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)
Good Friday – Blessed be the name of Jesus
On Good Friday we bless the name of Jesus because he died on the cross for the sins of the world. Jesus fulfilled the will of God for all mankind by taking upon himself the sins of the world. He became man and fulfilled the Law since no man nor woman could do it all by themselves. Jesus Christ was obedient unto death, his death upon the cross. This was to save those who believe in the Him from theirs sins as per the plan of God.
Jesus is the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world. Happy are those who receive him into their hearts and renounce the ways of the world.
It’s because of the goodness of the Christ Jesus that we even call Good Friday as good. It’s the goodness and mercy of God that He sent his only begotten Son Jesus Christ to earth to die for the sins of the world, that whosoever believes in Jesus Christ will not perish but have everlasting life.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5-11)
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him (Hebrews 5:7-9)
The true goodness of Good Friday is Jesus Christ himself. Bless the name of Jesus Christ and never take His Holy Name in vain. Reflect on God’s great love for you, when He sent Jesus for all us all, so that it goes well with your soul in this life and also in the life everlasting with Jesus Christ.
Christ be with you!
Holy Thursday – Jesus washes the feet of his disciples
Just before the time had arrived for Jesus Christ the Son of God to be betrayed by the vile Judas Iscariot, Jesus wanted to let his disciples know of what he wanted them to be doing both in words and action. This was a very important lesson in humility to the disciples and so should be to us especially around Holy Thursday.
Jesus Christ had so humbled Himself as to do the work of a servant for the disciples by washing their feet, to set an example of how they should love and serve each other. And this is relevant to us even today. Many a times in many Christian circles, there is a huge emphasis on helping people of other religions, especially the poor and needy. O how good to serve the poor. O how good to feed the hungry because you love the Lord your God. But does this charity also extend to our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ? Especially when Jesus told us to wash each others feet!
While its not wrong to help people of other religions, to cope up with their poverty and illness ,its not right to utterly neglect the people of our Christian community. I was horrified to learn once of a preacher who gave free food grains to the needy of other religions. But when a poor Christian woman asked this same preacher for some food, he mocked her, saying that since she is a Christian, she should be strong enough to fend for herself and sent her away empty handed. I found it hard to believe that the Gospel he was preaching and the Gospel he was putting into action was the same Gospel!
If you know of any Christian who is in need but is genuinely not able to find work, don’t presumptuously class them as lazy. I know there are people who misinterpret 2 Thessalonians 3:10, which says: Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” And then will not help any jobless Christian with food nor financial help at all.
Now note that the key word in the above verse is the word “unwilling.” Here, we have Christians who are willing but not able to get jobs. So if those who claim to be part body of Christ start but judging our fellow Christians of being incompetent just because they are out of jobs, then we are not giving glory to God but in fact are doing disservice to the Holy Name of God.
Sometimes it’s not food but prayers which are needed. Pray for those in prison or being persecuted for loving the Lord Jesus. A simple prayer can make a difference when said with a humble heart.
Do not say in your heart, so and so person is a Christian, and it’s his or her wisdom to figure it all out. No, that would be a foolish way of thinking, for Jesus wants us to wash each other’s feet.
So pray for those Christians who are in need of healing. Pray for those Christians who are suffering. If some poor Christian is out of job then try to find a job for that brother or sister in Christ. Pray for those Christians whose relatives and friends have died.
Don’t just limit yourself to giving food, jobs and saying prayers for fellow Christians. Kind words and kind actions towards our fellow brother and sisters will go a long way in giving glory to God when done out of love for Jesus Christ.
Verses for reflection:
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (John 13:1-15)
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” (Matthew 25:34-40)
Prayer for 2023
O Lord Jesus Christ, I come before you asking for your forgiveness for all the sins I’ve committed, and I fully forgive all those who have sinned against me. I repent of all my wrongdoings and choose to do what is right in eye’s of the Lord.
As we come into the year 2023, we pray that we are renewed in the faith. We pray that we crucify the flesh and all its evil desires. We pray that we honor God even more in 2023.
We pray for the peace of Jerusalem. We pray that my nation is in mutual goodwill towards Israel in all ways. We repent and reject all kinds of wickedness against Israel as it’s the apple of God’s eye.
We pray that we come out of all deceptions and traps of the enemy by listening to the word of God. We pray for God’s wisdom to be our light against the darkness and vile shadow’s of this world.
We pray for each of our nation’s, that they depart from what is evil and sinful and instead accept what is right in your eyes. We pray against those who use the laws of the land to mock the laws of the Living God, that their plans against the people of God come to nought.
We pray for each one who call upon the name of the Jesus as they pray to God our Father, that they are continuously led by the Holy Spirit. We pray that all of us be one body in Spirit and in truth without any compromise against the Word of God.
We pray for the health of body, mind, soul and spirit for each one of us and our friends and family. We pray for Divine protection against all sickness and disease. We pray that we do not get tricked nor outwitted by the Enemy as we claim our worthiness by the blood of the Lamb of God.
We pray for those who will come to know the Gospel, that they are strengthened in their faith and are welcome in the Christian communities wherever they are are. We pray that we are able to exhort our new brothers and sisters in Christ to be aglow in the Holy Spirit each and every moment.
We pray that we are able to preach the Word of God even more boldly in this fallen world. We pray that as we preach the Gospel, people are receiving their deliverance from sickness. We pray that evil spirits are banished as we call upon the name of Jesus in the situations where people are harassed by them.
We pray that as we walk through the whole of the year 2023, we always walk with you O Lord our God and that no fear is able to accompany us. We choose to glorify you this year so that your name O Living God is praised amongst the people of the Earth.
We ask all of this in the Holy Name of Jesus Christ. Amen!
Are you growing in your love for Jesus?
Are you growing in your love for Jesus?
It may sound as a simple question and yet this is a significant question to each who believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus himself said “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love” (John 15:9-10)
One of the key ways you can realize if you are love Jesus and are growing in your love for Jesus is how to love others, especially those of who also believe in Jesus Christ.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:8)
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:2-3)
Another way to realize that you are still loving Jesus is how to treat those are not in Christ.
But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. (Luke 6:27-31)
Now its possible to have an external display of loving Jesus and even keep doing actual good work towards people especially the poor and need yet have no faith in Jesus Christ at all. I’ve encountered people who are super polite and won’t hesitate to give their offerings to the Lord, but if asked if the believe if Jesus Christ is real they are unable to give a coherent answer! Such lack of faith in the existence of Jesus Christ also automatically leads to lack of love for Jesus. Beware of this for the sake of your own soul, lest you depart from the faith!
Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! (2 Corinthians 13:5)
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Christ be with you!
Respond to God’s calling!
Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for thy servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
And the Lord came and stood forth, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for thy servant hears.” Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel, at which the two ears of every one that hears it will tingle. (1 Samuel 3:7-11)
The great man of God, the prophet Samuel had his calling from God. O how many times God called him? O what if Samuel would have not taken help of Eli to understand God’s calling? O if Samuel would have never responded to God’s calling? Then God’s will for Israel by the prophet Samuel would have been affected. What a shame to lose God’s calling.
Be humble to enough to ask help of those serving the Lord God, to understand God’s will for you. Never feel to small to still yourself and keep away from the chaos of the world, to hear God’s voice. And when you finally come to know God’s for yourself, do not even hesitate to do it, fair and square. All for the glory of God!
Bible verses about waiting patiently for the Lord
Surely none who wait for You will be put to shame; but those who are faithless without cause will be disgraced. (Psalm 25:3)
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14)
Wait for the LORD and keep His way, and He will raise you up to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. (Psalm 37:34)
I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)
Rest in God alone, O my soul, for my hope comes from Him. (Psalm 62:5)
I wait for the LORD; my soul does wait, and in His word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5)
Do not say, “I will avenge this evil!” Wait on the LORD, and He will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22)
And in that day it will be said, “Surely this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He has saved us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited. Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)
For the vision awaits an appointed time; it testifies of the end, and will not lie. Though it lingers, wait for it, since it will surely come and not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3)
Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders (Parable by Jesus)
Jesus gave us the parable of Wise and Foolish Builders in Matthew 7:24-27 in which he said the following:
“Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell;and great was the fall of it.”
Jesus in the above parable wants us to understand the importance of both hearing his words and also acting on them. There are people who only hear the words of Jesus but do not act on it. Then we have people who both hear and act on the Word of God. Now, both of these types of people will keep building their life and achievements.
And they will face challenges and tough times as well. Only those who have acted on the words of the Lord Jesus will prevail and those who do not act, will suffer great losses. The most dangerous of such losses is when a person loses his or her soul to the Evil One at the time of death because of not abiding by the Word of God in their thoughts, words and actions.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)