Category Archives: Discernment
About Self Deception
Some people blame the devil. Some people blame their family. Some people blame their friends. Some people blame their leaders. But at the end of the rope each person has a choice to either accept the deception into sin or reject it. While people love to put the blame about the way, they live their lives all wrong but nothing keeps them more far from living the right way than self deception.
For a while I’d like to turn your attention to the Dictionary definition of Self Deception from Merriam-Webster.com
Self-deception : the act or an instance of deceiving oneself or the state of being deceived by oneself especially concerning one’s true nature, feelings, etc.
There are those who believe so much in themselves that they even defy the truth of the Gospel and become a law unto themselves. They may hear preaching or even read the Bible for themselves but they have willfully kept themselves in deception about their sinful acts or habits because they continue to avoid confessing their sins to the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth; 7 but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:5-10)
Do not deceive yourself by any means. Do not think that you will be right in saying in your heart that you can live in sin but still claim to walk with the Lord God. Jesus Christ by his grace has not given anyone the permission to sin.
Do not add sin to sin, presuming that God is going to be merciful for ever. For as great is his mercy, so as great is God’s power to judge. Don’t presume by sending Jesus Christ on earth that God has somehow decided to never judge the people who insult him. Do not mock the Holy Name of God in your thoughts and actions, lest your behavior grieve the Holy Spirit and then the Lord God speaks against you in judgement both in this life and the afterlife.
Do not presume Jesus Christ is your advocate so that you continue to live in ways that are rebellious to the Lord God and expect to be saved at the end. Take away all such false beliefs and presumptions that lead to damnation. Crucify your flesh and get rid of all self deception, so that your life is holy and pleasing to the Lord God!
Verses for reflection:
Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but a faithful man who can find? Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
whether what he does is pure and right. (Proverbs 20:6,11)
Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of guiltless poor; you did not find them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things you say, ‘I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.’ Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’ (Jeremiah 2:34-35)
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. (Matthew 3:8-9)
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-20)
When Thomas stopped doubting – Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe
Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20:24-29)
You might be familiar with the idiom ‘doubting Thomas’. However though its taken from the instance where Saint Thomas the Apostle doubted in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we must take note that he actually stopped doubting, when he saw Jesus again.
Jesus Christ the Risen Lord then went to say to Thomas “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
O how many times do people doubt in God and where does it lead them? To the land of disbelief at times and sometimes sadly to the land of damnation! Do not doubt in God but believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved!
I once read a quote which mentioned ‘Many Christian’s are functional atheists. They believe the stories of the Bible, but if anything like those stories happens today, they’ll be the first ones to call it false.’ This should be a warning to all who claim to be Christian but then go on to deny both the existence of God and also deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ. O, how disappointed they will be. (I’ve covered this in a prior article ; Can a person not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and still be saved? (click here to view) so do take time to refresh your understanding on this)
Are you paying attention to the truth by Jesus?
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5)
Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered. (Proverbs 28:26)
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. (Psalm 37:3)
O Christians do not celebrate Halloween
Thus says the LORD:“Do not learn the way of the Gentiles; Do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven,For the Gentiles are dismayed at them. (Jeremiah 10:2)
O Christians do not celebrate Halloween. Because Halloween is a celebration of witchcraft and demons which is inconsistent with the Gospel and the Holy Bible. It doesn’t matter how much secular it seems you should just concerned yourself about how sinful is this celebration and how much you should distance yourself from this occult event. Take a moment to consider that when you focus on celebrating Halloween you are just doing a modernized version of non Christian or Pagan traditions.
Halloween is a holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2022 will occur on Monday, October 31. The tradition originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts.This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. You might hear of Halloween therefor a Samhain or even as Feralia or Pomona (both ancient Roman festivals).
There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. (Deuteronomy 18:10-13)
O Christians do not try to be friends with the Lord while trying to follow demons in any way. Just focus on doing what pleases the Lord God and it’ll go well with you. Despite the good counsels of the Holy Scriptures if someone who still wants to kowtow to demons its their own fault, do not blame God for this!
“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:21)
“But test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.” (Ephesians 5:11)
Just because someone thinks they can speak in favor of following Pagan traditions while claiming to love the Gospel that doesn’t make their claims is valid.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)
Just because a so called Christian leader says that Halloween or Samhain or Feralia or Pomona can be followed without being in sin, doesn’t mean what that one says is truly right. Refrain from this sinful practice and be true to Jesus Christ!
Lessons from the parable of the dishonest steward
Let’s read about the parable of the dishonest steward which was mentioned by Jesus in Luke 16:1-13:
1 [Jesus] also said to his disciples, ‘There was a rich man and he had a steward who was denounced to him for being wasteful with his property.
2 He called for the man and said, “What is this I hear about you? Draw me up an account of your stewardship because you are not to be my steward any longer.”
3 Then the steward said to himself, “Now that my master is taking the stewardship from me, what am I to do? Dig? I am not strong enough. Go begging? I should be too ashamed.
4 Ah, I know what I will do to make sure that when I am dismissed from office there will be some to welcome me into their homes.”
5 ‘Then he called his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, “How much do you owe my master?”
6 “One hundred measures of oil,” he said. The steward said, “Here, take your bond; sit down and quickly write fifty.”
7 To another he said, “And you, sir, how much do you owe?” “One hundred measures of wheat,” he said. The steward said, “Here, take your bond and write eighty.”
8 ‘The master praised the dishonest steward for his astuteness. For the children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light.’
9 ‘And so I tell you this: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into eternal dwellings.
10 Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; anyone who is dishonest in little things is dishonest in great.
11 If then you are not trustworthy with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches?
12 And if you are not trustworthy with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?
13 ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money.’
Jesus was well aware of the sinful behaviors of the people, especially towards the use of money. He knew that some sinners are sly enough to avoid a nasty outcome due to being caught in their sins. However he wanted to highlight that even if a sinner seemingly escapes punishment while on earth, there’s no such escape in the afterlife. No wonder Jesus used this parable to rebuke the love of money which leads to sin and which in turn leads to punishment in hell forever. This is also a calling by Jesus to give up all greed towards money and give up all dishonesty even those that might seem small sins.
Here are a few lessons we can learn from this parable:
- You are accountable for whatever has been entrusted to you, so do not misuse things for you will need to given account for it. For example, this can be money, resources, privileges etc.
- Even while on earth its possible for sinners to be asked by the earthly authorities to give an account for their sins and face the due consequences.
- The eternal consequences of your sin will take you to hell unless you repent in the name of Jesus.
- The children of this world are more astute in dealing with their own kind than are the children of light. Therefore a child of light must learn to interact in a wise and holy way with another child of light instead of avoiding each other for the sake of it.
- Even if sinners are able to get favorable outcomes in their dealings with fellow sinners, they will only end up increasing their punishment and fellow friends to accompany them in hell.
- Money that is gotten by dishonest means will eventually fail you.
- Anyone who is trustworthy in little things is trustworthy in great; anyone who is dishonest in little things is dishonest in great.
- If then you are not trustworthy with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches?
- And if you are not trustworthy with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?
- No servant can be the slave of two masters: he will either hate the first and love the second, or be attached to the first and despise the second. You cannot be the slave both of God and of money
Just a thought – God can turn your burdens into blessings
God can turn your burdens into blessings. This is possible for those who believe in Him more than anything else.
And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Romans 13:11-14)
Don’t make sleep your lifestyle when you’re so close to fulfillment of your salvation. Never be like the world that partakes of evil deeds and the punishment that comes with it. You are called to live in the light. This is no ordinary light but the light of the glory of the Living God who created all things.
Don’t imitate the fallen nor the lost because you are in the day and not in the night. The night went away when you believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. Make good use of the day by doing what please the Lord God and resist all the vile impulses of the flesh.
Wear the armor of light because you’ll need it to continue living as a friend of God. We live in a fallen world but are not of the world nor its vanities. Onward with courage, walk with Jesus Christ in this life and the next!
Make the joy of the Lord your strength
The world in which we live is a fallen word and is on a collision course with the consequences of its wrong actions. That’s why don’t put your trust in the world to make you strong but rather on something that is strong, pure and never changes.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
People may think by getting a masters degree that they can become wise but in truth even they can be tricked by fraudsters or be intimidated by those in power over trivial things. That’s why don’t depend on your understanding of things, but rather trust in the Lord God with all your heart. So when your heart is in the Lord you don’t need to dwell in fear.
If are willing to be taught by God you are doing a favour to yourself. One of the wisest things things you can ever do is to be believe in the Word of God. Hence in all your ways acknowledge the Lord God and he will make straight your paths.
And in matters of the heart, mind and soul make the joy of the Lord your strength. Don’t depend on the minions of false opinions that your come across social media for your emotional health but instead have unwavering trust in the Lord.
And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
No matter how bad the challenges or troubles you face don’t get stuck so much into grief, that you lose track of yourself and fade away. The best way to counter grief is to make the joy of the Lord your strength. You may find this easy to follow or hard but what matters is that you focus enough on the Lord regardless of the circumstances and get your strength from God.
One practical suggestion about making the joy of the Lord your strength is read his Word, pray to God and praise God!
Verses for reflection:
The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him—my father’s God, and I will exalt him. (Exodus 15:2)
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (Isaiah 12:2)
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.(Psalm 46:1-3)
Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chronicles 16:11)
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10)
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power (Ephesians 6:10)
Do not pray vainly nor with many words
O believer in Jesus Christ give heed to what the Lord spoke about praying in the following Scripture verses:
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:7-8)
In certain translations the word for heaping up empty phrases is babbling. Now what does babble mean?
Babble : to talk or say something in a quick, confused, excited, or silly way (as per dictionary.cambridge.org )
God our Father who is the Father of the Lord Jesus cannot be tricked or manipulated into hearing prayers because of any deception or foolish practices. And one such practice is babbling.
Avoid vain words because the Lord God is wise and He knows what is a pretense of praying and what is actually praying by the heart and mind. So keep away from such shenanigans unlike those of the world who use such weird tricks.
The Living God who is out Father is all knowing, so he knows what you need before you ask him. So in full respect pray to get your petitions heard and ask with good intentions only so that it goes well with you.
You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:2-3)