The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

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Church of Christ

09/23/2009

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Deception 400 - A More Advanced Study


"Fool me once, shame on you; Fool me twice, shame on me" (Anon).

No one likes being fooled.. It makes us feel unworthy or lacking in sense. In some cases, we may even feel that we have been violated. Yesterday in our devotional we emphasized being deceived by others, today we focus on self. If we are not astute we may become our own victims. Victims of just not being what we ought to be.

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us" (1 Jno. 1:8). Not only is it important to realize our sins, but John next tells us to be sure to confess them. "If we confess our sins, He who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (V 9). We deceive ourselves if we have unforgiven sins within us and think that we can still please God. A person who is into scamming others, will present himself as something that he is not. "If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself" (Gal. 6:3). If we present ourselves as something we are not, the worst deception is done to ourselves. Paul says that each should "test his own actions....then he can take pride in himself" ( V 4). There is nothing quite like being able to take pride in who we are!

"Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (Jas. 1:22). If we do indeed want the Word of God to be a "lamp unto our feet and a light along our way," being a reader is not enough. It's the old "talk the talk/ walk the walk thing. James tells us next that the person who merely reads and does not do is like someone who looks in the mirror and forgets what he sees. How sad....we become our own victims..."Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows" (Gal. 6:7). This simple farm analogy works all the time...We might fool some people, but we do not fool God. To make this appropriate to today's lesson, if we attempt to reap something that we do not sow, we deceive ourselves.

The next chance for self deception comes from the mouth of Jesus. In the parable of the sower He says, "The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the Word, but the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful" (Matt. 13:22). Being fooled by the lure of money is an inside job. If our heart is in the wealth, it is not on our Lord. Finally, the Hebrew writer gives a little more to think about when he says, "But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may become hardened by sin's deceitfulness" (3:13). The cool thing about this verse is that the writer gives us the preventative...."Encourage one another daily." If we do, the deceitfulness of sin will not be able to take us into its clutches....With everything out there in the world trying to tug at us, let us not fall victim to fooling ourselves....

Have a great day....It would be a wonderful day for a RAK.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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