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)
Confess your sins and renounce them instead of hiding them
Confess your sins and renounce them instead of hiding them! O believer in Christ, if you even sin then confess it to God immediately. Don’t think that you can hid even the smallest of sins from the Lord God who created the heavens and the earth.
Take the benefit of receiving mercy from a loving God rather that being stubborn towards him and thus dishonoring him. Those who are humble before God will find it wise to confess their sins to God and also renounce their sins.
It is importance to renounce your sin, even this day which is called today. Do not delay your conversion from day. Turning away from sin is not earning your salvation but rather is respecting the forgiveness from sins which comes from Jesus Christ.
Take hold of the love of Jesus Christ. Yes, the same love by which Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross at Calvary. Yes, the same love by which he sent the repentant thief to paradise.
Accept the wisdom of the Bible that it will profit you in the Afterlife and at Judgement Day, by confessing your sins to God and turning away from them. And thus you give glory to God for his mercy towards you!
Do remember the wisdom of the Bible which says :
- He who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
- 5 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)
Ananias of Damascus and Saul and the Lord Jesus Christ
Praise be the the Lord Jesus Christ who through his Prophet Ananias restored the sight of Saint Paul!
Now, Paul before he could become a saint and believer in Jesus Christ was also called Saul. And this Saul was one of the most dangerous persecutors of Christians especially those in Jerusalem and also played part in the murder of the first martyr Stephen. So much was the persecution that the Lord Jesus as mentioned in the Book of Acts of the Apostles Chapter 9 decided to intervene personally on behalf of the Church.
Saul was not just admonished by Jesus Christ but also lost his sight due to the glory of Christ that came as light from Heaven. Then when Saul decided to walk the humble path upon hearing the voice of Jesus, he was told go to Damascus.
The Lord Jesus then worked out healing in Saul through Ananias as per the below verses in the Book of Acts:
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias. And the Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Behold, I am here, Lord.” 11 Then the Lord said to him, “Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight. And look in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus. For behold, he prays.” 12 “And in a vision, he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hands on him, so that he might receive his sight.” 13 Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man; how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. 14 “Moreover, here he has the authority of the chief priests to bind all that call on Your Name.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Go. For he is a vessel chosen by Me to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and Kings, and the children of Israel.16 “For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My Name’s sake.”
17 Then Ananias went, and entered that house, and put his hands on him, and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, Who appeared to you on the way as you came, has sent me, so that you might receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”18 And immediately something like ‘scales’ fell from his eyes. And suddenly he received sight, and arose, and was baptized, 19 and received food and was strengthened. So, Saul was with the Damascus disciples for some days.
A few lessons to learn from this:
- The Lord Jesus will bless those who follow his Word even those who are the worst of sinners that repent.
- Like Saul be ready to obey the Lord Jesus to move up to your higher calling in God.
- Like Ananias keep yourself ready in all prayer, so that when the time comes then you’re able to do great healings and good works towards those whom the Lord leads you to bring salvation and deliverance in their lives.
- If you have any doubts towards doing any good deed be humble enough to ask the Lord for his good counsel instead of rejecting doing good altogether.
- The Holy Spirit will work through you if surrender to Will of God.
The One Mediator between God and Man is Jesus Christ
The One Mediator between God and Man is Jesus Christ. There is no mediator can that replace Jesus because only Jesus is the high priest of our confession.
Anyone who claims that there is a replacement to Jesus is not of God and is of the Devil. Jesus cannot be bribed nor is Jesus bothered by how you look but instead he looks that your heart. Some people try to push others as mediators with God as they know that those cannot truly look into the thoughts of your heart to then give you what you truly need. Some people will try to promote others as mediators because they are too vary of preaching holiness. No matter even if the most elect person tries to undermine the role of Jesus as the One Mediator between God and Man, do not believe them for they have chosen to depart from the Grace of God.
While Jesus being the high priest of the New Covenant, goes on to live on forever. During his earthly ministry he did not fear the Jewish religious leaders nor the Roman empire but went to preach the Gospel and heal people and raise up the dead back to life. And now in heaven he sits at the right of the Living God to make intercession for us. Blessed are those who trust Jesus as their mediator to God!
Verses for reflection:
- For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5)
- Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)
- But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. (Hebrews 8:6)
- But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
- “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:10)
Do you have room for Jesus Christ?
Many score years ago in Bethlehem town,
Mary and Joseph went all around.
For the Son of God was to be born,
The Redeemer of the world as God sworn.
They went to seek room for his birth,
So the Savior be manifest on earth,
But no room in any inn they could find,
Due to the Roman census decree assigned.
So, in a humble stable, they stayed,
And there, the darkness began to fade.
For Jesus, the son of God, was born,
Destined to overcome every sinful horn.
Christ Jesus, fully God and fully man,
Went to fulfill God’s holy plan.
Those who trust in him will be saved,
If they repent from each path depraved.
So, for Jesus in faith, open up your heart,
Make room for Christ and never go apart.
Be humble living with Christ each day,
Let him be in your heart each time you pray.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)