Other than relationships, have you ever been cheated on something before? Smart shoppers would not allow to be cheated on prices of items they intend to buy. They are expert in paying less for the best product or service of quality and durability they can find. They are aware of the game businessmen play for profit. Some businesses take advantage of your ignorance and deliberately cheat on you if you allow them to do so.
Smart shoppers know how to use their money to the fullest. There’s no single penny wasted. Before a purchase is done, they research and listen to the experts and do some investigations if the product is worth the money and so forth and so on. They are not stingy but smart. You can’t fool them.
The same holds true regarding the blessings of God for the believers. Christians are warned by the apostle Paul to watch out for cheaters. The devil will cheat you upfront if you let him. Have you ever wondered why in the world many so called believers and Christians have defeated life? They live just like the unbelievers. As a matter of fact you can’t tell the difference which is which or who is who?
Defeated believers have gotten a raw deal. Why? They did it to themselves. Ignorance of the law excuses no one. Jesus came so that believers may have life and to have it abundantly. As believers, the Father God has blessed them with all spiritual blessings in Christ. Therefore, it is ridiculous if a child of God lives defeated. If you know something is broken in your life, you have to fix it. It is foolish to remain miserable; you have to do something about it. It is not right to live the rest of your life on a bad side of the road. If your neighbor is happy and enjoying life to the fullest, then he must be doing something right. You may want to ask his secret recipe.
Paul wrote in Colossians 2:6-8 NKJV, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”
When you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow His footsteps. Follow Him all the way. You have to observe how Jesus deals with people who follow Him. Read and continue reading the gospel of Christ. Put yourself in His presence always. Put your eyes on Him only, don’t listen to distractions. Read and meditate on His words. By doing so, you will find yourself planted in Him and your roots are growing and building up in Him, and established in faith. As a result, your life becomes a life abounding with thanksgiving. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He healed many, forgave many, loved many, and never did He condemn anyone. He never changes.
Paul wrote that you have to be established in faith. There is a huge difference between Biblical faith and man’s faith. Man’s faith is based on the conviction of trust as a result of his personal experience and conditioning mind to believe in something. Man’s faith is influenced by his perception of things around him. He believes on what he observes.
On other hand, Bible faith is solely based on the Word of God, nothing else. If anyone challenges this statement of truth, he or she is a cheater. Jesus said, “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” He also said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
In the Old Testament, faith is obeying what God has said. They don’t have the written word of God at the time; however, they believe every word of God that was said. Before the Word of God was put in writing, people obey the Word through word of mouth. Paul mentioned in the Romans 10:17 that faith comes from hearing and hearing of the word of God. Now that the Word of God is available in written format, believers have the responsibility to study and search the Bible for accuracy of what they hear.
Paul warns believers that faith is not according to philosophy. According to dictionary, philosophy is a search for general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means. Philosophy is a theory underlying or regarding sphere of activity or thought.
In short, philosophy is only speculation or theory made by human mind. Someone made something up and people believe it. Philosophy has no foundation of truth. It is purely speculation. It is a wild guess. Anybody can speculate of anything under the sun. But anyone who accepts any speculation from a mere man and accepts it as the truth is a fool. In reality, the title Philosopher is a misnomer. He should be called Speculator. As a matter of fact, a weatherman has greater accuracy in speculations than a self proclaimed philosopher. By the way, make sure to listen to a weatherman just in case you needed an umbrella, or a sweater for a night walk in a park.
Sad to say but there are serious wannabe bible scholars out there who have created too much serious speculations either. What they have are pure theories regarding God, creation, Christ, faith, salvation, man and etc. The problem with these people is that they teach and preach their speculations as the truth. They approach the Bible like an ordinary book or something. These delusional group of people thought they are spiritual genius or have great brains attempting to study God. Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Paul warns believers that faith is not according to empty deceit. Deceit is the act or practice of deceiving. It is to lead someone astray. It is giving of false impression and false idea. It stresses the use of charm and persuasion in deceiving as to obscure the truth. A person who is deceived does not know he is deceived. A person who is deceived believes that he is never been deceived. It’s only by the power of God that they will be able to see the truth.
Paul stressed the grim art of deceptions in 2 Corinthians 11:13- 15 (NLT), “These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no wonder that his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. In the end they will get the punishment their wicked deeds deserve.”
To counter these deceitful workers, verify their claims through the word of God. If what they say has no Biblical basis, then don’t waste your time entertaining them. You have to ask them of scriptures or Bible verses that support their claim, otherwise, don’t listen to them. Do what the Bereans did in Acts 17:11 (NLT), “And the people of Berea were more open minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.”
Faith is not according to traditions of men. Dictionary defines tradition is an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom). Tradition is the handling down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instructions.
The fact is there’re so much religious traditions handed down to the church, attempting to override the effectiveness of the word of God. Traditions have very negative take or spin regarding money, material possessions, healings, miracles, worship, and calling from God. One of tradition’s extreme prejudices that is motivated by the evil within is to malign the life styles of some rich and prosperous men of God, with their stupendous mega-church the world have ever seen. Some are against preachers who drive BMWs or have personal jet planes, or even wearing Rolex watches. These traditionalists have their conscience shivers when they hear prosperity messages. The bad part is they’re missing the blessings of the Lord.
The truth is, as a believer, there’s no iota of evil if you drive a luxury car or owning a jet plane. A luxury car is just another car, except it brings jealousy, envy, resentment, suspicion and distrust to those who don’t have one. Driving a luxury car is a matter of taste. If you can live owning an inexpensive one, so be it. You are still saved. However, you have no right to condemn someone who looks good in a screaming red Lamborghini.
Didn’t you know that one of David’s secrets in life is Psalm 32:1-2, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and whose spirit there is no deceit.” David is a Guilt-Free-Man. He never feels and thinks guilty in the presence of the Lord, and in the presence of anybody. He never owes any apology to anyone. David knows who his God is. And he knows where he stands.
There is no Biblical proof that Jesus is poor. Considering the whole counsel of God, within the context of the ability and capability of any being, from the Book of Genesis to the Book of Revelation, God is the Awesome God, the Owner of heaven and earth and their contents, who is rich exceedingly beyond human imagination. God’s sovereignty proves that He is the God of power and majesty. And the Psalmist is so amazed when he penned Psalm8:4, “What is man that You are mindful of him. And the son of man that You visit him?” Can you dig it? The Awesome God has live amongst us?
Faith is not according to the basic principles of the world. Thanks to the brilliant minds of the self proclaimed smart economist of the Whatever Street. The whole wide world economy plunged deep and nobody has the explanation why. Whatever happened to the economic theories and forecasting of where to invest with great return. It is all speculations. People are just good in talking baloney. When they open their mouths, they think they are smarter than you.
If you want to survive the famine, do what the men of God in the Bible had done. They invested in the kingdom of God. They put their faith that God will bless them, that they will reap great harvest even in the midst of a great famine. Jacob did. He became exceedingly prosperous in the face of famine. If you want great harvest, don’t follow the principles of this world. You will be cheated. Put your money in the heavenly bank account of yours, where thieves cannot be able to steal your blessings.
Corrupt. That is the basic principle of this world. The only way a nation survives the attacks of the devil and plunder of the kingdom of darkness is to return to the Lord. Psalm 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” Otherwise, an ungodly nation is on its way to spiritual bankruptcy that will cause the fall of its civilization.
In Psalm 14:34, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” The downfall of great civilization is sin. Rebellion against the principles of Christ, and rebellion against the word of God will bring any nation into its knees. The devil will show no mercy. The devil is programmed to steal, kill and destroy.
Therefore, the Apostle Paul warns the believers not to be deceived by these cheaters. The devil doesn’t want to go to hell alone. He wants you to join him. He is out there deceiving and influencing every ignorant soul to be with him.