THEME: LET NOT YOUR CRITICS DEFINE YOU
When England experienced a major outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 1865, the Suffolk vicar J. C. Ryle (later Bishop of Liverpool) drew attention to a factor which most of his contemporaries had overlooked. The Egyptians in the time of Moses acknowledged ‘the finger of God’ in their plagues (cf. Ex. 8:19). That means, they recognized the power of God. Exodus 31:18 tells us that the Ten Commandments were given to Moses on two tablets inscribed by the “finger of God.” Psalm 8:3 adds the important fact that the heavens are “the work of your fingers.” The Pharisees and Scribes saw the finger of God at work in Jesus Christ but refused to accept it. Having struggled so much to oppose him which seems not to be working, they have now resorted to discrediting him by attributing his power to Beelzebub the prince of demons. This they did out of malice and envy.
In our generation too, they are many who are richly endowed by God with manifold gifts. They have various charisms. These gifts are but the finger of God at work in them for the good of our world. It’s the power of God using them. And so many people, who have either refused to identify their gifts or they have for sheer laziness failed to fan them into flames. Hence, they resort to discrediting those who are hardworking, dedicated, discipline and focus. The simple advice is, do not be discouraged by these malicious and envious fingers pointing towards you. Jesus did not let his critics define him, you too, cannot allow them deter you from your vision, goals and principles. Continue to allow the grace and power of God to be manifest through you. Just bear in mind that since the days of Jesus, Satan has been a defeated foe. Though he continues to fight against the Lord, his doom is sure, his final destiny in the lake of fire guaranteed by the victory Christ won at the cross.
The kingdom of God has truly come in the person of Jesus the King. Satan is doing all he can to destroy God’s work in the world. That includes attacking and harassing the people of God and tempting them to sin. But those who follow Christ closely will discover that Jesus is stronger than Satan. He won the battle 2,000 years ago. He is still the victor today. You too shall be victorious.
Good morning and Happy Weekend!