Sunday, July 13, 2008

Foiled schemes

Today’s Reading: John 13:27-30(NIV)

27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him, 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

Good morning!

Ah, the plot thickens! Satan thinks he has it all figured out. Somehow, he believes if he can just kill the Son of Man, he will bring God’s plan of salvation to an abrupt halt. What Satan didn’t seem to understand, was the importance of Christ’s death to the Master’s plan. Satan’s scheme was foiled again. He played right into the Master’s holy hand.

We can try to blame Judas’ poor judgment on Satan, the great deceiver. We can say with some assurance that “the devil made him do it,” but the harder truth is recognizing that Judas allowed himself to be used by evil for evil. I don’t think that was Judas’ original intent. If he thought he could simply push the Savior into a confrontation with the Roman authorities, then Christ would rise up as a great warrior, revealing Himself as the true Son of the Living God. I think Judas wanted the world to believe in Jesus Christ.

But maybe his true motivation went even deeper than this. Judas wanted proof positive for his own disbelief. He was uncomfortable with Jesus’ teachings on possessions and how people should handle the gifts they’ve been given in life. Living a completely selfless life seems foreign to one who struggles daily with self-centered motivations and domineering pride. Did Judas want Christ to be raised up for the Father’s glory alone? Do we?

Have you ever prayed a selfish prayer? Christian believers today are living in what theologians have coined the “Church Age,” and many are looking toward the heavens waiting with eager anticipation for Christ to fulfill His promise to return to the earth for His redeemed. Have you ever wondered whether we might be pushing God to act before His appointed time? Is it wrong for us to want heaven’s kingdom on earth now, rather than later? Is there not just a little bit of Judas’ selfish motivation running rampant in each and every one of us?

Today, I am particularly grateful that God continues to foil every human scheme with His perfect love. His ways are greater than our ways, His plan is so much more than we can comprehend. Your will, O Lord - I pray this prayer today. I will wait patiently for You, knowing that Your divine plan for my life is the only direction I need. Teach me to honor You as I submit to the authority of Your Word. Protect my heart from the subtle deceit of the evil one. Open my eyes Lord today, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding

All rights reserved

Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.

No comments: