How to Recognize a Devil When You See One
How do we recognize a devil when we see one? If people even confuse Jesus with the devil, how can we ever feel safe in our judgment of what is good and right and from God; and what is not? The devil comes in many forms, and we call him many names. And that is frightening, because we might not recognize a devil in disguise. So, how do we recognize a devil when we see one?
We recognize devils and demons by their actions and their teachings, by what they do and promote or ask us to do or believe. Whenever a person or institution, even the church, or a tiny voice within ourselves, promotes something which contradicts Jesus’ teaching, then that definitely did not come from Jesus,it did not come from God. Thankfully, Jesus’ teaching is very simple and easy to understand. At its center stands the Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you. Following the Golden Rule brings us on the path to the kingdom of God. It connects us with our neighbors. It leads to just treatment of all people. If we don’t follow the Golden Rule that Jesus teaches, then we will be easily caught in devilish traps of distrust, fear, retribution and violence. Devils and demons try to break community apart. Jesus teaches us how to build community. Devils and demons pull us away from the kingdom of God, but Jesus guides us straight towards it. Follow Jesus, his example, and his teachings. Do to others as you want them to do to you. Love God and all of God’s people, and the kingdom will come.
Rev. Kristin Luana Baumann, sermon, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Angeles WA.
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