Faced with evil?

Sin is terrible. I have seen it destroy lives. I have seen sin when it was only a small thought and then grow into full death. Sin is a terrible thing. It will follow you around attaching itself to your back…and you won’t even know it.

Temptation is where it begins. A little thought to satisfy a desire. This is what its like:

“Oh, its only a thought. Anyway, who cares if I were to actually do it. Its really only something that I want. My sin won’t hurt anyone else. Anyway, nobody else will know about it. This is MY secret. I should be able to do what I want when I want. I’m not committing a crime. I just have this one need. I just want to take care of this need. I will do it and it will be done, and I won’t have to do it anymore. Okay. Its time. I’m overwhelmed by this temptation. It won’t hurt anybody. Ive been told that its not good for me, but what do they know. It will only be this once. Okay. Let’s do this. I’m doing this. Now its done. I feel horrible. What was I thinking. Oh wait. Nobody knows, so I shouldn’t feel guilty. Where is this guilt coming from? Its all in my head. Who dares to make me feel this way? I have not done wrong to anybody. I’m going to be confident about myself and be purposeful that there is nothing wrong with what I did. Its that person’s voice in my head telling me I’m wrong. Its their fault. I haven’t done anything wrong. I will just go about my business. Nothung bad here.”

“Oh, wait a minute. I have that desire again. I thought it would only be once. Now its happening again. I thought I could stop it.”

“Now, it’s happened too many times. I think I need to stop, but how? This has been going on too long. I want to stop but I don’t know how. Why did I ever start this? I want it to stop.”

“It’s driving me crazy. Other things in my life are going wrong because of it. It won’t stop. Its taking over my life. I’m starting to lose everything. I’m a wreck, and I have a bad attitude toward others cause I am stuck. I am in a bondage that I dont understand. How is this thing controlling me? It won’t stop.”

“I’m depressed, because I can’t talk to anyone about it. I feel shame and guilt. I want it to stop. Why do I keep wanting to do something that makes me feel terrible afterwards. What do I have to do to be free of this?”

Guys, this is sin. It shows up as a temptation and gives birth to death. It reminds me of a python. A python will get you when you dont see it, and then it will wrap itself around you and squeeze until you can’t breathe anymore. Then, once you are dead, it will begin to devour you.

This is sin. It is wicked, and it comes from the evil one called Satan. The only way to get free from the grips of this death is through Jesus. When you have Jesus, you have the power to command Satan to leave you.

If you are having nightmares, for example, you can command that devil to leave you, in Jesus name. It may take a while, but it is the only way to overcome those nightmares. I use to have many nightmares, and these were not childlike; these nightmares were terrifying. I began to command the devil to leave me alone and get out of my house. They would leave me, but then they would come back another night.

I had to stand firm. I continued to do this each and every time that I was awaken from a nightmare, and now…….NOW I AM NIGHTMARE FREE! Jesus gives us the power to overcome. Look to Jesus and give him your life, put all of your sin behind you and live a life worthy of Christ. If you do this, YOU WILL OVERCOME!

How to know Jesus

Make things right with the Lord, and then you will be able to stand against evil in victory.

Go forth and be blessed my friend.

Note: Featured image is a photo of John 20:26-31 (NIV).

A Woman of Reckless Devotion – Part 2

Every day, I am reminded by the reality that I would not be here in this place and on this earth had I not had an encounter with Jesus.  He is so important to me, because he met me when I was in a very dark place in my life.  It is one of the many stories I share in my book When The One You Love Doesn’t Love You Anymore.  It is my prayer that I live a life worthy of the price Jesus paid for me.  While I do my best to remember my past so that I can always be thankful for what God has done in my life, it is even more important to remember Jesus in this season—the season leading up to Resurrection Day.

Today, I want to fast forward to the day of Jesus’ resurrection.  Jesus had endured a crucifixion, but three days later he arose from the grave.  The tomb was now empty as discovered by Mary Magdalene (John 20:1NIV), the “other Mary” (Matthew 28:1 NIV) — presumed as being the mother of James and Joseph (Mark 15:40 NIV), and Salome (Mark 16:2 NIV).  While I believe that it is so important to recognize Jesus and the whole meaning of celebrating Resurrection Day, I also believe that it is important to ponder the events and who was there.  Just as I have been writing about Mary Magdalene in earlier posts —The Heart of a Woman, and Reckless Devotion — I believe that there is more to ponder about her. 

The women I mentioned above were the first to find the empty tomb.  Being shocked by what they observed, they ran to tell the disciples that the tomb of Jesus was empty.  Then Peter and another disciple, with the two women following, ran to the tomb only to discover that what they were saying was true.  Not sure what to think about what happened, they all left the tomb — everyone but Mary Magdalene.  When we read John 20:11-18 NIV, we discover what happens next: 

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”  “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”  Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary.”  She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).  Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

I find it very interesting that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene.  There have been speculations, but I believe that Jesus’ motive was entirely different.  If you refer to the last two posts, The Heart of a Woman, and Reckless Devotion, you will read about how Lazarus and Mary Magdalene were good friends with Jesus; it is revealed through Jesus’ response in that narrative.  Also, it was Mary Magdalene that poured expensive perfume —meant for her wedding day —on Jesus’ head.  Here is the account:

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.” Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial. Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

—Matthew 26:10-13 NIV

And here I am, telling her story!  I believe that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene as a result of the enduring devotion she had shown him when she poured her perfume on him.  She was scorned for what she did by the disciples who were indignant, or to put it into modern terms, they were outraged. (Mk 14:4 NIV)  Even though Jesus rebuked the disciples for what they said, they still did not understand the resurrection that would come, but somehow, in some way, Mary Magdalene caught a glimpse of it even before it happened.  Now, if I needed to convey a message, I would first tell this message to the person who believed in me the most.  It is my synopsis that Mary Magdalene had her heart in the right place and was passionate about Jesus, who he was, and what was to become of him.  It was as if Mary Magdalene had received a revelation that helped her to understand the passion of Jesus Christ.  I truly believe that she knew God, and people who know God understand him and his ways, maybe not completely, but enough to display such extravagance toward him as she did.  That perfume was worth a year’s wage! (Mk 14:5 NIV) 

So, in this week leading up to Resurrection Day, let us remember who Jesus is: the Son of God filled with compassion who laid down his life for mankind.  Let us also remember how Jesus might have felt about the heart of a woman that led her into reckless devotion.  Let us remember the love demonstrated through the passion of Christ.

Go forth and be blessed, my friends, in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who bore the sins of many.

Note: If you haven’t yet, go back to read the rest of the Easter series and share the posts with friends.  Jesus is so special, and he truly came to die for the sins of the entire world.

Go forth and be blessed, my friend.

How To Know Jesus

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