Just Showing Some Love

Tree Tunnel, Belgium

JUST A LITTLE LOVE

There are several Greek words for love, as the Greek language distinguishes how the word is used. Ancient Greek has four distinct words for love: agápe, éros, philía, and storgē. However, as with other languages, it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words. Nonetheless, the senses in which these words were generally used are given below.

  • Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē[1]) means “love” (brotherly love) in modern day Greek, such as in the term s’agapo (Σ’αγαπώ), which means “I love you”. In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros“. Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the “love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as sacrificial love. Agape is also used in ancient texts to denote feelings for a good meal, one’s children, and the feelings for a spouse. It can be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard.
  • Éros (ἔρως érōs[2]) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love;” however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage. Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction.” Plato also said eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros. The most famous ancient work on the subject of eros is Plato’s Symposium, which is a discussion among the students of Socrates on the nature of eros.
  • Philia (φιλία philía[3]) means friendship in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.
  • Storge (στοργή storgē[4]) means “affection” in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant

“therightrevrhino”

If You Claim Christ Then Moved Forward With Christ

Prayer sky

If You Claim Christ Move With Christ
Colossians 2:6-8,18; 3:1-4
King James Version & Adam Clarke Notes
Simonton Genesis Ministries Inc.
Copyright 2014

This message reminds us to move with Christ if we claim to be part of the KINGDOM. It encourages us to break free of those ministries who attempt to “hold you hostage” while they continue to prosper off of your offerings and give you nothing spiritually in return. This message directs you to turn your attention towards God for answers to ministries you should be a part of and how does your gifts fit to enhance the community when doing you arrive. Listen in and enjoy. All the best and God bless.

CLICK HERE AND ENJOY THE RIDE Y’ALL:——> 

A.J. “therightrevrhino” Watkins M.Div.

Tied Up St. Luke 19:30-35

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TIED UP
ST. LUKE 19-30-35

This message is recorded and penned to help us shake ourselves free of various people, places, or things that get our focus off of our goals. It reminds us as believers in God to constantly remain aware of our God given assignments. This message reminds us to press forward into our various destinies and to not allow anything to deter us or slow us down. It is my most earnest prayer that this message will help you to renew your mind about whatever endeavor you have decided to go out and accomplish. All the best and God Bless.

Click this link:  Tied Up  St. Luke 19-30-35

TheRightRevRhino

Four Types of Love

FOUR TYPES OF LOVE

By A. J. Watkins D.Min. © March 2002

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There is much confusion today on the subject of love because we are limited to only one English word (love) with a broad range of meanings. For example, if someone said, “I love my wife, I love my dog, I love apple pie,” obviously they are not talking about love in the same degree or definition.

In the New Testament period there were four major Greek words that were used.

Eros Love – A word that was not actually used in the New Testament but was alluded to. It meant physical passion; its gratification and fulfillment. The Greek word is probably not used in the New Testament because the origin of the word came from the mythical god Eros, the god of love. It is inferred in many scriptures and is the only kind of love that God restricts to a one-man, one-woman relationship within the bounds of marriage (Heb. 13:4; Song 1:13; 4:5-6; 7:7-9; 8:10; 1 Cor. 7:25; Eph. 5:31).

Storge Love– Storge is the natural bond between mother and infant, father, children, and kin. William Barclay states, “We cannot help loving our kith and kin; blood is thicker than water” (N.T. Words, 1974).

Phileo Love – Phileo love is a love of the affections. It is delighting to be in the presence of another, a warm feeling that comes and goes with intensity. The Bible encourages it but it is never a direct command. God never commands phileo since this type of love is based on the feelings. God Himself did not phileo the world but rather operated in agape love towards us. I cannot have a warm tender feeling toward an enemy but I can agape love them.

Agape Love – Agape love is God’s kind of love. It is seeking the welfare and betterment of another regardless of how we feel. Agape does not have the primary meaning of feelings or affection. Jesus displayed it when he went to the cross and died for you and me regardless of how He felt. In the gospels Jesus prayed, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Mt. 26:39; Mk. 14:36; Lk. 22:41-43; Jn. 18:11). Jesus sought the betterment of you and me, regardless of His feelings. Matthew 7:12 states it this way, “So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets”

We can agape our enemies regardless of how we feel. If they are hungry, we can feed them; if they thirst we can give them a drink (Rom. 12:20-21). We can choose to seek the betterment and welfare of others regardless of how we feel.

Jesus was the greatest expression of love that ever came into the world, but it is never recorded that he ever said the words, “I love you!” Why? because 95 percent of all love is non-verbal. Jesus did not love with just words but in deed and truth (1 Jn. 3:18). If your actions contradict your words, what are people going to believe, your words or your actions? Your actions of course. Vine’s Expository Dictionary states, “Love can be known only from the actions it prompts” (p. 21).

The following is a description of agape love, also called “Charity” in the New Testament (1 Cor. 13). This paraphrase is based upon research of the Greek and English words and their meanings in 1 Cor. 13:4-8.

LOVE SUFFERETH LONG – God’s love has a tolerance for and endures trying situations and persons beyond an average standard. God’s love is patient.

LOVE IS KIND – God’s love is of a friendly nature, generous, hospitable, warm-hearted, and good. God’s love is charitable and helpful, showing sympathy and understanding for others. It is considerate, forbearing, tolerant, courteous, and thoughtful, desiring only to promote another’s welfare. It is generous, liberal, and beneficial, demonstrating itself in kindly acts.

LOVE ENVIETH NOT – God’s love does not resent another’s good fortune or desire to have what is his. God’s love is not jealous and does not deprive another of what he has.

LOVE VAUNTETH NOT ITSELF – God’s love does not boast and brag or abound with self-praise. It is not vain or proud.

LOVE IS NOT PUFFED UP – God’s love is not high-minded or puffed up with pride.

LOVE DOTH NOT BEHAVE ITSELF UNSEEMLY – God’s love does not act, react, function, or perform in a manner which is in bad taste, improper, or in violation of what is right.

LOVE SEEKETH NOT HER OWN – God’s love does not demand its own way.

LOVE IS NOT EASILY PROVOKED – God’s love is not easily annoyed or incited to anger or resentment.

LOVE THINKETH NO EVIL – God’s love does not reason about or reflect upon that which causes or constitutes misfortune, suffering, difficulty, or the like. God’s love does not ponder upon wickedness.

LOVE REJOICETH NOT IN INIQUITY – God’s love feels joyful when right, sincerity, integrity, honesty, and truth prevail.

LOVE BEARETH ALL THINGS – God’s love makes it possible to withstand all stress and difficulty. Because God is love, He supports and carries on His own Person whatever is placed upon Him. God’s love protects, covers, and keeps off anything which threatens the benefit and welfare of another. God’s love holds back, refrains, and is tolerant and patient in all circumstances.

LOVE BELIEVETH ALL THINGS – God’s love puts faith in others, believing the best of everyone (without criticizing or looking for fault).

LOVE HOPETH ALL THINGS – God’s love persists in hoping, against all odds, in confidence and expectation of fulfillment of that which is promised.

LOVE ENDURETH ALL THINGS – God’s love causes one to carry on through, despite hardships.

LOVE NEVER FAILETH – God’s love never proves insufficient in duration or is unsuccessful in effectiveness. Love will never disappoint or prove undependable. God’s love goes on forever and will never come to an end.

Are you walking in love and trusting the Holy Spirit’s power for the manifestation of this virtue? (Gal. 5:22)

Sin is the transgression of the principles of love. Always let love be your highest aim and your greatest pursuit (1 Cor. 14:1).

We have all heard the old cliche: “Love makes the world go round.” There is more truth to that than you might realize. Love…Eternal Love, is indeed the Motivator or the First Cause of all existance. It was out of Love that the earth, the sun, the stars, indeed…the entire solar system, was Created. It was not an “accident”. It was for a purpose.

The four loves given to us by the Greeks are: Philios Love, Storge Love, Eros Love, and Agape Love. If you have not read the first three, please stop here and go back and do so. It is important, because the next Love we shall discuss on this page, Agape Love, is the Supernatural Glue that holds the other three in place for an Eternity.

Briefly, a recap:

Philios Love is the first of the four loves. It is a human love that is very selfish in nature. Stemming from man’s innate desire to be accepted and loved, it is selfish in nature and expects reward in loving the beloved.

Storge Love, the second of the four, is more of a maternal type of love. It too, is a human type of love. Though less selfish than Philios, it expects reward for loving the beloved as well. It is a more solid type of love, being instinctual in nature, but nonetheless, it must be “rewarded” to keep on loving.

And, finally, there is Eros Love, another human type of love. This is more of a physical type of love, yet it can also be nonphysical in nature. It too, is very self serving, and expects reward for loving. It is the love that is most often abused and misused, and confused for “love” when in fact, it is not “love” at all, but lust. This is the love that Hollywood has made billions on, tons of books and articles have been written about, and poets have pined and lamented over her beauty. Eros, as well as Philios and Storge, can be very beautiful loves such as a close friendship, a bonding between parent and child, or lover and beloved, and a sexual union of man and woman as One Body.

All three of the above named loves are human in nature, meaning that they do not “need” God to exist. They do exist on their own, either separately or in conjunction with one or both of the others. But, being “human” types of love, they tend towards entropy and wither and die, as all things human must die. Unless they find a way to be cohesive to each other, by a Bond beyond human strength and understanding, it is their destiny to dissolve, dissipate, and die. Fortunately, there is a Supernatural Element that can and does bond the three loves together in an Eternal way. That Supernatural Glue is Agape Love, or God’s Love, and that is what we shall discuss on this page.

Agape Love                                              

I can think of no better way to begin my dissertation on Agape Love, than to quote the Words of Holy Scripture:

“If I speak in human and angelic tongues but I do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of Prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains, but I do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, It is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick tempered, it does not brood over injury, It does not rejoice over wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.

If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. For we know partially, and we prophesy partially, but when the Perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; When I became a man, I put aside childish things. At present, we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present, I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.

So faith, hope, love remain, these three;
But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

The Apostle Paul gave to the world the most beautiful explanation on what love truly comprises. His words cannot be surpassed by any song, any love letter, any book, any poem, or any movie. His words are Eternal words, for they speak of God, and God’s Love…Agape.

Agape Love is God’s Love. It is Perfect, Total, Complete, Selfless, Undying, Unconditional, Eternal, and it is for all men, for all times. God is Love and Love is Good. All things created by God are Good. Read the Creation accounts in Genesis; notice that after everything God did and made, “He saw that it was Good”. God’s Goodness and Love are beauty Divine, incomprehensible to our finite minds. God is God, and therefore, Infinite, and because we are men, and finite, there is no possible way that we can ever totally comprehend or grasp the concept of Agape. We only know what God has revealed to be True. There is no way any human being, wise and educated, can ever know all there is to know about God….and therefore, God’s Love.

But we do know that God Created man in His own Image and Likeness, truly an act of Love. Why did God create man? Was He bored? Lonely? No. He created man simply because He is Love. That is God’s job: He Loves to Love. God does not need man to exist; man needs Him to exist. God holds all of Creation in His Hands, and therefore we are totally dependent on Him to sustain our very being.

If you take a look at the Words of Scripture, and the teachings of the Church, you will notice over and over that God has revealed His identity to man. Though it is a mystery to us, and something we cannot possibly understand, God has revealed that He is Three Persons…yet One God: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. In the Gospel of John, we learn that:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” – John 1: 1-5

The “Word” that John refers to is the only Son of God, Jesus Christ. Through Him, all things were made. The words of John are only one instance in reference to the Trinity…now we have the Father and the Son. God first revealed His Trinity Personage in Genesis, when He said “Let us make man in our image; after our likeness.” (Gen 1:26). Christ taught the Apostles on numerous occasions that He would send His Spirit to be with them always, after He was gone. And, on Pentecost, He did just that. The Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, though they were in a locked room, in the form of Tongues of Fire, and filled them…and from there, they went out and taught about Jesus to the world. Thus, now we have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Three Persons; One God. All equal in Being; All Divine; All God.

The Trinity is a Perfect model for Agape. The Father begot (not made) the Son, The Father Loves the Son, the Son loves the Father. Their combined Love for each other begets the Holy Spirit. So we see, that the Trinity is the Perfect model of Love…Pure Love. That is Agape Love.

Philios, Storge and Eros are all “human” loves….Agape, however, is God’s Love. Unlike a human love, Agape cannot die…for God cannot die. God is Eternal, and therefore, His Love is Eternal as well. Agape is also Perfect, it is Unconditional, it is Totally Forgiving. No human being that I am aware of, aside from Jesus Christ, had or has, or ever will have, the ability to love in this manner. How, then, can we as men taste of Agape? How can we possibly join our human loves to God’s Love? We can’t. But God can…and will…if we will let Him.

God is the Author of Love. He knows how the story ends, because He wrote the Book on Love.

And, if we trust Him, learn from Him, follow His teachings and His ways, then we too can share in His Agape Love…just as we too can share in His Eternal Life being finite men that one day must die.

When you have in place the elements of a loving and lasting relationship (Philios, Storge, and Eros), and combine, or allow in, Agape, you then have your love Eternally Bonded. And that is what God intended we do when He gave us the concept of Love. He meant for it to be Eternal. He meant for us to be with Him forever, and He meant that man and woman should become one…as He is One. But, He never intended that man and woman become one…and then seperate. That is absurd. If God intended man and woman to be One…don’t you think He also intended that union to be Eternal? And without God in the picture, that love is not love at all…it is merely a human emotion that turns to lust and confuses itself, and eventually fails and dies. It makes perfect sense to me to tap into the Divine plan for Love if you want to experience True Love. And, the only way to do that, is to come to know, LOVE, and Serve your God. When a man and a woman share that common bond of Faith, then, Agape can work. A couple that prays together…stays together.

We as humans can never completely know Agape in this lifetime, for we cannot completely know God in this lifetime. It is impossible. But, God knows us…each one of us…personally. And, He loves us…all of us…unconditionally, perfectly, totally, and undyingly. The major difference between Agape Love and all the others is this: Agape loves for loves sake. It expects no rewards, it wants nothing in return…except that love be given back to it. And the neat thing is that the more you give back to Agape, the MORE you receive in return. It is an unending well of strength and supply from which to draw, and if a couple can tap into this Well, their love will be an Eternal Love.

The words of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13 is Love. It is Agape. If I have all things human, (and that includes Philios, Storge, and Eros), but I have not Love (Agape), I have nothing. I am nothing. Agape Love is the Supernatural Glue that Eternally Bonds human love together. It is a love that is freely given by the Lover, and it expects nothing in return. The common bond of our Faith, the common thirst for Love of our God, the common need to learn more and more of His Love, is Agape…it is the Cement that bonds our human love into an Eternal Love…one that cannot possibly die.

AGAPE love always seeks the welfare and benefit of others. I cannot say I love someone and destroy them by my covetousness, lying, cheating, breaking up their family, etc. Love must stay within the boundaries of God’s commandments in order to not hurt others or yourself.

God is not mad at you. He loves you! Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and humble of heart; and ye shall find rest for your souls”! – (Matt. 11:28-29).

Christianity Is A Lifestyle

CHRISTIANITY is a way of life as well as a way of language. It is a morality as well as a message; a network of attitudes and activities as well as affirmation; and something that you show as well as something that you say.

However, what makes a MATURE CHRISTIAN is having the power to forgive themselves (first) and others. The acknowledgement of his/her own shortcomings and failures. The ability to love God (Yahweh); to love humanity (good and bad); to refrain from judging based on hearsay; to accept the people and not their faults realizing you have your own; to pray for the people as well as for themselves; to have an encouraging WORD for those who seek it; to help your neighbors if you can; and to be an EXAMPLE to the best of your ability as you grow and go forward in the CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE. There is so much more than just the aforementioned, but that is a good start.

Watch and make sure what you SAY will MATCH what you will DO. The streets are watching you and someone just may want to be just like you; knowing everything they can about you, and they are never going to miss a single thing you do. Random thoughts after penning a message entitled “ONCE YOU LEAVE DON’T LOOK BACK!” Coming out on internet radio this week.

I’m just saying….!

TheRightRevRhinoImage

And You Call Yourself a Christian.

This message is penned and spoken to remind us of what being a Christian really is all about. It is about more than just going to a church service, saying a few prayers, playing music, singing songs, listening to the minister, and donating money.  Listen in and be enlightened for Father’s Day.

Click here:  And You Call Yourself A Christian

Close Encounters of the Worst Kind

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE WORST KIND

ACTS 19:10-17

CHARLES EARDMAN & MATTHEW HENRY COMMENTARIES UTILIZED

COPYRIGHT FEBRUARY 2009

The great movie director Steven Spielberg made a major impact on the Hollywood scene over thirty-two years ago with a movie entitled “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”  He produced this film in 1977.  It consisted of a five note musical motif.  This movie was a portrayal of mankind being accepted into the scheme of life by other life forces.  The main character, Roy, was so caught up in the encounter that he lost his family and his friends thought he was “off of his rocker”.  After Laughlin recognizes a signal from outer space as a set of geographical coordinates pointing to Devils Tower, all parties begin to converge on Wyoming. The United States Army evacuates the area, using false reports that a train wreck has spilled highly dangerous nerve gas, all the while preparing a landing zone for the first human contact with the UFOs and their occupants. While the other humans drawn to the site are unable to reach Devils Tower (one of them who escaped with Roy and Gillian was hit by a sleeping drug), Roy and Gillian persist and make it to the site as dozens of UFOs appear. The enormous mother ship lands at the sight returning people who had been abducted over the years, including Barry. With an understanding of peace between the two civilizations, Roy is taken onboard the ship as an ambassador from Earth, and one of the UFO occupants comes out to greet the humans. Lacombe communicates with it by using the hand signs (using the Kodály Method) that are used to create the five tones in the human contact. The UFO occupant does the same and smiles before it boards back on the ship, which then lifts off.

In our text, we find the great Apostle Paul working diligently in Athens, Greece.  He is preaching and teaching that Jesus saves.  He is beginning to climb toward the pinnacle of his ministry.  He is freshly converted on the Damascus road and running full speed ahead for Jesus, instead of against Jesus.  He was encountering quite a bit of resistance from various philosophers at the time.  However, he continued to teach about Jesus.  Even though they were disputing him in the school of Tyrannus, Paul taught lessons on Jesus in spite of their divisions in the school.  Some in that school were with the traditional Jews and the laws and others sided with the Apostles.

Nevertheless, we see that Paul continued the Lord’s work.  His work was blessed by God.  All of his encounters with various diseases and debates were wrought out as Miracles by God through Paul.  The book reads that handkerchiefs and aprons were brought to him from those in need and upon his touching them, the sickness and evil spirits from those that the articles belonged to were dispersed and they were healed.

Paul worked regardless of the “haters” in the city.  A group of “vagabond” Jews saw this work and wanted a part of the recognition that Paul was receiving from the people.  The text tells us that they went and attempted to command an evil spirit to relinquish the control it had on upon an unnamed individual.  They did not say in the name of Jesus we command you to come out.  They stated by Jesus whom Paul preached about we adjure you to come out.  They were addressed by that spirit in such a way, that it showed that they did not believe in God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  So the spirit stated that it knew Paul and Jesus but it did not recognize them and it jumped on them and wounded them and whooped them into the street naked.

They had a close encounter of the worst kind.  They encountered something that was truly stronger than their “so-called” faith.  They encountered a demoniac. They encountered embarrassment.  They encountered a debilitating situation that ruined their reputation in the Jewish and Greek community.  They could never recover from the shame and injury to their egos, body, and mind.  They were whipped and left in that dilemma and seven sons went away possessed and lost in their own thoughts.

My brothers and sisters we need to be careful of our encounters with various churches, church folk, individuals, fellow employees, and just general day to day people as we go through our daily lives.  We need to be careful of our encounters because they can be deceiving.  We need to be mindful of our encounters because they can be demonic.  We need to be aware of our encounters when they transpire because they can be debilitating.

In our first point, we must be careful how we allow various acquaintances, business partners, and others to enter into our sacred refuge of innermost thoughts.  People will act as if they are concerned about you when you have an immediate problem.  You find that they only wanted to get your trust for something they want from you.  That is deception.  People tell you their issues that they have with another person cross-town and when you give your insight, they take it back to the person that they were talking to you about.  You find that they were conspiring to get you caught up in gossip.  That is deception.  You go and lie about your income tax knowing that you don’t have any more dependents.  That is deception.  You get up in church and tell people about a situation that you heard someone else go through, but you place yourself in the situation so that you can get sympathy.  That is deception.  You have done some good things in the community and you utilize those things in the past to get what you want out of people.  That is deception.  You have been blessed abundantly, but you want unmerited recognition for your efforts like the vagabond Jews.  That is deception.  You walk around town with your head held a little too high because you feel that you are the only spiritual advisor that can tell people how to conduct church business at a church you don’t even pastor while yours is slowly going down because of your unscrupulous behavior in the community.  That is deception.  Be careful of those that are running games brothers and sisters because they are out to deceive you into supporting their hidden agendas.

We must be aware of deceptive people because they have a demonic attitude that arises from time to time.  Mostly in the presence of God’s people is where this attitude arises.  A preacher enters into the church and is known for being able to deliver God’s word in a concise and timely manner.  You see the individual come in and your entire countenance and demeanor change.  That is demonic because you are jealous.  A singer stands to minister in song and you barely sing up in the choir stand because you do not like their voice.  That is demonic because you are selfish.  A deacon prays a soul stirring prayer and you keep your eyes on them while they’re praying and cussing under your breath about how long the prayer has taken to be prayed.  That is demonic because you are spiritually lifeless.  People attack you in your home church because you do not attend because you are growing in God.  That is demonic because they are blind.  Your friend attempts to get with your husband or wife after getting to know you both.  That is demonic because they are lustful.  You are practicing homosexuality and lesbianism (experimenting) under cover hoping that the folks in church do not find out.  That is demonic because you are confused.  You get mad at the pastor because he will not let you run wild in the church.  That is demonic because you are one-sided.  You are tipping around the county dating four other individuals besides your spouse.  That is demonic because you are a nymphomaniac.  No one can say anything to you because you are “always right” and if they say something you cuss them out in the church yard.  That is demonic because you are egotistical.  A person stands before you to address the congregation with well wishes and you sit with a dirty look on your face because they have not come to you for your limited advice and you have embarrassed yourself by volunteering information that they did not ask to receive.  Your people see you and question your ministry.  That is demonic because you are seeking self-aggrandizement.  You fail to get to know people for who they are and not what they possess.  Be careful of your encounters with demonic spirits because they will remain calm until you get them all stirred up and you may find yourself fighting for your dignity, reputation, and your life.

Lastly, you want to watch the close encounters because they are worse when they snatch you into the middle of things. The text states in verse 16, “And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”  Your encounters can be debilitating as stated before.  You are in the process of getting into affairs of others without an invitation and you find yourself trying to explain your way out.  That is debilitating.  People want to take over your ministry and have no vision.  They get into the position, but do nothing because of lack of training.  That is debilitating.  You feel you can do better than those that have been around for a little while.  You approach people the same way that those in position do only to find that you are not respected but laughed at.  That is debilitating to your ego.  A spouse finds out that he or she is not the only one, but one of many.  That is debilitating.  The child is on the streets hustling because they want fast money.  That is debilitating.  Teenage daughters are sleeping with the step father or with mom’s man.  That is debilitating.  Men are getting young teenage girls pregnant.  That is debilitating.  Husbands and wives are swapping partners at various functions.  That is debilitating.  Churches have teenage pregnancies, gang violence, and drug addicts in the neighborhood and ignore the problem.  That is debilitating.  Mothers and Fathers are allowing the children and the system to tell them how to run the house.  That is debilitating.  Churches allow anyone living any old type of way to be placed in leadership positions in the ministry.  That is debilitating.  A man or a woman is charged with a felony and America will not forgive them even after serving their time.  They judge them in the job market.  They judge them in the real estate market.  They get frustrated and return to what got them locked up in the first place.  That is debilitating.

Debilitating encounters can make you look good on the outside and in mental and spiritual anguish on the inside.  Encounters such as these tear families apart.  Encounters such as these rip a church to pieces.  Encounters such as these will impair the progression of God’s Kingdom because the leader is faithless and the demon has deceived and now attacked the faithless believer and you are in a debilitating situation that only God can fix.  Encounters such as these leave you feeling empty after service.  You feel empty at home.  You feel empty at work.  Encounters such as these will cause you to question your own integrity.  You will question your own faith in God.  You will even question God about things that God has already brought you through.

However, we serve a mighty God.  An encounter with God like the one Paul had on the road to Damascus will change your attitude.  The scripture states, “And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on the m all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.”  You see Paul had Jesus and Jesus had Paul.  Through the aid of the Holy Ghost, that evil spirit taught a lesson to all of them and to us.  If you encounter anyone or anything and you are not sincere and prayed up, you will have an unpleasant experience.  Yet God, in his magnificent wisdom knows how to make all of your encounters pleasant and in most cases a lot less painful.  When you get to know God and have a sincere encounter with God, your life will not and cannot be the same.  The closer the encounter with God, the sweeter your life will become.  Your blessings will never cease.  Your confidence will remain strong.  Your humility will overshadow your talents.

An encounter with God will allow you to overcome obstacles that you encounter that are there to slow you down.  You will realize and you will begin to tell the world, like Paul did, that Jesus lived, died and rose, ascended, and is interceding for us every day.  You will tell people that you encounter that…

When I fall, He lifts me up.  When I fail, He forgives me.  When I am weak, He strengthens me.  When I am lost, He shows me the way.  When I am afraid, He is my courage.  When I stumble, He steadies me.  When I am broken, He mends me.  When I am hurt, He heals me.  When I am blind, He leads me.  When I face trials, He is with me.  When I face persecution, He shields me.  When I face loss, He provides for me.  When I face death, He will carry me on home.  Jesus is a close encounter of the worst kind for the devil and his demons. The reason is because that encounter counteracts all that you used to do.  All you used to say.  That encounter requires effort on your part to meet the Lord and say I give up it is in your hands.  That encounter causes you growing pains.  That encounter causes you to become submissive, prayerful, and poised for your next level of success.