We call Satan “the enemy.” But in many cases, it looks like regular church people have accepted payment from him to ignore the work of God. Are you one of these individuals?
As he begins his letter to the Romans, Paul talks about who hired him.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.
The first thing I see is that our faith is visible in our actions. Everyone knew the faith of the Roman church because they heard about what they were doing. As a result, they were constantly being prayed for as people thought of them.
In the next verse, the word serve literally means to serve as a hired menial. So Paul is saying that he considers himself hired by God for a purpose. He understands that there’s a payment, a reward that he’ll receive from God for a job well done.
How do we handle this? In our modern American culture there’s not a lot of job loyalty anymore. People are constantly keeping their resumes tuned up in case a better position opens up in another company. It’s unfortunate, but this same mindset has spilled over into the church.
Satan tries to capitalize on this thinking.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”
In this verse we see Satan trying to give Christ a better offer. It was promised that the Messiah would one day rule over all the kingdoms of the world. But by God’s way, the Lord would have to suffer and die in agony to receive it.
Satan is giving Christ the chance to bypass all the pain. By a simple act of devotion, He could receive the reward without the pain of the cross. I’m so glad that Jesus saw through the deception, and carried out God’s plan as it was meant to be done.
Satan tries to buy us off all the time. He holds out to us all the pleasures, entertainments, and activities of the world. He tells us to just play with these toys for a little while.
“They’re not sinful, and nobody will be hurt by them.”
But there’s a price that’s being paid. The work of the kingdom is being ignored by a large segment of believers. There are souls not being saved, prisoners not being set free, and lives not being healed. There’s a calling that only you can fulfill.
If you’re looking for a better offer, Satan will give it to you; he just won’t follow through with it. It’s time for the church of Christ to rise to its feet. We must throw off the distractions of the world and complete the assignments that we were called to do.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe…
Our wages from the Lord are well worth what we’re called to do. We’re hired by God for a purpose. Let’s give all and do great things for God!
Questions: How has the enemy tried to buy your time? How have you answered his offer?
© 2020 Nick Zaccardi