Strange times, these! We have a thousand questions about why God does what He does. We have no questions about what Satan does or why. We blame God for a multitude of things that God does not cause. We hold Satan blameless for a multitude of things he engineers.

We are angry at God for not stopping evil. We are never angry with Satan for causing evil. We question God's motives and purposes. We never question Satan's motives or purposes. God is good and does good, but we hold Him accountable for evil. Satan is evil and does evil, but we credit him with accomplishing good.

Satan is the master of deceit (John 8:44). His style is not that of a "bulldozer" that levels everything in his path. He programs people to serve as his bulldozers. He influences people to level anyone and anything who opposes his objectives.

Satan's strength is in his incredible ability to deceive. Change a perspective. Altar a fact. Misinterpret a statement. Mock an attitude. Assign a motive. Mistranslate an intention. Attribute an evil reason. He uses deceit to redirect thoughts and emotions.

When he combines his deceit with our desires, he knows he will have all the power he needs. Look at Jesus' temptations (Matthew 4:1-11). "Jesus, If you starve, will you accomplish God's mission? Do you really trust God's promise to take care of you? Since you came to be king of mankind, allow me to make you king of the earth."

Just as Satan is the master of deceit, Jesus is the master of forgiveness. Satan cannot create an evil that Jesus cannot forgive. He cannot create a sinner that Jesus does not love. He cannot place anyone in such peril that Jesus cannot rescue.

Jesus wants to free you from deceit and rescue you from the slavery of perverted desires. Jesus loves and liberates, redeems and restores, and protects and preserves.

Two masters are at work. One is the master of deceit who brings destruction. One is the master of forgiveness who brings salvation. One deceives to destroy. One forgives to save. Which master do you permit to be at work in your life?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 15 June 1997

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