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Showing posts from September, 2009

BREAK AND ENTER AT THE TYRANT'S HOUSE

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Luke 11:21 "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.23" He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.
So here it is – the Messiah has come and broken into the tyrant’s house. Satan is not safe and has lost his armor. All the ways that the Devil has conquered the earth is being undone. Jesus is clearly demonstrating that the power of God is greater than the power of the Devil.
Those who oppose Jesus are against God. If anyone does not join in Jesus’ gathering work, they are actually doing the opposite. While Jesus gathers good things into his Father’s Kingdom, his opponents scatter and divide. They are the terrorists against God’s House.
Think back to the man who had been mute. The demon had come into his life and silenced him. He had no voice. He was disconnected …

NON-SENSICAL THOUGHTS OF THE 'WORST CASE SCENARIO' CROWD

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Luke 11:17Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. 18If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub.19Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 20But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
Jesus responds primarily to the ‘worst case scenario’ crowd. They accused him of driving out demons by Satan’s power.
Essentially, Jesus tells them their opinion makes no sense. Why would the Devil go against himself? How could Satan be a lord over a kingdom if he went around undoing his work?
On the same line of defense, Jesus asks them to explain where other exorcists got their power. The people attacking Jesus were very aware that others were also casting out devils, a sure sign that God w…

THE BUZZ ABOUT BEELZEBUB

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Luke 11:14Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.15But some of them said, "By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons." 16Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.
The loyal opposition was in the crowd the day that Jesus set a man free from the slavery of muteness. The man without words began to speak. This event articulated the mounting tension between the powers of the current world encountering the coming powers of a new world.
The opponents of Jesus made the accusation that Jesus received his power from Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Who was Beelzebub? They were clearly thinking of Satan.
The name Beelzebub in its English form comes from the Latin; it appears to refer to the Philistine god Ekron (2 Kings 1:2-3, 6, 16). In all probability the name means "Lord of the flies". The name was a derisive characterization of Satan.[i]
There were others in t…

OUR COMING FREEDOM

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On June 16th, 1858 more than one thousand Republican delegates elected Abraham Lincoln as their candidate for the United States Senate. Following his election he gave a speech which became known as the ‘house divided speech’.
He spoke to the issue of slavery still being defended by politicians. Here are a few introductory words from that infamous speech.
We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only - not ceased, but has constantly augmented. In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all…

GOD SAID SHUT UP

Jesus did not have to say much to set things right. He looked at the man whose life was being controlled and destroyed by demons.
"Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!"
Be quiet because the announcement of Jesus’ Lordship would be revealed by God’s Holy Spirit and not some rebellious fallen angel. This was not the time for the world to know the full magnitude of who Jesus was.
Be quiet because demons will not shut up. They keep their victims harassed and helpless against the lies they speak.
Be quiet so the troubled man can hear the peaceful voice of God. Quietness and peace are not desirable qualities for the hordes of hell.
Jesus spoke sternly and evicted the imp. Being true to its rebellious and proud nature, the impudent demon made a dramatic exit. It shrieked and shook the man violently knocking him to the ground.
So what is the main thing we need to learn from this story? It is the same lesson that the worshippers in the synagogue learned.
Jes…

WHAT THE DEVIL IS GOING ON?

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Luke 4:33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 "Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"35 "Be quiet!" Jesus said sternly. "Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.36 All the people were amazed and said to each other, "What is this teaching? With authority and power he gives orders to evil spirits and they come out!" 37 And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.
I’m sure that someone there looked at their neighbour and said, “What the devil is going on?”
In this miracle there is a man with a demon spirit who is set free.In the gospel of Luke, demons are mentioned twenty-three times while Jesus ministered in Galilee.That is a fairly regular occurrence in the short duration of Jesus’ ministry.
When the demon controlling…

HIDDEN LISTENERS

In Jesus’ time, there were many teachers of the Law. In the synagogues and other places of teaching, they talked long and hard about their understanding of God’s Word and its applications. But like your average modern parishioner on Monday morning, they quickly forgot the sermon they had just heard.
Jesus was different. He used the same text book but his words penetrated and were memorable. People learned something new. What was the difference? People detected some quality that was missing in many of their teachers. They said he spoke with ‘authority’.
Luke 4:31Then he went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people. 32They were amazed at his teaching, because his message had authority.33In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an evil spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34"Ha! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"35"Be quiet…

THE FLASHING RED LIGHTS OF AUTHORITY

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I’m not sure how I let it happen, but I ended up at traffic court a few years ago.I ended up paying a lawyer $500 to appear on my behalf, going in to work his magic.
It started when I forgot to renew the sticker on the license plate of my 1991 White Lumina van.Somehow I had misplaced the notice that came in the mail and when my birthday passed I missed the deadline to renew my plates.I was responsible for doing it and I completely blanked out.
A few months later, a police officer pulled me over on Drouillard Road and it was then that I discovered my mistake.I received a ticket with a summons.Needless to say, I immediately went to the license bureau and got my stickers.
I am a man under authority and know that the law says I should have a sticker on my plate, a valid driver’s license, ownership and insurance.All of these things I do.
I am a man under authority and I know that the officer pulling me over has the right to do so and the authority to issue tickets and many other things for tha…

SEEKING APPROVAL

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Anthony de Mello was a Jesuit priest and psychotherapist who was widely known for his books on spirituality.
In his book 'The Way To Love' he wrote this about seeking approval:
Look at your life and see how you have filled its emptiness with people. As a result, they have a stranglehold on you. See how they control your behavior by their approval and disapproval. They hold the power to ease your loneliness with their company, to send your spirits soaring with their praise, to bring you down to the depths with their criticism and rejection. Take a look at yourself spending almost every waking moment of your day placating and pleasing people, whether they are living or dead.
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Anthony DeMello, The Way To Love (New York: Doubleday, 1991), p.64


SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO?

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Luke 4:28All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. 30But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

If we are to follow Jesus, we need to know which hill we are called to die on. Early on, he could have made the mistake of believing that the world ended at the edge of his Nazareth. He could have died prematurely trying to prove something in his hometown.
Matthew and Mark add that he could not do many miracles in his home region because of their lack of faith. There were a few sick people that he laid hands and they were healed, but his power was withheld for people that could receive the Kingdom of God. Jews and non-Jews experienced God’s power and help as they reached out to Jesus.
There are times when we need to leave town and times when we need to stay. There are times when you need to distance yours…

PROPHET WITHOUT HONOUR

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Whether it’s your old school, the old neighborhood, the family you were raised in or excess baggage given to you by your culture-- we need to grow up and leave town for awhile.
Jesus announced his identity as Messiah at the hometown synagogue. His family was there. His cousins, neighbors and co-workers were there.
He read the first sentences from Isaiah 61 and announced that this prophecy was being fulfilled in their town right now… by him.
Luke 4:22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. "Isn't this Joseph's son?" they asked.23Jesus said to them, "Surely you will quote this proverb to me: 'Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.' "24"I tell you the truth," he continued, "no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years …