Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Grace is not Satan’s Middle Name!

Meditation for the week of December 16, 2012

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

This last week we had an unimaginable kind of horror inflicted on innocent children by a very demonic adult.  At least 20 children and 6 adults plus the gunmen were killed in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school.  Some would blame God for allowing this tragedy.  Some would blame the shooters genetics, some would blame society, some would blame his parents. But who is blaming the real culprit, Satan.  Satan is a murderer and a liar and he goes about seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8).  He is sometimes subtle and sometimes cruel, but he could never be accused of being gracious.

I remember when the 9/11 tragedy occurred.  I was at a gym in my home town and after talking with some of them about “why” this happened, I told them that it would seem hard to deny the existence of Satan after such a tragedy.  While people seem to want God to explain Himself after these tragedies, I would like to suggest that God allowed this but didn’t cause this.  The real culprit is a created angel who wanted a place in heaven that didn’t belong to him (Isaiah 14: 12-15).  He “fell” and has been trying to destroy anything that is good and godly ever since.  He is called the “god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4).”   Grace is not his middle name.

Grace is one of the characteristics of the Lord.  People marveled at the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth (Luke 4:22).  He was full of grace and truth (John 1:14).  None of these things have ever been said about satan (our adversary) who is a serpent (subtle) and a devil (evil).  He flatters us and he lies to us.  He is a destroyer rather than a builder.  He sometimes appears as a bear, sometimes as a lion, but he is always our enemy (Matthew 13:39).  He is never gracious.

Ephesians 2:2 tells us that before we trusted the Lord for salvation, we walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.  We all did this “Prince’s” bidding.  Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ and frees us from this bondage.  Satan can huff and puff and try to blow our houses down but because of the grace of God, he cannot deceive and destroy us.  John tells us in his first epistle, chapter 4, verse 4 that He who is in us is greater than the one who is in the world.  Satan has been defeated at the cross but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t still try to control this ungodly society in which we live.  And he uses those who are his captives to kill young children because he is wicked and not at all gracious. 

So, are we going to blame God or are we going to put the blame where it belongs?  Are we going to recognize that Satan is real and, of course, that implys that God is real as well.  We have a choice as to whom we are going to serve.  Joshua, a man who had trusted in the Lord  and who had been used of the Lord in a mighty way, knew that not all in Israel were convinced that the Lord was the only  God that they should serve.  At the end of his life, he reminds the children of Israel of a decision he had made many years before.  This was a decision that the miracles of their wilderness travels should have made obvious.  Joshua said, “And if it seems evil  to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD (Joshua 24:15).” 

Yes, there is evil in this world.  But there is also good represented by God’s grace. A person might ask, “Why did God allow this and other tragedies to happen?  He allowed that for the same reason that he allows men and women to lie, cheat, steal, over eat, over drink, smoke and live in immorality.  He is gracious and longsuffering and wants us to worship Him voluntarily. He will not force us to do right, but He will do everything He can to encourage us to do right.  I  personally want to serve the God who wants to make me more gracious.  Doing His work saves.  Doing Satan’s work destroys because he is filled with hatred and does not know what the word grace means.

Bruce Collins

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