The Love of God
At a time when Jesus was disputing with the Jews they said to Him, “We have only one Father and that is God Himself.” Let’s see how Jesus responded to them in the scripture.
John 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Here Jesus points out to the Jews and to us the devils personality. He clearly says that the devil was a murderer from way back in the beginning. He also says that the devil does not stand in or hold to the truth in any way because there is no truth in him.
Jesus continues to elaborate on the devils personality saying, “When the devil lies he speaks his native language, the language that is natural for him.” Continuing Jesus says right out that the devil is a liar and is in fact the father of lies [the one who created lies] (and of all that is false—AMP)
The devil also has another characteristic which Jesus points out to us, let’s look at it also. 1Peter 5:8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Satan is indeed our enemy and he prowls around the world seeking for someone to devour. He even seeks to get us outside of the power and keeping of God if he can. Notice what Jesus says to Simon Peter in Luke’s Gospel.
Luke 22:31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. (32) But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Apparently Satan wanted to do with Simon Peter as he did with Job—let’s look briefly at the beginning of the Book of Job.
JOB 1:6 One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. (7) The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." (8) Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." (9) "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. (10) "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. (11) But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face." (12) The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.
Most of us know what Job went through and I believe that Satan sought to sift Simon Peter in the same way. He will strive to sift us as well.
Now what is the point to all of this study about Satan and his personality you may ask? Mainly it is a way to show you Satan’s modus operandi or method of operation.
Satan comes to us before we know Christ as Lord and Savior and he uses every trick in the book of lies to prevent us from coming to know Christ as Lord in our lives. He uses all the temptations that the world has to suck us into grabbing onto the merry go round that is the world’s ways. He will draw us in to one of the many worldly lusts that are out there. It may be a lust for fame and fortune, or one of many lusts of the flesh or of drug abuse, anything that he can use to get us addicted.
He will sell us the lie that being popular means living in the basest of flesh, or that we have to succeed by climbing over the knives that we have placed in the backs of others. He will tell us that power is what we must have because in power there is worldly admiration respect and honor; therefore we must be ambitious and seek authority so we can laud it over others. Let’s look at what James said about this.
James 3:14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. (15) Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. (16) For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
In short the devil will dangle the worldly lie to us and hope we will take the bait and never even look at Christ. He is the father of lies Jesus said.
But let’s say that in spite of all the allure of the world that Satan dangles before us like fish bait we are led to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior---Satan just goes away, right??
No now he is angry and now he will come at us with his favorite weapon, the lie.
First he will try to deceive us by saying, “Did you really commit your life to Christ or was it just something emotional at the time?” He will try to deceive us by getting us to doubt our dedication to Jesus.
If he is unsuccessful in this he will then try to get us to be nomadic wandering Christians; one of the myriad crowd which wanders from church to church never being satisfied with what they hear.
Another attack that Satan uses is to look for the chink in our personal armor. He is looking especially for things that have been said to us back when we were younger that hurt us and made us feel useless. And he will speak these things into our mind to discourage us.
Some of the following may sound familiar.
“Well you always were the ugly duckling of the family.”
“Your granddad and your dad were useless and you will be too.”
“You don’t have the education to do anything for God if you try you will fail.”
“No one really has any respect for you. Who would listen to you?”
“Don’t even try to get up there and sing, or speak you will fail miserably and people will always remind you of your failure.”
“You teach, oh come on now!”
“You don’t have a personality that God can use.”
“You have sinned to the point that God will never use you.”
“After the life you have led no one could possibly love you—you are just unlovable.”
The enemy Satan the devil has likely used these or similar types of things either alone or in combination on you. Let me tell you what they are; they are lies (his specialty) lies to stifle your Christian walk to keep you as only a person who warms the pew or even less.
To combat Satan and his sly and sneaky ways you must understand what God’s opinion of you is. Once you understand what God’s opinion of you as His child is you will be far less likely to succumb to Satan’s lies.
One of the all time favorite scriptures and one more Christians can repeat even when they know no other scripture is John 3:16. Join me as we read it.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (17) For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (18) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Notice that I have added verses 17 and 18 as well because they complete the thought.
John 3:16 tells us that God loved the people of the world (that’s you and me) so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to die on the cross for us. This was God the Father’s plan from the very beginning of creation.
You need to know that Jesus the Son of God loved you so much that He was willing to face death on the cross for you. God sent Him because He loved you and Jesus went to that cross because He was determined to do the Father’s will. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed in anguish because of what was ahead of Him in the crucifixion. But in all that agony of the burden of our sins He said to the Father, …..“not my will, but yours be done.” That showed His great love for the Father and for us!
You need to know that God loved you and in His plan of salvation He developed a way for you to come to Him. It would require the sacrifice of His only Son but His love for you was that great.
Jesus would go through the mockery of a trail, He was rejected and tried by those He was sent to, the Jews,then brought before a Roman governor and after several beatings was taken to the cross and crucified and died. This was done so that He could carry the sins of the world upon Him and become the perfect sacrifice which was pleasing to His father.
Love for us drove God the Father to a plan that would bring us into His presence without sin. Love drove Jesus to the cross, willing to carry that load of sin once and for all times. We are forgiven of all sin once we have accepted Jesus; His blood has covered our sin.
When Satan tells you those lies, that you are worthless, ugly, and untalented, have no ability and are totally unlovable point to the cross and tell Satan that God loved you enough to sacrifice His Son for you and the Son loved you enough to go to that cross in your place. There is no more love than that. Tell Satan, “I am loved by God.”
Let your heart be encouraged by what Paul wrote to the Romans.
Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, (2) because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, (4) in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Do not succumb to the condemnation and lies of Satan; he is the father of lies. But God has shown you His love and it is His love personally for you. You were worth it to Him, and going to the cross for your sins was worth it to Jesus. You are loved and of great value to God.
Remember this from Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
God loved you when you were out in the world in sin and He loves you now that you have come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. His is a ‘wrap-His arms-around-you type of love’ and it is never ending. He loves you personally and cares what you do and think. Ours is not a score keeping God instead His love for us is tender yet fierce and will last throughout eternity. He is a God of mercy and love and that love is wrapped firmly around you.
And finally remember again what Jesus said of Satan: . He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Let God love you today and then serve Him as you feel Him leading you to. His love for you has overcome the evil one and his lies.
When Satan comes against you point to the cross and show him how much God loves you. Don’t let Satan keep you from salvation and once saved don’t let him discourage you from serving the Lord.
One last ending scripture for you:
Romans 8:37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (38) For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, (39) neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Nothing is able to separate you from the love of God. You have His word on it; now go out there and serve Him with a loving heart.