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  • East Martin CRC

Even the Demons Know to Praise, But…

Acts 16:16-21

Verse 17 She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”

Yesterday we were talking about the importance of praising through obedience. But we need to take note that the words of praise aren’t always about the Father.

Our Bible reading today tells of how two missionaries came upon some resistance to their ministry because it threatened the money making opportunities of some of the locals. They were being annoyed by a female slave who made her owners money through telling fortunes. The problems arose when the spirit who was in her, a spirit which was not of God, started pointing out that Paul and his missionary partner, Silas, held the Spirit of God.

Paul and Silas, put up with it for a few days and then having become so annoyed by this evil spirit they called it out of the woman and freed her from its power. Now it wasn’t that the evil spirit was lying about who they were or what they were doing. Why wouldn’t these men welcome this acknowledgment of God and their mission? The problem wasn’t so much the message but the source.

The fact was that Paul and Silas knew that it wasn’t the slave woman giving the message but the evil spirit within her. While the people would pay money to have this lady tell them their future they didn’t know the source of her fortunetelling. But Paul and Silas knew and they couldn’t allow evil to be the one proclaiming the truth.

While the proclaiming of the truth of God is a form of praise this passage shows us that not all praise is glorifying to God. He desires the praise of His people but the praise of the enemy isn’t given in the right spirit. This demon that Paul and Silas cast out of the woman wasn’t proclaiming God for God’s glory but for the profit of the slave owners.

The slave owner’s response told the truth of the value they put on the woman and they were so angry they went and made a fuss with the city leaders. They didn’t care for the message of God. They desired the work of the evil one instead of the Holy Spirit and that is why the praise wasn’t acceptable. Only praise given for God’s sole glory is true praise.

Making It Personal

Have there been times in your life when your praise wasn’t solely for God’s benefit? For whose benefit was it if it wasn’t God’s? How can you be sure that all future praise is directed solely to Him?

Making It Personal Kids

Who is pure praise directed to? How do you know that you are praising Jesus alone? Do you know how to praise Jesus?

Closing Prayer

Father, forgive us any times that we haven’t praised You solely. Keep our hearts from listening to those who offer insincere praise to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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