The Mind is The Devil’s Playground
Reading from the NLT (New Living Translation), in Mark 9:38-41, under the caption, ‘Using the Name of Jesus‘ we find: 38 John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.” 39 “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. 40 Anyone who is not against us is for us. 41 If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded.
IN OTHER WORDS
In the authors humble opinion, Jesus is saying to us, “I love those who love me by sharing, teaching, and preaching in my name, the Son of God, giving My Father all the glory, as in The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.”
In other words, the Christian body as a whole, should and must be respectful of ‘ALL’ who teach in the name of Christ, even though they may not share all doctrinal particulars, in the same fashion we do, under our man-made denominational titles, such as, United, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, Free Methodist, Pentecostal, or Catholic, etc.
BEWARE OF DESTROYING ONE ANOTHER
The argument could begin, “And what about 2 Timothy 3:16, concerning ‘ALL’ scripture being taken into consideration?” Or what about the message of grace, or specifics of Revelation, or gifts of the spirit, speaking in tongues, or an almost endless list of this or that, that is not being addressed?”
Because someone like the late Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, author of, ‘The Power of Positive Thinking,’ who didn’t speak much of, if anything, about ‘hell and damnation,’ or the gift of tongues, or the intricacies of grace and the finished works of Christ, does that mean, we who think differently, should be judging him as wicked, or biblically incorrect, when Jesus says: “Anyone who is not against us is for us.”
Or, going into 2020, the man yours truly has pinned as being a Norman Vincent Peale on steroids, ‘Joel Osteen,’ who has been accused by countless fellow Christians for anything and everything, right down to being the devils own son, is this something Jesus Himself would endorse?
Galatians 5:15 states: “But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.”
So if God says we must prioritize ‘ALL’ of His word (2 Timothy 3:16), and teaches us that no man has a right to judge another (Matthew 7), should we not perhaps take reflection back to His teaching in Ezekiel 18:29 where He says of the Israelite’s, “O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I.”
THE MIND IS THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND
God is not laughing, because, just as He offered up JOB to the devil’s temptation, “All right, do with him as you please,” the LORD said to Satan. “But spare his life,” in Job 2:6, so is He today, granting the devil access to the minds of too many Christians who have limited themselves to the contentment of salvation alone, missing out on the finished works of Christ; redeemed, healed, made righteous, sanctified, successful and prosperous, and all accomplished over two thousand years ago.
You see, reader, the mind is the devil’s playground, and he doesn’t need to be concerned about the Christian standing on salvation alone, coasting through a performance based Christian life, still trying to satisfy the law, which was on its way out at the birth of Christ, and fully obsolete at the resurrection (Hebrews 8:13), leaving man shamefully vulnerable; asking for the likes of healing or forgiveness, over and over again for example, when everything we need has already been provided, thank you, Jesus.
THE REASON MAINLINE CHURCHES HAVE STOPPED GROWING
Galatians 5:4 teaches us: “For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.”
The reason mainline churches have stopped growing … lost hope … live broke, unhappy, without joy, without peace, with a skyrocketing divorce rate, is all because of performance based Christianity that holds fast to salvation, while ignoring the finished works of Christ; still feeling that works, miracles, or some form of effort on their behalf (too much or not enough prayer, or obedience, etc.), is needed in order for God to hear their prayers and to bless them … thus causing lost hope, joy, and their faith.
We are told clearly in John 6:29 – “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
We must stop asking God for healing, when healing has already been provided! We don’t need to ask for forgiveness, when forgiveness has long been provided! We must live to thank Him for His purpose, for His blessings, favor, and anointing … for His righteousness, love, joy and peace … for our new job … new business connections … and the list goes on.
In other words, it’s fair to say the ‘Gospel of Grace,’ offers to us the opportunity to live a daily life of expectancy, the breeding ground for miracles … and our living God who knows the heart and the sincerity of our faith, is a God of miracles with His book that is full of promises, including that we are healed by His wounds … and that He will never leave us nor forsake us … or that we can do all things through Christ who gives us the strength to do so.
So, let today be the first day for the rest of your life to stand firm on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, being the Gospel of Grace, the finished works of Christ, as you lay your prayers of thanks before Him, thoughts He has impressed upon your heart, and without waiver, live your life of expectancy, trusting in Him to fulfill His promises through you, according to His purpose for you, while clinging fast to His word and solid teaching that is always confirmed by His word, in Jesus name, amen.