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The Devil's Toolbox


JOHN 8:39-47 17 MARCH 2024

READ: John 8:39-47

They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus *said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. You are doing the deeds of your father.” They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

Almost everybody has a toolbox. If we lined all our toolboxes up, we would find that no two contained the same tools.

If I am a plumber, like my Dad, I will have tools that will help me – plumb.

If I were an electrician, I would have tools to help me handle electrical issues.

If I am a doctor, my toolbox will contain medical equipment that allows me to treat illnesses or injuries.

If I were a teacher, my toolbox would have materials to help me teach others about a particular subject.

So, our toolboxes are all unique. The contents of our toolboxes provide what is needed to allow us to complete the work that we need to do, which is specific to each of us.

Do you know who else has a toolbox? It's filled with the tools he needs to accomplish the tasks that will make him successful.

That guy is the Devil. He has a toolbox loaded with all kinds of devices to work his wiles on unsuspecting people wandering around without an anchor.

1. LYING is in the Devil’s Toolbox

So, let’s look into Satan’s toolbox and see what he uses in his daily work.

There are two types of speech.

Speaking falsely

Silence – concealing or avoiding the truth

Lying is the most universal tool on earth.

In our speech, we speak for Christ. We also speak for – or against Christ – by our actions.

The devil uses this tool to destroy the unity of the Body of Christ.

Why is it important that, as Christians, lying should not be a tool in our toolbox?

It is because we are members of one another.

Senses and nerves pass true messages to the brain.

If they begin to pass false messages, disaster could strike.

We are all bound in one body. That body can function properly only when we speak the truth.

God hates a lying tongue.

Read Proverbs 6:16-19 – “There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, a false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers.”

That’s quite a list of things God hates. Did you notice that he mentions lying twice in that list?

God hates a lying tongue. One who has a lying tongue will be destroyed.

If we want to see how severely God hates lying, look at Psalm 5:6: As David prays to God, he says: “You destroy those who speak falsehood; the Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit.”

David there speaks of bloodshed (murder) and deceit (lying) as equally abhorrent to God.

Liars will be destroyed along with murderers. That is a profound statement.

Let’s go back to Revelation 22. In the same passage where Jesus says, “Behold, I am coming quickly,” we find a reference to the fate of one who is a liar…verse 15: “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying.”

Liars will have a place in Hell in the company of the vilest sinners.

Here is another tool in the Devil’s toolbox: Anger

One source of Anger is actually related to Lying. Often, anger is brought on by someone who finds out about a lie that was told.

There are two types of Anger.

  • One is the burst of temper, usually happening in the heat of passion.

  • The second type of Anger is habitual anger. Anger that is long-lived, ongoing.

Scripture tells us not to let the sun set on our anger. When we do, it becomes habitual anger.

We need to point out, though, that all anger is not sinful and is not prohibited.

Think about it. God is angry today. He is angry with wicked, unruly people who disobey Him and His Word.

Jesus, too, became angry. In Mark 3:5, the Pharisees were watching Jesus as he approached a man with a withered hand. It was the Sabbath day, and the Pharisees watched to see if Jesus would break the Sabbath Law and heal the man.

Jesus responded to their question by saying, " Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?”

It was at that point that the Pharisees began their plan to destroy Jesus.

For the Christian, there are times when it would be a sin not to get angry—when he is faced with a sinful situation or witnesses the neglect of the Lord’s work.

But he must be guarded against his anger so that it in itself does not become sin.

Anger always has the capability of developing into malice and hatred.

When anger does strike, we must be careful to allow it to quickly subside, decrease, and be tempered.

Anger, when it is kept alive and allowed to grow and fester, will destroy peace and happiness.

So, even as Christians, we must be careful not to give the devil an opportunity to open his toolbox and bring out his most destructive tools. That happens when we hold onto anger and hurt feelings close to our hearts.

That is when the devil takes hold of us. He will take advantage of our weak moment.

Well, the devil has more tools in his toolbox.

Another tool in the Devil’s Toolbox, one he loves to use, is STEALING.

Jay Adams, an author of inspirational books, once wrote this:

“A thief is a thief until he begins working, not just when he stops stealing.”

Lying and stealing are really closely related.

The world often calls stealing sharpness, shrewdness, etc.

But those terms indicate dishonesty.

  • A thief is one who deals with untrue weights and measures.

  • A thief overcharges his customers.

  • A thief cheats on his hours of service to his employers.

  • A thief cheats on his income tax returns.

There is one sure remedy for overcoming the desire or habit of stealing.

That is to remove the temptation to steal.

Work with your hands.

Eat your own bread.

1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 - …..” We urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.”

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 – “…if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now, such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.”

The bottom line in Paul’s statement is that idle people have no place in the Kingdom of God.

When we look into the Devil’s toolbox again, we find the tool of CURSING.

We can define “cursing” as corrupt speech or impure communication.

Cursing is prohibited in God’s people. Conversations that include cursing inspire evil thoughts, feelings, passions, foolish jesting, and off-color stories.

Cursing can also be defined as “idle words.” Idle Words are unprofitable.

Matthew 12:36-37 tells us that men shall give an account on the day of judgment. (READ)

But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

We will either be justified or condemned by our words.

  • Talk should be that which edifies (builds up).

  • Kind, gracious, has force and character and is wholesome.

Paul speaks of the kind of talk Christians should engage in—Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt so that you will know how you should respond to each person.”

That indicates that we should look for every opportunity to say the right thing rather than look for an opportunity to say hurtful words.

Satan’s toolbox isn’t empty yet. There is another tool he loves to use.

That tool is Bitterness.

Bitterness is a state of mind that allows one to retain angry feelings and be ready to take offense. It nurses anger and causes one to brood over results they don’t agree with.

Sometimes, I would like to have a better memory—more so as the years go by. I might even pray about that.

But when bitterness is an issue in our lives, we need to pray to learn how to forget rather than pray for a sharper memory.

Smoldering bitterness kindles into flame when anger and wrath are present.

So, the devil has a toolbox full of devices to turn us away from the truth of the Word.

Sometimes, we try to get ahead by using the Devil’s tools, but we cannot get ahead by using his tools.

When we have put on Christ, we must put away the Devil’s tools and put on those of Christ.

If I am an electrician, I won’t be able to do my work if my toolbox is filled with the tools of a plumber.

If our toolboxes are filled with the tools of Satan, we cannot possibly do the work of Christ.

What’s in your toolbox this morning?

And just so we know which tools should be in Christ's followers' toolboxes, we will peek into them after Easter.

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