Give No Opportunity to the Devil

Ephesians 4:26-32 ESV

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Be Angry, Sin Not

Anger is a God-given emotion to let us know that something is wrong and for the purpose to motivate us toward some type of action. God gets angry. Jesus got angry. So, all anger is not sinful. Some anger is rooted in sin, usually stemming from unresolved hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness, pride, resentment, and jealousy, etc. And other anger (or the same anger) is sinful when it is acted out in sinful ways which are harmful to others.

So, you may feel anger in a way that is just, or that it is good that you feel it in order to make you aware of a problem that needs to be resolved. But what you do with the anger is what makes it sin, or which furthers the sin that is already stored up in the heart from which evil spews forth in our words and/or in our actions. So the way to be angry and sin not is to use that anger to motivate you toward a positive and productive response.

It is when we hold on to anger, and we let it stew within our minds and hearts, and we don’t speak the truth in love, and we don’t confront the person who hurt us, and/or we assume things that did not even exist or that weren’t even said, and we don’t talk about them, that the anger turns to sin, because it then turns to hatred and unforgiveness and bitterness. So, don’t let the devil get a foothold in your life. Deal with your anger in a good way.

No Stealing, Instead Giving

Stealing is not just taking something that doesn’t belong to you from a store or from someone’s house or from your employer, etc. You can steal time by taking time for yourself that you are obligated to give to your job while you accept payment for work that you did not do. And you can steal people’s hearts and their devotion to you by lying to them and by putting on a false persona in order to trick and to deceive and to manipulate them.

Adultery is stealing from your spouse what is rightfully his or hers and giving it to another who is not your spouse, which could be yourself, too, i.e. you could be your own “other” lover, your own idol. It is defrauding others out of what is rightfully theirs through trickery, lies, swindling, being a charlatan (we have many of those) and by double-dealing and being a con artist. And many pastors these days are charlatans and con artists.

And what these pastors, alias con artists and charlatans, are actually stealing from the people is their true salvation from sin and their eternal life with God. For they are twisting the Scriptures to say what they don’t say and they are feeding the people lies which console them in their sins and which do not demand repentance (turning from sin), submission to Christ as Lord, and walks of obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant).

So, to stop stealing you must work with integrity, you must be honest (tell the truth), and you must share with others who are in need, but not just with material possessions or with money, but with what can give them the true hope of salvation and the true hope of eternal life with God. You need to tell them the truth that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; 1 Co 15:58; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23]

No Corrupt Words

We are to let no corrupting talk come out of our mouths. We are to let no immoral, dishonest, crooked, and perverted words come forth from our mouths, which is indicative of what is actually in our hearts, according to Scripture. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The evil that comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and it is what defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander (Matthew 15:17-20; Luke 6:45).

So, before we can keep corrupting talk and evil behaviors from coming forth out of our words and actions we have to first deal with what is stored up in the heart. Many people continue in addictive sinful practices because they won’t first deal Scripturally with what is in the heart. And then they act surprised when they keep sinning, as though they have no control over that, or as though their sin is just coming out of left field somewhere.

If you are addicted to any sin, it isn’t coming out of left field and you should not be surprised by it at all. It is coming from what is stored up in your heart and it is acted out in your behaviors and words because the heart has not changed. The heart is not fully surrendered to Jesus Christ but you are still holding on to something which is holding you back from that total surrender, and which is what is still leading you down the path of sin.

So, we need to prayerfully examine before God what is in our hearts, and we need to let him reveal to us what is there, and then we need to let those things go, whether they be pride, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, hatred or whatever. And we need to daily say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return, in the power and working of God’s Spirit within us.

And then we need to put on the truth, and righteousness, and holiness, and walk according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh, in the power of God’s Spirit as we daily deny self and die to sin and as we yield control of our lives over to the Lord and we give him full reign and we refuse to let the flesh have reign. And this is achievable because of what Jesus did for us on that cross in giving his life up for us to free us from our addiction to sin and to empower us to live righteously in holiness and uprightness.

For, if we don’t, and if we continue in the flesh, still having control over our own lives, and not giving God control, and so we continue living in sin, in addiction to sin, then we must know that the Scriptures teach that we will not have eternal life with God. We will not inherit the kingdom of God. But we will die in our sins because we refused to die to our sins. So, please take this to heart, for Jesus died to free you from your addiction to sin, and full victory over sin is possible by God’s Spirit when we yield to God’s control.

[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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