James 2:19 Even The Demons Believe

 

Lady in field

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder. James 2:19

Belief in a god is common around the world. The majority of people believe in some type of god. In some areas the number of those who believe in a god is higher than other areas, but it is common everywhere.

Although the numbers appear to be dropping, there is a high majority of people in America who claim to believe that there is a god or God out there. As many believe this, they will also say that one cannot really know this god or God.

Looking at people who claim to believe that there is God, James tells them that is good, but it is not enough. Even Satan and the demons believe that God is real. Satan has met with God personally more than one time over the centuries. There is no doubt in their minds at all that God is real, but they do not serve Him or have faith in Him.

The demons believe and shudder. They fear God, because they know that He is the ultimate power and authority in all of the universe. They know that in the end they will be judged by their actions and refusal to obey Him.

There is more to faith than just saying one believes that God exists. While many people claim to believe in God, very few actually live as though they believe it. They do not give God the authority in their life that He deserves. They openly and proudly do actions that are against God. They refuse to obey Him. They don’t see God as One who will judge their actions in the end.

Right before this verse, James talked about showing faith through actions. As a believer, you must do more than just claim to believe in God or Jesus, you must act upon it.

These actions are being His witness at every possible opportunity. It is obeying every command He gives you. It is showing love and mercy to every person, whether family, friend, enemy or stranger.

Be willing to show the world that you believe in God, not just claim it. Do not be like many in this world who only claim to believe in Him. Be separate and different from the rest of the world and even many in the church.

Really believe in God and act upon it.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will obey God’s word and commands; that you will act upon your belief in God; and that your life will show that you believe in God.

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Matthew 9:34 False Credit

But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.” Matthew 9:34

Jesus had been going around healing the sick and casting demons out of many people. At one point some Pharisees saw this and claimed that it was by the prince of demons that Jesus was able to cast out the demons.

When people do something very amazing, others will try to explain it away. They try to find reasons why that person was able to do it and how it was done. This is to make themselves look better or to cut the person down. Often they refuse to see the truth is what had happened.

One common way that many people will claim is that a person was lucky in accomplishing something amazing. Individuals will often claim they were lucky when things go their way.

A person gets very sick and sees no end to it. Suddenly they are healed of the sickness. Some will claim the doctor or the medicine healed them, while others claim they just got lucky. God is often taken out of the picture.

This cannot be the work of Satan. Satan does not want to kick himself or his cohorts out. He came to steal, kill and destroy. He will not go around making things better. He wants to occupy every person on this earth and keep them off focus of God and destroy them. 

Today people do not do a whole lot of blaming demonic powers for things happening, but they will deny God in doing things. They will claim a person or something else did it. Many believe in karma, saying that a person got what they had coming.

Regardless of the method of healing, God is always behind the scenes in the healing. God may use doctors or medicine or some other method, but He is the One doing the healing. 

As a believer, you need to keep your focus on God and give Him the credit due to Him and Him alone. When a healing or some other miracle occurs, give God thanks for it. Give God thanks for the method He used to bring about the healing, whether a doctor and medicine or a miracle.

Do not just give credit to the doctor, medicine or just good luck. It was God who brought you meeting your need.

I pray today that you will know the work on God in your life; that you will give God thanks for all He does; that God will heal of sickness and the work of demons in your life; and that you will be a witness to the world of His work in your life. 

1 Corinthians 10:21 Separate Tables

“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons.” 1 Corinthians 10:21

Paul had just finished saying that meat offered to idols as a sacrifice is nothing. The problem is not in the meat, but in what the meat is being offered to. It is the purpose of the meat that is wrong. Now he is saying that one should not eat the meat, not because the meat is bad, but because the reason the meat was used was for a sacrifice to a demon.

As has been stated many times, sacrifices of meat to idols is not a common practice in the USA, though it still is in some parts of the world. Although meat is not sacrificed, there are many other things being sacrificed to the gods of this world. It is very seldom that someone would call the god a “demon”, but that is what the things of this world are. The demons are behind them.

The demons of today are the greed behind fame, fortune, and status that people are seeking favor of. Many just cannot live without the newest item, or with the right status in society, or more money in the bank. They are willing to do whatever it takes to get to the next level. They will sacrifice family, friends, time, energy, and God to get what they want.

Often this happens with people in the church. They seek God on Sunday, then they go out and do the same things the people of the world are doing. They tend to seek the same things.

There is nothing wrong with having fame, fortune and a good status. What can be wrong is how you get these. Who are you seeking to give or get you these things? Are you sitting with the sinners to gain your fortune or are you sitting at God’s table?

Do not go back and forth from God’s table to the devil’s table. They are separate tables. Do not try to have the best of both worlds. Be in this world, but not a part of this world.

I pray today that you will sit at God’s table each day; that you will not participate in this world’s ways; that God will show you what He wants you to have and eat; and that God will help you be His witness in the world.

Acts 19:15 Who Are You

“One day the evil spirit answered them, Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Acts 19:15

Paul had been going around doing many miracles in the name of Jesus. Seven sons of a priest decided that they would try to do the same thing. They went to a person who was demon possessed and would attempt to cast out the demons using the name of Jesus. One of the spirits rebelled against them. The spirit knew Jesus, and knew about Paul, but did not know anything about these men. The demonic spirit then beat those men.

Very often as people see miracles being done by a believer they hear the words said, or see the actions done and believe that is the way to get a miracle. Although the miracle may have been done through the person using those words, those words had nothing to do with it.

God is the one who does all the healing and any other miracles. It is not the person or their words that did it.

Then a lot of believers will state “in the name of Jesus” in all of their prayers, expecting a miracle or an answer. These are just words, unless the heart is in alignment with Jesus and His desires.

The demonic world knows who Jesus is. They may also hear about believers who are truly sold out to Jesus and following Him.

If a believer is not following Jesus with all of his heart, the demonic world is going to ignore you. You will have no power or authority.

The world will look at you and see you for who you really are. You may claim to be a Christian, but is your life following your words? Are you living as Jesus would, or are you just going through the motions?

If the demons were to ask who you are, what could you say? Will they see Jesus in you?

You may never be asked this question by demons, but you have a good chance the world will ask it someday. What will your answer be? Who are you? Are you a follower of Jesus? Or someone just claiming to follow Jesus?

I pray today that you follow Jesus with all of your heart and life; that you will know Jesus more; that you will act in the desires of Jesus; that the world will know you are a follower of Jesus; and that Jesus will work through you to reach the lost.

Luke 8:30 What Is Your Name

“Jesus asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘Legion,’ he replied, because many demons had gone into him.” Luke 8:30

The disciples and Jesus had landed in the area of the Gerasenes. In that area a man was living alone that was demon possessed. No one could control the man at all because of the demons.

Jesus asked the man what his name was. The man gave the name of “Legion”. The reason for that name was that there were many demons living inside the man. The word “legion” means many people. His name described who he was.

Afterwards, Jesus cast the demons out of the man. He became a follower of Jesus and went to his home town telling everyone what God had done for him.

In the United States, names do not usually carry the weight of meaning for a person that it did in Biblical times. Some people do name their children with the meaning of the name in mind, but many do not.

However, everyone can have other names that describe who they are. Parents are called “Mom” and “Dad”. Those in authority at work are called “Managers” or “Supervisors”.

You have specific names for who you are also. Each person is somewhat different in their names.

Some names that every follower of Jesus has are that of “Child of God”, and “Anointed One”. Every believer has become a co-heir with Jesus, so they are also a child of God. Every believer has been filled with God’s Holy Spirit, so he is also anointed.

What does this mean for you today? It shows who you are and who you belong to.

The man in the reading today held the name “Legion” because he was controlled by a legion of demons. Who are you controlled by? Who is inside of you?

If you are a “Child of God”, you have everything God has. You have His characteristics, looks, appearance, and favor. Live your life with this in mind. Do not live like the world, but like Jesus. Live up to the name that you have been given.

I pray today that God will reveal His names for you; that you will live your life as a child of God; that God will reveal His plans for your life; and that God will build His kingdom through you.

Mark 5:19 Go And Tell

“Jesus did not let him, but said, Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Mark 5:19

Jesus had just cast many demons out of a man. He had been possessed for many years and could not do anything normal. When Jesus cast the demons out, the man was grateful and wanted to go with Jesus. Jesus told him to go home and tell everyone what had happened.

The Lord had had mercy on the man in casting out the demons. The man had originally allowed the demons in at some point in his life. God did not have to cast out the demons. In fact, the man never asked that they be cast out. It was the choice of Jesus.

Jesus showed His love and mercy in helping the man out.

How does this apply to us today? God has shown mercy on you in your life. You need to tell others about that mercy.

Often, however, people like to complain about the situations in their life. They feel that God is against them and not showing mercy. According to many people, not having any problems in life would be a sign of God’s mercy. If they just had a little more money, or a different car, or house, or job, then they would accept it as God’s mercy on them.

You do not deserve anything in this life, including life itself. Yet, that is what God has given you in His love and mercy.

Realize all the blessings you do have. Don’t focus on what you do not have.

Notice how much God has had mercy on you. Yes, you have problems in your life, but they could be a lot worse. Is your car broke down? Be thankful, many do not even have one to break down. Is your house leaking? Be thankful, many do not have a place to sleep? Do you have a broke leg? Be thankful, the whole leg could be gone. Look at many other things also in your life.

Now go and tell others, how much God has had mercy on you. Tell others how much God loves you and cares for you.

I pray today that you will realize the blessings God has given you; that you will realize the mercy God has given you; that you will joyfully tell others of these blessings and mercies; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Mark 3:24 A Divided Kingdom

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” Mark 3:24

The teachers of the law had just came up against Jesus. They tried to state that Jesus was casting the demons out of people by the power of the prince of demons. Jesus points out that if that were happening, the prince of demons would lose.

The teachers were unwilling to look at Jesus for who He really was and tried to come up with a reason for His actions. They tried to explain away what was happening rather than accepting it.

Even today, many people try to explain away the miracles of the Bible, rather than accept them for what they really are. Scientists and doctors will come up with all kinds of reasons as to why a person was healed, when in reality sometimes it was a miracle by God.

Looking at the divided kingdom, however, many in the church can create division. Many people in the church demand that every person follow certain patterns of acting and worshipping to be a Christian or a member of the church.

One common area is in how to worship. Do you worship with old hymns or modern choruses? Do worship standing or sitting? Is it three or ten songs?

In this area, and many others, the Bible is silent on the details. God wants you to worship and serve Him with your heart as an individual and as a group.

If you demand a certain way of doing things and do not allow any room for any other way, you are trying to divide God’s kingdom. How many churches have fallen apart and split because of a disagreement in what color the new carpet should be?

Allow for the freedom to worship and serve Christ in the way God leads each person. Do not allow your house to become divided over a matter that really does not matter. Be very careful in what you demand of others. Make sure all demands are exactly what God demands clearly in the Bible.

I pray today that God will guide you in your worship and service to Him; that you will see the freedom that you and others have in Jesus; that you will not stop others in their worship and service to God; that you will not allow division in God’s house; and that God will divide and destroy the kingdom’s of this world that are against Jesus.