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More than Getting Rid of the Bad - Luke 11:24-26

"When an evil spirit {from the devil} comes out of a person, that spirit travels through dry places, looking for a place to rest. But that spirit finds no place to rest. So the spirit says, 'I will go back to the home (person) I left.' When the spirit comes back to that person, the spirit finds that home (person) swept clean and made neat. Then the evil spirit goes out and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself. Then all the evil spirits go into that person and live there. And that person has even more trouble than he had before." (ERV) Full Text

Key Thought

Many people look at religion and see it as a litany of "thou shalt not" commands. Others look at the problems in their lives and want to be rid of the problems and work on what they should not do. Jesus is reminding us, however, that getting rid of bad things is not the complete answer. There must be something good, vital, powerful, and real to put in place of the bad. If all we do is stop doing what is wrong and just get rid of what is bad, sooner or later, something even worse will fill the void of the old sinfulness. We must replace the old bad things with God's presence, power, and purpose in our lives. Let's pursue Jesus and the character and concerns of his kingdom, letting the Holy Spirit fill and empower us and make us truly instruments of grace in God's Kingdom.


Today's Prayer

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Holy and righteous Father, I want to be a person of character. I know that simply getting rid of the bad things in my life is not the answer in and of itself. I know, dear God, that you must fill my life with your presence, power, and purpose. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Today's Verses in Context


One time Jesus was sending a demon out of a man that could not talk. When the demon came out, the man was able to speak. The people were amazed. But some of the people said, "He uses the power of Beelzebul (the devil) to force demons out of people. Beelzebul is the ruler of demons." Other people wanted to test Jesus. They asked Jesus to show them a sign (proof) from heaven. But Jesus knew the things they were thinking. So Jesus said to the people, "Every kingdom that is divided and fights against itself will be destroyed. And a family that fights against itself will break apart. So if Satan (the devil) is fighting against himself, then how will his kingdom continue? You say that I use the power of Beelzebul (the devil) to force out demons. But if I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons, then what power do your people use when they force out demons? So your own people will prove that you are wrong. But I use the power of God to force out demons. This shows that the kingdom of God has come to you! "When a strong man with many weapons guards his own house, then the things in his house are safe. But suppose a stronger man comes and defeats him. The stronger man will take away the weapons that the first man trusted to keep his house safe. Then the stronger man will do what he wants with the other man's things. "If a person is not with me, he is against me. The person that does not work with me is working against me. "When an evil spirit {from the devil} comes out of a person, that spirit travels through dry places, looking for a place to rest. But that spirit finds no place to rest. So the spirit says, 'I will go back to the home (person) I left.' When the spirit comes back to that person, the spirit finds that home (person) swept clean and made neat. Then the evil spirit goes out and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself. Then all the evil spirits go into that person and live there. And that person has even more trouble than he had before." When Jesussaid these things, a woman with the people there began to speak. She said to Jesus, "What a great blessing God gave your mother, because she gave birth to you and fed you." But Jesus said, "The people that hear the teaching of God and obey it—they are the people that are truly happy!"

Luke 11:14-28 (ERV)

 

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Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.


 
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But you are not ruled by your sinful selves. You are ruled by the Spirit, if that Spirit of God really lives in you. But if any person does not have the Spirit of Christ, then that person does not belong to Christ. Your body will always be dead because of sin. But if Christ is in you, then the Spirit gives you life, because Christ made you right with God. God raised Jesus from death. And if God's Spirit is living in you, then he will also give life to your bodies that die. God is the One who raised Christ from death. And he will give life to your bodies through his Spirit that lives in you. So, my brothers and sisters, we must not be ruled by our sinful selves. We must not live the way our sinful selves want. If you use your lives to do the wrong things your sinful selves want, then you will die spiritually. But if you use the Spirit's help to stop doing the wrong things you do with your body, then you will have {true} life. The true children of God are those people that let God's Spirit lead them.Romans 8:9-14 (ERV)

All the people that don't know God try to get these things. Don't worry, because your Father in heaven knows that you need these things. The thing you should want most is God's kingdom and doing the good things God wants you to do. Then all these other things you need will be given to you.Matthew 6:32-33 (ERV)

I don't mean that I am already exactly like God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal. But I continue trying to reach that goal and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that. That is the reason Christ made me his. Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal. But there is one thing I always do: I forget the things that are past. I try as hard as I can to reach the goal that is before me. I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize. That prize is mine because God called me through Christ to the life above.Philippians 3:12-14 (ERV)

 

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