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Who Do You Belong To?

John 8:39-47
"Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Jesus, "then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the things your own father does." "We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 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. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God." (NIV)

The Jewish people all belong to one family; they are descended from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So when Jesus accused them of behaving like their father, they thought of their forefather Abraham, who was a godly man. But Jesus said that if those who opposed Him had the same nature as Abraham, they would not be trying to kill Him. Those people belonged to the devil! What a bold and uncompromising statement!
Satan's evil nature is determined to destroy what God has made, and to keep people far away from God's love and truth. Satan achieves this by the lies he circulates into people's minds, blocking out the truth from God. So, even the religious people could not give the Son of God a fair hearing. They were unable to hear the voice of God, because they did not belong to Him. Those who wanted Jesus out of the way were agents for the devil.
Satan still continues his evil work, spreading lies into people's minds. He motivates them to challenge the authority of Jesus, trying to destroy the work Christ has done in people's lives. Persecution is tough, but those who suffer must remember that Jesus understands - because it happened to Him first. As He said, "Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me." (John 15:20-21). Our prayer must be that those who belong to Christ will stand firm when they suffer for His sake, still daring to proclaim the gospel, and trusting that God will open some eyes to the truth of Jesus, so that they will be saved.

Dear Lord. Thank You that Jesus spoke so clearly of the devil and how he operates. I am sorry when I have accepted his lies and been trapped into working against Your holy purposes. I pray for all those who suffer for the sake of Christ, asking that You will give them strength to stand firm for the gospel, so that even their enemies may be saved. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams