“I was in Centerville the other day,” Stan commented. “I drove over to talk with the pastor of the community church to see how his discipleship class is going.”
“How is it going?” I asked.
“Terrific,” Stan replied. “And the pastor shared with me what they were going to discuss in the next class, something about four words he thought make all the difference.”
“Four words that make all the difference?” I repeated. “What four words?”
“The ones that James wrote in his letter,” Stan said. “Do not be deceived.”
“Do not be deceived,” I repeated. “Seems to me that could be a huge subject that covers a lot of ground.”
“You’re right,” Stan replied, “but I also think that those four words are at the heart of whether or not a person’s faith walk can and will grow deeper as a disciple.”
I didn’t reply, so he continued. “Deception is what happened in the garden that caused all of the problems that Jesus came to take care of with His cross, and deception is what keeps happening today.”
“Satan loves to deceive,” I replied. “Is that it?”
“That’s it,” Stan said. “Satan is the deceiver and he loves, absolutely loves, to deceive.”
“And the solution is what?”
“Don’t let him do what he loves to do,” Stan replied with a smile. “Do not be deceived!”
“Know the difference between his lies and God’s truth.”
“As simple as that?” I asked.
“As simple as that,” Stan replied. “But remember just because it’s simple, that doesn’t mean it’s easy! It takes time and commitment to know the truth in order to recognize the lies and not be deceived.”
“Time and commitment,” I repeated. “Seems like that might be worthwhile.”
“Only ‘seems like’?” Stan asked. “Maybe that’s more deception!”
Bible verses to consider:
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. James 1:16.
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:13.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived . . . . 1 Corinthians 6:9.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world . . . . 2 John 1:7.
For sin . . . deceived me, and through it killed me. Romans 7:11.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. Galatians 6:7.
If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31-32.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for those who brought the truth to me (and me to the truth) so I could accept it and have the assurance of life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you for the truth that is the opposite of the deception of the world, the flesh, and the devil. I ask you to help me in always pursuing the truth so I will not be deceived. Please help me in bringing the truth to others so they, too, will be free from the deception that wants to consume them. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus, the One who is the truth. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted the truth and rejected Satan’s deception so you know you will spend eternity in God’s presence when your time here is completed? If no, why? What is keeping you from accepting the truth and waking away from the deception of the world, the flesh, and the devil? If you do have the assurance of salvation and redemption, how are you doing in keeping away from being deceived on this side of eternity? How are you doing in helping others to be free from deception? If you sense the need for change, how is that going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?