Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 06-12-24

The human heart will always be occupied and governed by one of two spirits or masters: Christ or Satan. There are no empty hearts and no neutrality; to be neutral is to be an enemy of Christ. We must choose whom we will serve, because there is an ongoing spiritual war between the citizens serving the unrighteous kingdom of the world and the citizens serving the righteous kingdom of God.

We see the truth of this in our passage today from Luke. Obviously, Jesus brings great power to heal and restore—a power that comes from God and reveals his kingdom—but the people have mixed reactions when Jesus takes authority over a demon and sets a mute man free to begin a new life. The people have witnessed a miracle and many presented with a positive response proclaiming God did it. Those with negative responses to Jesus could not deny his power, but they just did not want to admit the power was God’s because they did not like Jesus or want to believe he was from God. So, they gave Satan credit for the miracle.

If hearts are not open and operating by the truth of God’s Word; unfortunately, they are open to Satan’s occupation and deception. Remember, no neutrality. So, Jesus gave the example of a dethroned evil spirit that was forced to leave a person by the exorcism of someone greater—Christ’s cleansing the human temple. Unless that person starts obeying and practicing the Word of God, they are open to even worse demonic rule. Pause and consider this situation. Is it essential for us to internalize and live the Word of God?

Sin is sin and scripture is clear about what is detestable to God; so every disciple of Christ must learn to live according to the Word of God. Every spiritual leader, throughout time, will one day give an account and answer to God for how he or she loved and lived in accordance to the Word of God; we will not be answering to other religious leaders. God’s true anointed leaders serve in humility and possess the power of grace and mercy as evident in their very lives—they seek, by faith, to reflect the Anointed One.

Luke 11:14-28
NLTJesus and the Prince of Demons
14 One day Jesus cast out a demon from a man who couldn’t speak, and when the demon was gone, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed, 15 but some of them said, “No wonder he can cast out demons. He gets his power from Satan,[Beelzebub] the prince of demons.” 16 Others, trying to test Jesus, demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

17 He knew their thoughts, so he said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart. 18 You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided and fighting against himself, how can his kingdom survive? 19 And if I am empowered by Satan, what about your own exorcists? They cast out demons, too, so they will condemn you for what you have said. 20 But if I am casting out demons by the power of God,[by the finger of God] then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you. 21 For when a strong man is fully armed and guards his palace, his possessions are safe— 22 until someone even stronger attacks and overpowers him, strips him of his weapons, and carries off his belongings.

23 “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.

24 “When an evil[unclean] spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But when it finds none, it says, ‘I will return to the person I came from.’ 25 So it returns and finds that its former home is all swept and in order. 26 Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before.”

27 As he was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, “God bless your mother—the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!”

28 Jesus replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

Prayer: Lord, this is such a relevant lesson for us, today. As we look at the world, we see the division of kingdoms and we know our greatest weapon is your Word and our practice of the Truth. Help us to be righteous examples of the gospel which brings the power of salvation to the open hearts of others. We draw near to you, today, and in doing so we take a stand against the work of Satan and his demonic army. In Jesus’ name Amen.

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