每日诗歌: It is well with my soul (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHe_qmo3gX4)
1 Chronicles 8 [Read]
1 Chronicles 9 [Read]
1 Chronicles 10 [Read]
John 8:37-59 [Read]
Do you believe in the existence of Devil? C. S. Lewis wrote a satire book called “Screwtape Letters”, which is a collection of fictional letters from a senior devil Screwtape to his young apprentice Wormwood. In each letter, Lewis meticulously worked in spiritual principles with a mocking tone. It is very enlightening to read, for it exposed many human weaknesses from the devil’s perspective. Lewis shows the readers how easily the devil can tempt us into sin and, therefore, it is imperative for us to be vigilant in our walk of faith.
In today’s NT reading, Jesus made a direct statement about the existence of devil. “I came from God and now am here” (Jn 8:42), and “you belong to your father, the devil” (8:44). Not only Devil existed, he also hindered people from receiving the truth (8:47). These sayings sounded quite harsh, but truth always carried an edge. Instead of taking this as condemnation, I see such polemic statements of Jesus as blunt admonition. For those who have ears to listen, they shall take it to the heart and turn to God with repentance. After all, the greater context for Jesus’ earthly ministry was that “for God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (Jn 3:17).
There was another subtle point, though. The entire conversation was supposedly between Jesus and those “who had believed him” (8:31). That shocked me more than the content of the conversation. Those who supposed to have believed in him (8:30) turned against Jesus rather fast, and at the end they wanted to stone him (8:59). This quick change of faith shifted my focus back to “if you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples” (8:31). The scheme of Devil was more devious than we thought, and only those who held to the teachings of Jesus would reveal themselves to be true disciples of him.
Devil definitely exists, and his power should not be underestimated. Today’s reading reminded me about “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but…against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:12). It also reminded me about God’s admonition for us to “act justly and love mercy” (Mic 6:8). There is a much greater struggle behind the petty conflicts we encounter in this world, and the only way to combat such spiritual battles is to put on the armor of God daily. Any slip of step could have eternal consequences.
Keep on reading,