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‘Twas the Day After Christmas

Hebrews 13:8
 


Christmas has come and gone, but Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, and today, and forever.  And every day can be Christmas for the Christian!  Every day I can open the gift!  It’s still true – that he left heaven and came for me!  It’s normal/human to have some post-party depression, but let’s never get over the One Who came, whose name is Wonderful, Who wants for us more than a wonderful day yesterday, but a wonderful life every day!

 

I’ll tell you who else is still here and still hasn’t changed:  The devil, who wants 2022 to be 2020 too!  He’s still trying to wreck our world.  He failed to keep the Messiah from entering the world.  He failed to keep Him in the tomb.  He failed to keep you from believing and being saved.  And all of this makes him all the more angry.  He loathes you and wants to wreck your life! 

 

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through God’s house

The devil is hating on you and your spouse

His plan is to kill you with doubt and with fear

Or at least to keep you from a blessed new year

 

Satan is the great enemy of the Saint. In fact "Satan" means "adversary". The Bible refers to the devil by a number of names: "the anointed cherub" (Ezek. 28:14), "the ruler of demons" (Luke 11:15), "the ruler of this world" (John 16:11), "the god of this world" (2 Cor. 4:4), and "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph 2:2). He is identified as a great dragon, a roaring lion, the vile one, the tempter, and the accuser. He is formidable, cunning, and powerful.

 

Paul, writing to the Corinthian church, realized that Satan was working overtime in the church and emphasized that we are to be vigilant and alert to his subtlety. Satan’s advantage is based upon one being ignorant of his devices or his methods.

 

What are some of the devil’s devices: by which he seeks to deceive God’s children, defeat God’s church, destroy God’s work, and denigrate God’s Word?

…I’m glad you asked!


I. Distraction
A. 1 John 2:15-16 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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."


B. Satan seeks to distract us by getting us to focus our attention on the material instead of the spiritual.


C. 2 Tim. 2:4

    No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

 

D. If Satan can he will try to get us to major on the minors and to minimize the things that are major.


E. It was a 99-degree day in San Antonio, when a woman accidentally locked her 10 month-old baby niece inside a parked car. Frantically the mother and aunt ran around the auto in near hysteria, while a neighbor attempted to unlock the car with a clothes hanger. Soon the infant was turning purple and had foam on her mouth. It had become a life-or-death situation when Fred, a wrecker driver, arrived on the scene. He grabbed a hammer and smashed the back window of the car to set her free. Was he heralded a hero? He said, "The lady was mad at me because I broke the window. I just thought, what’s more important--the baby or the window?"

 

Sounds crazy, right?  Well, that’s how silly we look to God when we let such little things of this life take over our thinking when the big picture for us is golden!

 

G. Colossians 3:2 "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth."

 

Distraction…


II. Discouragement
A. One of Satan’s most potent weapons is trying to get you into a feeling of discouragement, so maybe you’ll give up.

 

The Devil wants you to believe that things are worse than what they are and that you are the only one who cares.

 

B. Sometimes it is people that discourage us -

Deut. 1:28

    Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there.


C. A person who faces much criticism often becomes good for nothing; the effect of criticism knocks all the gumption and power out of him.

 

D. Sometimes it’s circumstances that discourage us - Numbers 21:4 "And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way."


F. Galatians 6:9

    And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

   

G. If he can get your soul "under the weather," he wins. “I’m ok…under the circumstances.”  Hey, don’t stay under there!  You’re God’s child!

It is not really what we go through that matters, it is what we go under that breaks us. We can bear anything if only we are kept inwardly victorious.

 

“If God can make His birds to whistle in drenched and stormy darkness, if He can make His butterflies able to bear up under rain, what can He not do for the heart that trusts Him?” - Amy Carmichael in Learning of God.

 

Distraction, discouragement…


III. Disappointment
A. Disappointment is the state of being disenchanted or disillusioned by unfulfilled expectations.


B. Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life."


C. Life can be like a beach.

Have some of your carefully created castles been washed away? Waves need not always destroy. We must allow our heavenly Father to use them to redirect our lives.


D. If you expect perfection from people, your whole life is a series of disappointments. But if you pitch your expectations too low, you are frequently surprised at what happens and disappointed in yourself!

 

F. There are no disappointments if your will is buried in the will of God. [surrender]

 

Distraction, discouragement, disappointment…

 

IV. Discontentment
A. Numbers 21:5-6 "And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loathes this light bread. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died."


B. The children of Israel did not find in the manna all the sweetness and strength they might have found in it; not because the manna did not sustain them, but because they longed for other meat.


C. 1 Corinthians 10:10 "Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer."

[Paul: in whatsoever state I am, to be content…even OH!]


D. Half the world is unhappy because it can’t have the things that are making the other half unhappy.  We spend money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like!


F. If Christians spent as much time praying as they do grumbling, they would have nothing to grumble about.


G. Philippians 2:14 "Do all things without murmurings and disputings"


H. Christians are like cars--when they begin to knock, there is something wrong inside.


I. James 5:8-9 "Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord is drawing nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge stands before the door."

 

Distraction, discouragement, disappointment, discontentment…

 

V. Discord (division)
A. 1 Corinthians 1:10-11 "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you."

[How’s the state of your union?]


B. There are four ways the devil brings it: [division] in the church. He uses Selfishness, Favoritism, Narrow-mindedness, and Lack of Fellowship


C. Selfishness says do it my way or no way. Favoritism says my way is better than your way. Narrow-mindedness says we’ve never done it that way. Lack of Fellowship says you go your way and I’ll go my way.


D. Romans 12:3-5 "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."


God’s servants are not to be competitors, but co-workers. –

 

H. Philippians 1:27 "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;"
 

Distraction, discouragement, disappointment, discontentment, discord…

 

VI. Disassociation
A. Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."


B. The devil loves when believers do not fellowship: he loves it when we distance ourselves from each other.

[Some have attitude of Hatfield’s / McCoy’s…don’t think it won’t affect eternity!]


C. 1 Corinthians 12:18-21 "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you."

 

1 Corinthians 12:25 "That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."


There’s strength in numbers. Alone, the gazelle is an easy target for the stalking lion.

The devil would like to isolate believers just like predators separate their prey from the herd thereby weakening it and easily killing and devouring it.


E. 1 Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour:"


Churchgoers are like coals in a fire. When they cling together, they keep the flame aglow; when they separate, they die out. - Billy Graham

 

H. A German philosopher compared the human race to a bunch of porcupines huddling together on a cold winter’s night. He said, "The colder it gets outside, the more we huddle together for warmth; but the closer we get to one another, the more we hurt one another with our sharp quills. And in the lonely night of earth’s winter eventually we begin to drift apart and wander out on our own and freeze to death in our loneliness."

Christ has given us an alternative: to forbear / forgive each other for the pokes we receive. That allows us to stay together and stay warm.


Has Satan been working overtime in your life? Has he been able to distract you? Has he gotten you majoring on minors with priorities out of alignment with God’s? Has he gotten you discouraged, feeling like you are in the battle alone? Have you become disillusioned? Have others disappointed you? Have your dreams and plans failed to come to fruition? Have you allowed a spirit of discontentment to slip into your life? Do you find yourself grumbling and complaining? Has Satan brought discord into your life? Is Satan working on you to have you disassociate and isolate yourself? We’re not ignorant of his devices…Ephesians 4:27 tells us, “Neither give place to the devil."

Let God give you the victory over the devil’s devices, on this day, and the day after the day after Christmas, and all the new year!

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