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Week #23 – The Truly Blessed are Those Who Believe and Obey

Luke 11:21-28 – “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils. “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.” When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, `I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first.” As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Make no mistake, Jesus was stronger than Beelzebub, and by his exorcism of demons He demonstrated that He had overpowered Satan and disarmed him. It was ludicrous to suggest that Jesus had cast out demons by Satan’s power.  Also, make sure you understand that, anyone who does not intentionally support Jesus opposes Him!  If you are not on His team, you stand against Him.  Indifference and neutrality toward Him are declarations that you do not really believe that He is who He claims to be.  If you really believed that He was, you could never hold such a position that encourages others to be neutral, apathetic and indifferent toward Him as well. That would be scattering, not gathering with Him!

On this matter of demons, devils and evil spirits, Jesus pointed out that Satan does not cast out his own.  It requires someone stronger to overpower him.  Christ is that someone who is stronger!  He also emphasized that we cannot be neutral when it comes to acknowledging His superiority.  We must choose sides.  We either side with Him or, by default we are against Him!  And, He would have us understand that there are severe consequences for those who experience deliverance from evil, but do not establish Christ Jesus as Lord in their lives.  The evil spirit driven out will return to the house it left and find that it is clean and unguarded.  So, it will recruit seven of its buddies (more wicked than itself), to move in and set up house.  The condition of that person will become much worse than before!    Deliverance from evil requires greater power, and GUARDIANSHIP from evil requires the indwelling of that same superior power!  The Lord Jesus has proven Himself to be superior!  It is imperative that we do not become or remain indifferent to our need for Him in our lives if we would be victorious over evil and free from its power and tyranny.  He not only wants to cleanse us, but eagerly desires to make His abode within us!

Jesus barely finished this discourse when an affectionate, well-meaning woman applauded him, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”  The scribes and Pharisees despised and blasphemed, this woman admired the wisdom and authority with which Christ spoke.  She was so moved by the skill and grace Jesus used against the vile insinuations of the Pharisees, that she could not keep quiet.  Surely there was never a greater, more admirable man born of a woman than Jesus!  This lady would have counted herself incredibly blessed to have been His mother!  Jesus took advantage of the moment and this woman’s proclamation to declare, “More blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”  In light of His previous demonstration of authority and grace, we would do well to take heed to this word!  If Christ says so, it IS SO!  If He says that the greater blessing rests on those who hear the word of God and obey it, what then should be our attitude and mindset?  Our dear woman should then feel both convicted and encouraged!  Convicted for giving so much attention to His bodily presence and His human nature, and encouraged that she might be even more blessed than His earthly mother – if she would hear the word of God and obey it! We too, should feel equally convicted and encouraged!

 
Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
Friday: Pray for the Good News families of the week: Paul & Karen Rose (Cora, Paul, Shayne, Irene), Walt & Katelyn Sanders, Dennis & Sherry Smith.
Saturday: Give glory to God for Christ’s authority over demons and devils and side with Christ Jesus.
Sunday: Hear the Word of God and obey it!  Give praise for the evidence that God’s kingdom has come!
Monday: Rejoice that no authority may stand against the Kingdom of God!
Tuesday: Pray for deliverance from evil, indifference, and apathy regarding the things of Christ!
 
Wednesday:  Take your stand for Christ against evil and gather souls for His Kingdom!

Prayer Challenge:  Believe Christ, obey His Word and acknowledge His power to deliver from evil.  Trust His grace to save, deliver, heal and forgive.  Give Him first place in your heart, your plans, your relationships and your life!  This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:3-5

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