Sermons

Summary: A look at how the devil chooses his targets

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"THE LIST"

AH YES, I REMEMBER IT WELL, AS THOUGH IT WAS YESTERDAY. IT WAS NINETEEN SIXTY SOMETHING OR OTHER, AND A CO-WORKER NAMED JOE AND I DREAMED UP A SCHEME TO "THROW INTO SHOCK" ANOTHER CO-WORKER NAMED RON. RON WAS RELATIVELY NEW WITH THE COMPANY, AND IT LOOKED LIKE THE BIG "LAY-OFF" WAS IMMINENT.

ALL THE SUPERVISORS HAD TO WRITE ON "THE LIST" THOSE EMPLOYEES WHO WERE EXPENDABLE, SO, WHEN IT CAME TIME TO REDUCE THE BUDGET, WHEN JUDGMENT DAY ARRIVED, THE PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT WOULD INFORM THOSE ON "THE LIST" IN EVERY DEPARTMENT IT WAS TIME FOR THEM TO GO!.

SO, NATURALLY, EVERY ONE DREADED "THE LIST", SO MUCH SO THAT WE, MY BUDDY JOE AND I, RAN AROUND SHRIEKING "THE LIST, THE LIST!!" WELL, WE GOT RON TO BELIEVE HE MUST BE ON THIS DREADED LIST OF "WORTHLESS EMPLOYEES" BECAUSE AFTER ALL, HE DIDN’T HAVE A LOT OF EXPERIENCE AND HE WAS PROBABLY JUST A USELESS THROWAWAY! NOBODY NEEDED HIM!

SO, ONE OF US, I DON’T REALLY REMEMBER WHETHER IT WAS ME OR JOE, WENT DOWNSTAIRS AND MADE THE FATEFUL PHONE CALL THAT DARK, DREARY FRIDAY MORNING. EVERYBODY KNEW THAT TODAY WAS THE DAY "THE LIST" WOULD BE "EXECUTED".

THE PHONE RINGS, RON PICKS IT UP, HIS FACE TURNED WHITE AS HE RECEIVED THE HORRIBLE NEWS OF BEING FOUND ON THE ILL-FATED LIST, HIS ONLY RESPONSE WAS SAID TO BE "OK", AND IF WE HADN’T CAUGHT HIM AS HE RUSHED HEADLONG DOWN THE STEPS TOWARD THE PERSONNEL DEPARTMENT, I’M SURE, THE OUTCOME OF THIS STORY WOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH DIFFERENT. RON WENT ON TO SERVE THE LORD IN THE PASTORATE, GETTING SAVED LATER IN LIFE.

HOWEVER, THIS STORY OF "THE LIST" ILLUSTRATES THE DREAD WE AS CHRISTIANS SHOULD HAVE, IF WE ARE FOUND ON THE DEVILS LONG LIST OF FOOLS. THE LIST OF THOSE THAT HE HAS DECEIVED, DELUDED AND DESTROYED THROUGH THE AGES.

ALTHOUGH RON WAS FOOLED THAT DAY, FALLING FOR A "HARMLESS" PRANK, I’M SURE THE DEVIL AND HIS DEMONIC FORCES ARE NOT SO EASY ON HIM TODAY, SHOULD THEY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO USE THEIR WICKED DEVICES. THIS INCIDENT IN RON’S HISTORY IS CERTAINLY AN INSIGNIFICANT EVENT IN HIS LIFE STORY, BUT I’M SURE HE REMEMBERS IT JUST THE SAME. IN HIS MIND, THAT DAY, HIS WHOLE FUTURE, AND HIS SECURITY WAS THREATENED FOR JUST THAT SMALL MOMENT IN TIME.

BUT, IT IS CERTAIN THE DEVIL HAS A HISTORY ON ALL OF US, EVEN YOU! YES HE HAS US ON ONE OF HIS LISTS. WHICH ONE ARE YOU ON? DID YOU KNOW, HE CAN TELL BY YOUR OUTWARD ACTIONS,WHAT IS GOING ON INWARDLY IN YOUR SOUL?

HE KNOWS YOUR FAVORITE SINS! HE KNOWS WHAT IT TAKES TO CAUSE YOU TO FALL BY BRINGING UP THE RECORD ON YOUR LAST FALL! AND, HE IS "RIGHT NOW" PLANNING A TRAP TO BRING YOU DOWN, PROVIDING YOU ARE STILL STANDING "RIGHT NOW" IN THE LORD!

THE DEVIL CAN TELL BY LOOKING AT MY FACE WHEN I LEAN BACK AND TAKE A SIP OF MY COFFEE, AND EXAMINE MY WORK, WHETHER (PRIDE) THE FLESH, IS IN CHARGE. WHETHER I AM DOING IT JUST FOR THE TEMPORARY GLORY OF WOLFE, OR WHETHER MY FACE IS REFLECTING THE GLORY OF MY HUMBLE SAVIOUR, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!

OH, I KNOW THE DEVIL IS NOT OMNIPRESENT OR OMNIPOTENT, OR ANY OF THE OTHER OMNIS, ONLY OUR GOD HAS THAT KIND OF POWER! BUT, THE DEVIL HAS SEEN THAT LOOK OF SELF SATISFACTION ON YOUR FACE, THAT CHEST PUFFING SMIRK THAT SAYS "THIS’LL REALLY WOW THE TROOPS" INSTEAD OF THE LOOK OF OUR SAVIOUR’S HUMILITY.


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