Psalm of the Day: Psalm 145:1-21
Wisdom of the Day: Proverbs 15:1-12
Scripture Reading: Luke 11:14-20
Let us notice in these verses the amazing power of criticism over the hearts of unconverted men. We read, that when our Lord cast out the demon, there were some who said, "He casts out devils through Beelzebub, the chief of the devils!" They could not deny the miracle. They then refused to allow that it was wrought by divine power. The work before their eyes was plain and indisputable. They then attempted to discredit the character of Him who did the miracle, and to blacken His reputation by saying that he was in league with the devil.
The state of mind here is very common. There are never lacking people who are determined to see no good in the servants of Christ, and to believe all kind of evil reports about them. Such people appear to throw aside their common sense. They refuse to listen to evidence, or to attend to plain arguments. Such prejudiced people are to be found in many a congregation. They are the severest trials of the ministers of Christ. It is no wonder that Paul said, "Pray that we may be delivered from unreasonable as well as wicked men." (2 Thessalonians 3:2)
Let us strive to be of a fair, and honest, and candid spirit in our judgment of men and things in religion. Let us be ready to give up old and cherished opinions, the moment that anyone can show us a "more excellent way." The honest and good heart is a great treasure. (Luke 8:15) A critical spirit is the very jaundice of the soul. It affects a man's mental eyesight, and makes him see everything in an unnatural color. From such a spirit, may we pray to be delivered!
Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, help me not to be critical.
Action Plan: Did someone in your church come to mind while reading this devotional today? If so, perhaps Satan has already sidetracked you, and you have become critical of your brethren. Churches are not perfect; they are full of sinners, but those sinners are God's saints. It makes no difference how you "feel" about them. Take some time to purge yourself of a critical spirit if you are guilty.
This devotional was taken from The Gospel of Luke by J.C. Ryle published in 1858
and adapted by Pastor Tim Lewis of New England Shores Baptist Church.