AND WHAT IS ONE OF HIS BIGGEST LIES?  

IT’S THE FACT THAT HE PREACHES THAT HE DOESN’T EXIST!   

I LEARNED THAT FROM MY FRIEND WOODY.  

BUT THINK ABOUT IT ?   COULD IT BE A VERY REAL DEVIL THAT IS INSPIRING ALL THESE VERY REAL MASS MURDERS WE SEE MOST EVERY DAY… AND THROUGHOUT  HISTORY .  

JESUS BELIEVED SO.  AND SO DO I.    

Woody is an acquaintance that I’ve known for many years.   He’s been up on the Northside for about the last 13 years. He immigrated up from the Southside, where he grew up in President Obama’s neighborhood.  He came up “north” because there were more opportunities to better himself.  

Woody is an easy-going, faith-filled guy, who likes to lend a hand to whoever is need.  On a recent Saturday afternoon, serving our neighborhood a hot meal, I was in definite need of an extra hand.

“Hey Chris,” he said.  “Do you need some help?  It sure does look like it.”  

“Yeah, you’re right,” I said.  

“Well, why didn’t you ask me earlier?” he said.  “You know I would have helped.”  

“Ok, go wash up,” I said.  

Woody was a great help, and we had a good time serving together.  And we got to talking about our God and how we each viewed our present-day world.  

“Chris, do you know what I believe is the biggest trick that the Devil plays on humanity?” he asked. 

“No, I don’t,” I respond.  “What is it?” 

“It’s the belief that he doesn’t exist,” he said.   

“Hmmm, yeah, that’s pretty good,” I said. 

And then Woody went on a little more.  He talked about how Dr. King used to preach how poverty breeds violence, and the observation that if the Devil did not exist, then there wouldn’t be all these drive-by shootings.  “Because you see,” he said. “The Devil simply encourages you to do what he does.”   

Later that day, I felt led to look up some Scriptures and some commentary on the Devil, evil, murder, temptation.  And here’s what I discovered.  

 In John 8:44, we discover Jesus’ portrait of the devil. …”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.”      

And in John 10:10 we hear Jesus saying, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”    

Then I turned to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.  And this is where I stumbled on some poignant truth that everyone of us need to ponder: “Satan is not simply the personification of evil influences in the heart, for he tempted Christ, in whose heart no evil thought could have ever arisen (John 14:30; 2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 4:15); moreover his personality is asserted in both the O.T. and the N. T. , and especially in the latter, whereas if the O.T. language was intended to be figurative, the N.T. would have made this evident.”   

And so, I guess we can think about “the Devil” however we want … or not.    

But whenever we are confronted with all these “mass shootings,” I believe that it’s not ”a stretch” to believe that  there’s “a real Devil” behind it all.   

How about you?  

Thanks for stopping by. 

Chris