The devil’s scheme (his fall, man’s fall, the world’s fall)


Genesis 3:5 states “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” 1 John 2:16 states “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

Notice how, “to eat” is to gratify “the lust (desire) of the flesh”; the “opening of the eyes” has to do with “the lust (desire) of the eyes” and “to be as gods” is intertwined with “the pride of life” – the same kind of pride that the devil (Lucifer) is guilty of, when he tried to usurp the position of God, for he tried to be as God, which led to his fall from heaven (Isaiah 14:12). The devil’s scheme of deceiving Eve by presenting to her, the lust of the flesh (good for food), the lust of the eyes (pleasing to the eyes) and the pride of life (be as gods), hasn’t changed in the world system today, for out of this world, of which the devil is its god (2 Corinthians 4:4), is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John 2:16).

Points to ponder:
Let us not be conformed to the patterns of this world (lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life) but be transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2), putting on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), who being God, humbled himself to be not as God, and became obedient to God the Father. Let us not be beguiled by the evil scheme of the devil, that resulted in his fall from heaven (Luke 10:18), the fall of man in the garden of Eden, and the falling away of this world from God’s grace (Hebrews 6:6; Galatians 5:4) today. Let us watch and pray, lest we fall!

Genesis 3:5 (KJV)
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

1 John 2:16 (KJV)
15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Formed to Conform


Genesis 2:7 states that the Lord (Jesus) God (Father) formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Holy Spirit); and man became a living soul. The Trinity of God was involved in man’s creation, and man was formed of the world (dust of the ground) but was formed to be a living soul and to conform to the image of God and not to the world.

Apostle Paul beseeched the church in Rome to not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of their mind (Romans 12:2). Our minds need to be renewed to be like the humble and obedient mind of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:5).

Points to ponder:
We were formed to conform to God’s image. We are not to be conformed to this world.
What are you and I conforming to – to God or to the world? Remember, friendship with the world is enmity with God. Am I a friend of God? Are you a friend of God?

Genesis 2:7 (KJV)
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Romans 12:2 (KJV)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Philippians 2:5 (KJV)
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

James 4:4 (KJV)
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Self Deception Series :: Narcissist I am


It is one thing to be deceived by someone else, but to be deceived by oneself is quite another. The Bible counsels us to be wary against self-deception and informs us of the conditions in which one is self-deceived.

Galatians 6:3 states that the one who thinks of himself as something, when he is nothing, deceives himself. The dictionary defines a narcissist as a person who is overly self-involved, and often vain and selfish. Biblically, narcissism is referred to as selfishness.
Let us not deceive ourselves.
Let us in lowliness of mind esteem each other better than ourselves. (Philippians 2:3). We must put on humbleness of mind (Colossians 3:12) as is the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-7), who being God, considered it robbery to be made equal with God, and made himself of no reputation, and took on the form of a servant humbled himself to become obedient unto death, even the death on the cross.
Let us not be a narcissist and deceive ourselves.

Galatians 6:3 (KJV)
For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself

Colossians 3:12-13 (KJV)
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

Philippians 2:3-11 (KJV)
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Schizophrenic Christians


When working as a Shark researcher in the Bimini Biological Field Station, Bahamas each of the researchers were assigned a skiff (small boat) that they had to maintain. One day when cleaning the skiff assigned to me, I had one foot of mine on the dock and the other in the skiff. The tether that was holding the skiff to the dock had been released and the skiff start to move away from the dock. Very soon, I found myself doing a karate kid side split, until I could no longer stretch and fell into the water getting completely soaked. I should have made up my mind to have my feet securely anchored on solid ground (dock) or both foot in the skiff to avoid the fall.

Bad outcomes are often observed to occur when the decision maker is double minded. Missed penalty kicks in Soccer or strikeouts in Baseball are testaments to players not being focused . Many times these players are double minded when they miss their shot.

Our frame of mind in our Christian walk has an effect as well. We are asked to renew our mind (Romans 12:2) so that we are no longer conformed to the patterns of this world that is unstable. We are to be with the God given sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7) and what is more is that we are to be of a single mind, the same mind that was in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5). We cannot be double minded. In other words, we cannot be schizophrenic Christians, serving two masters. We can pledge our allegiance to God or to the world, not both. To be part of God and be part of the world simultaneously is like having one feet on the dock (solid ground) and the other in the skiff (that is moving away from solid ground); the end result of which will be a sure fall.

Point(s) to ponder:
1. Have you/I renewed our minds to conform to that of Christ Jesus and not to the world?
2. Are you/I double minded in our allegiance? If so, let us choose this day, whom we shall serve!

Image: Christ in the Storm, by Rembrandt

James 1:8 (KJV)
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Mind over body – The need for Placebo Christians


Master Joe Schaefer, founder and owner of the Austin Shaolin-Do Kung Fu school, was expressing to me and another student, the power of the mind over the body and used the following illustration to demonstrate his thesis. He said, if I ask you to carry a 50 pound sandbag to the hospital that is about a mile away, you are mostly likely not going to be able to do it, but if I was to ask you to carry your son who needs medical attention to the hospital that is a mile away, you will do it. Medically, the power of the mind over the body has been demonstrated using placebo experiments such as inert tablets and sham surgeries. Commonly known as the placebo effect, believing that a medicine or procedure is therapeutic when in fact it is not, has been proven to show considerable improvement of the health in patients. So it is no surprise, that the mind has a major role to play in the well being of a person or the will of a person to accomplish an objective. We can apply the same principle in our Christian life/walk.

Jesus said, you shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and MIND (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). It is interesting that when the people found the man from whom the legion of evil spirits had been exorcised by Jesus, sitting at the feet of Jesus, they found him clothed and with a right mind (Mark 5:15). When we believe in Jesus Christ, we are given a sound/right mind (2 Timothy 1:7), but the body (flesh) wars against the mind and when the mind wants to accomplish the objectives of God, the body often seeks otherwise. There is a constant battle between the mind and the body and apostle Paul succinctly expressed this warfare when he described that the things he did not want to do (that his mind told him not to), those things he did (because the body/flesh made him do so) and that which he wanted to do, he did not (Romans 7:15-25).  I can empathize and relate with apostle Paul and I recognize that we must put on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), who humbled himself and subjected his body to be broken as a sacrifice, once and for all (Hebrews 10:10). There is a need for placebo Christians; those who believe in the power of God and exercise the power of the mind (that God has created) over the body (that is to be offered as a living sacrifice to God). And to train our mind to have control over the body, we need to first wear the helmet of salvation (Ephesians 6:17) and renew our mind with the things that are true, honest, just, pure, and of good report, virtue and praise (Philippians 4:8) so that we are transformed and not conformed to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:2), which is in enmity with God (James 4:4).

Point(s) to ponder:
1. Are you/I a placebo Christian?
2. Philippians 4:8 states “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” What are you/I thinking about, in other words what is our mind dwelling on?

Romans 8:5-7 (KJV)
5
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.