Father, help me to stand in the face of opposition with my heart at peace and my eyes fixed on You.
Read LUKE 11:14–28
 Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed.  But some of them said, “By Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons.”  Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.  Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.  If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebul.  Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges.  But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.  “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.  But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.  “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.  “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’  When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.  Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”  As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”  He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat accusation did the religious leaders bring?
The work of God always seems to attract opposition, especially from those who, very destructively, try to imply that it is not even God’s work at all. This is even worse than straightforward opposition. The accusation of Jesus’ enemies is that he is working by the power of Satan (15). Are demons driven out? Yes! Then it is God’s kingdom which is advancing, not Satan’s. This is sober judgment. As he says in Luke 6:43: “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.” Another test is that Jesus explicitly attributes his successful exorcism to God (20). Jesus never turns attention onto himself, but gives glory to the Father. Sadly there have always been those who oppose Christ and seek to sow confusion and chaos. The consequences can be catastrophic, leaving things worse than they were before (24–26). Followers of Christ are called to practice discernment and to equip themselves by study and prayer.
Select a verse of Scripture that has stood out to you in this season. Write it and put it in a visible place.
Jesus, You do not change. Your ways are righteous and good and lead us to peace.
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