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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

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Pope St. John I

Sirach 4:11-19
Psalm 119:165, 168, 171, 172, 174, 175
Mark 9:38-40

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"John said to Him, 'Teacher, we saw a man using Your name to expel demons and we tried to stop him because he is not of our company.' " —Mark 9:38

Have you ever tried to stop others who use Jesus' name be-cause they're not of your company? Have you ever criticized another religion? Have you ever got on your soap box about traditionalists, charismatics, fundamentalists, or just people different than you? Be very careful before opposing any work done in Jesus' name. Take Gamaliel's advice: "Let them alone. If their purpose or activity is human in its origins, it will destroy itself. If on the other hand, it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them without fighting God Himself" (Acts 5:38-39).

Be especially careful not to oppose the work of expelling demons. "Jesus said in reply: 'Do not try to stop him. No man who performs a miracle using My name can at the same time speak ill of Me' " (Mk 9:39). Jesus said, "Anyone who is not against us is with us," whether of our company or not (Mk 9:40). But on the other hand, anyone not with the Lord on this matter of deliverance from demons is against the Lord (Lk 11:23). Those who oppose the deliverance ministry of outsiders paradoxically become outsiders themselves by Jesus' standards. Don't excommunicate yourself.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I fight the devil, not other Christians.

Promise:  "Then [Wisdom] comes back to bring him happiness and reveal her secrets to him." —Sir 4:18

Praise:  Pope St. John I received resistance from the emperor at Constantinople, imprisonment from the ruler of Italy, but a crown of glory from his Savior and King.

Reference:  (Devote yourself to the ministry of the Word. For encouragement, order our tapes on the Bible Teachers Series. Our six-tape audio series starts with AV 117-1. Our three-part video series starts with V-117.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 2004

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