Morning Reading for February 17

Mark 1:21-28
(Luke 4:33-37)

Suggested further reading: Matthew 19:16-22

We are especially told that the unclean spirits knew our Lord (v. 24). They knew Christ when scribes and Pharisees were ignorant of him and would not acknowledge him. And yet their knowledge was not unto salvation. This knowledge was a knowledge unaccompanied by faith, hope or charity. Those who possessed it were miserable fallen beings, full of bitter hatred against both God and man.

The mere belief of the facts and doctrines of Christianity will never save our souls. Such belief is no better than the belief of devils. They all believe and know that Jesus is the Christ. They believe that he will one day judge the world and cast them down into endless torment. It is a solemn and sorrowful thought that on these points some professing Christians have even less faith than the devil. There are some who doubt the reality of hell and the eternity of punishment. Such doubts as these find no place except in the hearts of self-willed men and women. There is no infidelity among devils

(James 2:19).

Let us beware of an unsanctified knowledge of Christianity. It is a dangerous possession, but a fearfully common one in these latter days. We Mayknow the Bible intellectually and have no doubt about the truth of its contents. We may have our memories well stored with its leading texts, and be able to talk glibly about its leading doctrines. And all this time the Bible may have no influence over our hearts, wills and consciences. We may, in reality, be nothing better than devils.

Let us take heed that our faith is a faith of the heart, as well as the head. We Maygo on all our lives saying, `I know that and I know that' and sink at last into hell with the words upon our lips. Let us see that our knowledge bears fruit in our lives.

It is one thing to say, `Christ is a Saviour.' It is quite another to say, `Christ is my Saviour and my Lord.' The devil can say the first. The true Christian alone can say the second.

For meditation: Without faith we are worse than devils; with a mere head faith we are equal to devils; with life-changing faith we are unlike devils.

These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ