The Devil’s Greatest and Worst Moment…All in 72 Hours

Crying Satan 2
All the assumed wins that ended in failures through the years setting him up for the “big one”. All the times in the Old Testament where he had been on the path to victory but God stepped in and took control. He started in the garden tempting Eve and continued through the Old Testament time after time. There was the time on Mt. Carmel where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal and had a showdown that ended in a loss. There was the time the Philistines had captured the Ark and thought they were going to start a winning streak against God’s people. Only to have it cause terror and tumors with the Philistines who came in contact with it only to be returned WITH OFFERINGS. So many apparent victories that ended up in utter defeat from Moses, to David to Saul. The list goes on and on.

Then Jesus came on the scene. The stage was set for the “biggie” of failures for the Devil and a crippling loss of power he had in the lives of humans. Jesus was on the earth for thirty years before his official ministry began but he was already known as a young man who spoke with authority in the synagogue. When John the Baptist baptized Jesus and he was sent in to the desert to be tempted that was where it all started to unravel for the devil. Temptations of hunger, protection and fame were all thwarted and so began the frustration. This weekend is Easter, which formally started with Good Friday, the best night of the devil’s existence. He was finally going to get his revenge. For being kicked out of heaven, the humiliations through the years of God coming through for his people and it was all coming down to this one moment. Jesus’ final breath on the cross and the words “It is finished” brought a sigh of relief to the devil. I am sure the smile that came over his face could not be contained and the celebration ringing through hell was boisterous and arrogant.

Then came Sunday. I can only imagine how defeated the devil felt when his master plan of trying to eliminate Jesus on earth ultimately and completely failed. When the stone was rolled away and Jesus was resurrected back to life like after what was like a three-day nap. And to add insult to injury, it says in 1 Corinthians 15 that over 500 people saw Jesus before his return to heaven! Not only did Jesus overcome death but he took a victory lap to encourage those people who were going to stay on earth to carry the message of not only his power but his love and compassion for people that needed to know him.

I share all of these words to help you understand the authority you have when you accept Jesus into your heart and make him the leader of your life. You have that same power over death and hell and access to God to share your heart and take authority over any earthly situation. This is not a guarantee of everything happening in life the way you want it to but when you understand that God has it all under control then your worry can subside and you can rest in his power and ability. It is also a reminder of how brief our life on this earth is and that we can have a hope of heaven when we die in addition to guidance, direction and purpose for life now.

Have a great Easter weekend and always remember; the devil lost, Jesus won and you have access to that very same power. I have mentioned this before, but it says in Matthew 7:7 that if you seek God you will find him. It can start with a simple prayer that says, “Jesus, I need you “ and maybe a trip to your local Bible-based church to see what this Jesus thing is all about. Or maybe it is time for you to come home, and even when you read this you know exactly what I mean. Have a great weekend and Happy Easter!! JESUS IS ALIVE!!

The Supreme Court Decision about Gay Marriage Made Me a Better Christian


The past week’s supreme court decision concerning gay marriage has been a lot to process. I have read a lot of things that I agree with and things I disagree with (on both sides of the subject) since social media caught fire with everything. I do know, however, that this decision and the climate of our country right now has helped me become a better Christian. Now you may say, “Brian, how has this decision that you disagree with from the supreme court made you a better follower of Christ?” It has helped me evaluate what I really believe and the level of persecution I am willing to endure because of my beliefs.

I think the decision to restrict and limit my Facebook interaction was wise because I can tell you that it doesn’t feel real good when I see posts on my feed that are basically calling me a homophobic bigot.  I have noticed that I am not getting mad at the posts or people who share or like articles like this but it makes me cry and have compassion on them. My question for people in the church is who is going to cry for the people we believe are broken and hurting? Who is going to keep relationships with people we disagree with so that we can be a safe harbor for people to ask us for help or to pray with them or just to listen to them?

In my opinion, the climate of our country has partly to do with people in the church (including myself) who disagree with people who are against basic Biblical values, but have not shown people a different way to live. We gossip as much as anyone, the divorce rate is as high or even higher than people who don’t profess a relationship with Jesus and the list goes on and on and on. I have been a follower of Christ pretty much my entire life and I can say, that without a doubt, most Christian’s classify sins as “the really bad ones” and the “ones that everyone does so we just kind of look the other way.” I believe that it does say sexual acts with the same sex are a sin but it also says that sex outside of marriage is wrong or that if I look lustfully at a woman that I have already committed sin in my heart. We all have struggles that we deal with and have the option to present those things to God and have him help us walk through life or we take on the job ourselves and try and figure stuff out on our own.

The one thing I appreciate about the Bible and my relationship with Jesus is that there is no “sin-o-meter” that says some sins are really, really bad and others are ok and that God will let slide. The reason why these things are in the Bible is because God knows that they are not healthy for us. We need to all be the best citizens of heaven AND earth that we can be. We all fall short sometimes, but as believers in Christ, we should always strive to let Jesus shine through us and accept and love EVERYONE we come in contact with. In fact, I feel like I try and go out of my way to be more friendly and more loving to people who I disagree with on subjects like same sex relationships. My intent is not to patronize people but to show them that I can disagree with a lifestyle choice but still love them. If they don’t believe me it doesn’t matter because I know that I did my part to show a different kind of follower of Christ who can love and still disagree with them. Jesus NEVER expected to get the same kind of response he was giving when he loved anyone in the Bible, and as a followers of Christ, we should not expect anything in return either. If we love someone and expect something back in return that is actually CONDITIONAL love and not Jesus’ UNCONDITIONAL love.

So the reason I can say that the supreme court decision has made me a better Christian is that I am not just considering in my mind what I can LOSE (tax exempt status as a pastor, being fined or thrown in jail just because I believe something different about marriage, etc.) but what I can actually GIVE to those people that hate me because of my beliefs. I know that by sharing what I believe it is not going to change people’s minds about what THEY believe. I must love LOUDER than anything in my life and keep my convictions about what I think the Bible says about ALL sins, then maybe, just maybe someone will inquire why I STILL love them and can disagree with their actions. Jesus was the greatest example of love to ever walk the earth, but EVERY story in the Bible about his love didn’t stop at the act of love. There was always an inquiry or a transitional point where people who were not happy with the life they were living would be changed by the convictions of Christ. Love started the conversations, but Jesus’ convictions brought the healing. I have to believe that if the words I read in the Bible are true, then God will give me the strength to set the example for healing that I believe we ALL need, not just people who deal with their sexual identity.