A note from our pastor:

“Neither give place to the devil.”

Ephesians 4:27

Good Morning Dearly Beloved,

The American theologian Albert Barnes wrote in his commentary on this verse, “Many of our feelings, when we suppose we are merely defending our rights, and securing what is our own, are produced by the temptations of the devil.” The name for Satan used by the Apostle in our verse this morning can also be read as “the accuser”. Rarely are we more likely to accuse one another than when we are concerned with matters of the self.

American rhetoric places rights and individual liberty at the center of our focus. It motivates entire movements and captivates individual thought. However, in studying scripture we are hard pressed to find the subject mentioned. Instead, the New Testament is consistently focused on service to others. It teaches a message of giving to the point of neglecting self for the care of others.

Why? Because the unavoidable consequence of the protection of individual liberties is abandonment of empathy and compassion.

When the mind becomes focused on protection of rights for the individual it fails to focus on the health of the whole. This void gives the devil place in our lives. Soon, we adopt the mindset of the devil and seek out those who have wronged us rather than striving to assist those who have been harmed or are less fortunate.

In simple terms, the devil desires disciples to focus on themselves. When we do, we cannot show forth the love of God and bring glory to his name. A focus on self centers around what we deserve rather than the grace God gives and expects us to give as well.

Our only right by nature is to death and the grave. By grace are we saved and in love we show the glory of God.

Our Prayers are with you daily,

Brother Jeremiah

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