is broken and in need of repair.

Tikkun ha-olam: A repair that can only come when the world which God created submits to its Creator.

Which brings us to Jesus’ instructions in Luke 10.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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The Beginning of the End Game

 

Baltimore, MD - 6/15/13 - Local artist Anna Pasqualucci demonstrates how to paint a lighthouse and sunset scene during the screen painting workshop.  Normally Pasqualucci paints with exterior house paints, but for the short workshop students used acrylic paint. Erin Kirkland/Baltimore Sun

Luke 10:1 (NKJV) reads,

“After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.”

In light of that verse, I want to float a theory.

My theory is this: Jesus did nothing arbitrarily or randomly.

In other words, there was a particular purpose behind everything that Jesus did.

Including His sending of the 70.

So if my theory holds, that Jesus did not send out the 70 randomly or arbitrarily, we are face with two most-intriguing questions:

1. Why in the world did Jesus send out 70?

2. What does it mean to us today?

And as you will soon hear in this PODCAST, it means everything to us today.

Please remember that depending upon your web browser and connection speed, it may take up to 60 seconds for this podcast to begin to play.

God bless you richly as you listen.

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