April 5 – Luke 11:14-36
Luke 11:17 “… ‘Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.’”
                Jesus was accused of casting out a demon from a suffering man by the power of the devil.  His accusers were jealous of Jesus’  power and had no compassion for the suffering of the man Jesus delivered.   Jesus countered these critics by pointing out the lack of logic in their claims.  The devil would never let his ‘so called’ power be used to ease human suffering – to do so would diminish his kingdom.  In his absolute selfishness, the devil isn’t one to share power!
                Today we rarely think in terms of demons and the devil.  But suffering still exists and so does jealousy as well as compassion.    It’s a complex world.  But we can discern a powerful spiritual principle in Jesus’ words.  Even though it’s a complex world, any nation, community, house, family or even individual must have a basic unity of spirit to stand against ruin.
                What does this kind of unity of spirit look like?  This question can be answered at any level  (from community to individual) by looking at results.  Elsewhere (Matthew 7:20) ,  Jesus said plainly that a person would be exposed by the outcomes of their actions (‘By their fruits you will know them’).
                All of us are complex people living in a complex world, we all have a past and some of it we aren’t proud of.  Our ‘inner houses’ are divided and the ‘ruins’ in our past show it.  The Good News is that we can change – “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
                The fruit of standing firm in His Word and keeping in step with Him is: ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.’ (Galatians 5:22)   We will change as we move forward increasing our unity with the Spirit of His Word!  This doesn’t happen in one step or all at once – like any genuine change it happens over time after many steps (some backwards, sometimes stumbling). 

               Spiritual progress not spiritual perfection is the rule on this side of eternity.