Read The Small Print!
We are faced with a barrage of advertisements every day. They are on television, radio, newspapers, magazines billboard and any space available which the advert companies see as a strategic point to reach people.
These advertisements usually promise us everything you can think of. It doesn’t matter whether what they are telling you as half-truth or no truth at all. What is important is that someone must hear the message and respond to it.
Many companies offer promotions in order to induce customers to buy more of their products and services. You hear jingles like, ‘Buy one, get one free’ or ‘recharge and get extra minutes free’. These companies know that people like to take advantage of free products or service, so they use these offers as inducement to lure people to consume more.
Usually, there is a hidden agenda which will not be made obvious. Check out most offers on posters or in any print media. The caption will be in very big, colourful fonts with attractive pictures to go with it. If you are an observant person however, you will see in small print, ‘Conditions apply’. The kind of conditions what would apply may not be easily figured out until when you want to make claims.
How different this is from God’s love towards us! We are told in scripture, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16) This is a love that is unconditional, no strings attached, no hidden message. It is so plain for all to see!
I have often said that if God were to stop at giving us Jesus without doing anything further, it would have been fair enough. God however took a step ahead by providing us with the Holy Spirit, so that His presence would always be with us, guiding us and helping us to walk in His will.
The devil on the other hand offers juicy and attractive things. Remember how he tempted the Lord in Matthew chapter 4? The first time he asked Jesus to turn stones into bread. He however attached a condition, ‘If you are the Son of God’. Jesus knew He was the Son of God; He did not need to turn stones to bread in order to convince the devil. The second time, he adopted the same strategy. He took Jesus to the highest point of the temple and told him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down’. He now decides to quote scripture, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’
The first time he tempted Jesus, the devil was rebuffed with a quote from scripture. On his next attempt, he decides to use the same scripture. I am reminded of church folks who use the scripture to defend their wrong actions. I have heard cases of men who attempt to blackmail unsuspecting sisters by telling them God had revealed the sister is his wife, leaving her no choice in the matter. I have had opportunity to advice such sisters to tell such men to wait until God confirmed the same truth to the sister. On getting this response, the so called brother slinkers off, knowing the game is up.
Lastly, the devil now offers a juicy package the Jesus. He takes Him to a high mountain, shows him the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. ‘He says, ‘All these will I give you, if you will bow down and worship me’. At this point, Jesus had had enough of the devil. He responded, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’
The enemy is still dangling juicy offers to many Christians today. Sadly, a number of believers are falling prey to the enemy’s antiques. They fail to read the very small print which reads, ‘Condition Apply’. Of course the devil, just like most of the promotional adverts we are bombarded with everyday, will never tell you the full details. The truth is, no matter how beautifully packaged the item is, there is always a catch somewhere.
God on the other hand, gives us the freedom to choose. You know what you are dealing with ahead of time. There is no room for surprises.
The next time the devil dangles his wares at you, please take my advice, check out the words in small print!
Steve O. Popoola
© August 2009, Biblepraise Fellowship Online.
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the webmaster of Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepra ise.org. British by birth, He currently resides in Lagos, Nigeria with his wife Maris and their children; Praise, Stephanie and Precious. He works as an IT professional in a bank. He presently serves as Church Secretary and Heads the Music Ministry in his local church . He loves to encourage and inspire through speaking forums. He is the Moderator/Editor of Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org