Highlighted New Testament Bible

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Monday, January 14, 2013

St Matthew, Chapter 16, verse:23, The Future of the Church: Evil is rebuked.

Our paragraph topic is:  (Passion and resurrection foretold) Part 3.  

And so it was that evil stepped in to make an effort to change the will of God.  For Christ had willed that he would establish his church here on this rock and the gates of hell would not prevail against it.  But the gates of hell, Satan, and all his minions were upset.  They knew what this would mean.  They knew that if the church found its footing on this rock then their time here would be limited.  And they did not want that to happen.  So they began their attack to try and prevent the church from taking hold.  And their attack started with the first member, 
Simon Peter.

Peter was afraid.  He was fearful of the outcome of Christ's journey to Jerusalem.  Peter loved Jesus and he did not want to see him suffer and die.  But the fear that gripped Peter was only a doorway for evil to come in.  And so the door was opened and evil came and took possession of Peter.  It came and moved Peter.  It came and influenced Peter to take Christ aside.  Peter did not know.  He did not understand why.  He only knew his fear and that he believed that he had to act.  But Christ knew the cause of Peter's action.  Christ saw the evil that had moved him to action.  And Christ spoke directly to that evil, Satan.  He turned and said to Peter, " Get behind me, satan, thou art a scandal to me; for thou dost not mind the things of God, but those of men."  

Christ rebuked Satan in Peter.  For Satan had made an effort to change the course of history by influencing Simon Peter.  And Christ knowing that he was under the influence of evil, rebuked it and cast it out that Simon Peter may know the truth of his influence.  And this is our example today, of how to cast out evil that comes to influence us to go against the will of God.  This is our strength to fight the temptations that we face on a daily basis; rebuke the evil in the name of Jesus Christ.  Begone from me evil, for you are a scandal to Christ and to me!  For evil cannot work without an evildoer.  Evil cannot murder, defame, create scandal, lust, commit adultery, slander, or do all sorts of deeds without an evildoer.  So evil seeks to influence and then to create action in the person it influences. 

Do we accept the influence of evil as our behavior in the world?  We are affected by it.  We see it everyday.  We live with it in our society.  We are entertained by it in the media.  We absorb it in our everyday lives because it is in the air we breathe and the food we eat, and the cars we drive and the sound we hear, and our every moment of life.  And we accept it.  Or do we??  It is our norm or life.  But Christ rebuked it and we should also.  For evil wants to turns us away from God.  Evil wants to blind us from the truth of who we are.  Evil wants us to accept the norm of our everyday lives and believe that it is OK, it is fun, it is exciting.  Is it acceptable and must it be rebuked?  How then, can we rebuke something that we are not aware, exists.  

We first must awaken to the sounds, the sights, the taste, the smell of evil.  We must become aware of what we face.  Evil would have us sleeping but we must be awake, eyes fully open, ears fully sensitive to the sounds of evil, and hearts closed to the addiction that it places upon us.  For without this awareness we are lost in the trap of this world.  And it is not until we face the crossroads and have to decide or until death knocks upon our door that we become aware of our state of our mind and heart.  Our hearts go out for those who do not have a choice, where death steals their life and death destroys their opportunity to have eternal happiness with Christ.  For Christ came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.  So open your eyes, and ears and your heart to the will of Christ.  A path has been set before you that you can follow.  Christ awaits you and the Holy Spirit welcomes you.  

Read the sign of the times! Read the Highlighted New Testament Bible and lift the scales from your eyes that you may see, that you may know, that you may find the truth of who you are in Christ. Read it as though you would read a good book, from cover to cover, and see for yourself. Do not study it in parts reading one passage and then skipping to another, but read it for understanding. Read it for knowledge. Read it for faith. Read it that your eyes may be opened, that your ears may hear, that your heart may be filled with the light of Christ. The Holy Spirit awaits you. Christ seeks to know you. Open the door and let him in!

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