Settled on GodBro. David Chancellor
12/28/2003 6:00 PM
Life moves pretty fast. When we get to the end, we want to be able to say that weve fought a good fight. For this to be true, we need to be settled to stay with God.
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Our faith needs to be settled on God. We need something more than an intellectual consent that there is a God. We need to be convinced that God can perform on his promises. Abraham was so convinced that he obeyed God. Faith in God will produce some things in our lives. Its hard to make sense of a person believing in God and not trying to please him. The devil believes there is a God. They believe and tremble. Theyre very much aware of the power of God, and their powerlessness. A lot of humanity doesnt even believe this much. If humanity believed, they could be changed.
And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.
These two werent the type to beg for mercy. They were exceeding fierce. People would go another route rather than have to deal with them. When Jesus came by, these were pleading for mercy. The devil is powerless before Christ. The devils in these men trembled in the presence of Christ. The devils are convinced. Oftentimes humanity isnt convinced. The devil cant be changed, but humanity can. Do we see the greatness and power of God? Are we convinced that he will do what he says? Do we believe that he knows what he is talking about? God means what he said. There is a day of judgment coming. If we put our faith in the blood of Jesus, we can hear, well done. Jesus came so that we could stand in his presence. Are we convinced that Jesus came to relieve us from bondage? The devil knows better than what he lets on. We need to be stirred when we come into the presence of God. Its a serious thing to stand before God. We dont have to come into his presence fearfully. We can go before him with confidence through Jesus. God offers mercy to the sinner.
Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, A Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of the house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
The devil knows that there is a God. He knows who has the authority of God to speak, and who doesnt. These men were trying to accomplish something in the name of Jesus, although they werent convinced. They spoke in the name of Pauls Jesus, rather than my Jesus. Faith in Jesus is what allows us to call on his name and to see his power work. Jesus needs to be your personal friend before you try to share him with others. It needs to be a personal conviction, that Jesus died for you. These werent able to withstand the evil spirit. Dont put your confidence in yourself; youll fail. When you resist the devil by faith, thats when hell flee. When we become convinced of Gods care for us, it is God in us that causes the devil to flee. The devil trembles at the presence of God. Theres nothing that restrains God. God can change things to be however he wants them to be. Paul spoke of the goodness and the severity of God. Its a serious thing. Be convinced of who he is and the love he has for you. Put your faith in Jesus. Come before him with awe and reverence. God makes life worth the living. He brings hope. The people of Ephesus realized that the name of Jesus made a difference and they began to make things right. People, today, need to see the need of God to direct their lives. Its the same God that we have to deal with today. Have you become convinced such that it changes how you live? Does it change how you act? Does it change what you do? When faith takes hold in the heart, it also takes hold in the life and changes everything. God can become your friend, too. When hes your friend, you do those things that please him.