Saturday, December 26, 2015

Our enemy's DNA

Death of Stephen - Lyman Abbott Commentary on Acts
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Acts 6:1-15

"They also set up false witnesses who said, 'This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law.'" Acts 6:13

In the last few years, DNA* analysis has helped the police solve many crimes. Detectives can send microscopic amounts of blood, skin, saliva, or hair to the lab, have them analyzed and identify who they come from when they match the DNA profile of a person on file.

I would submit that the devil often leaves behind incriminating DNA evidence too. We see it today in the story of Stephen and the way the religious Jewish leads shut him down. They did it with lies: "… secretly induced men to say…"  things Stephen hadn't said, and "… set up false witnesses" - Acts 6:11,13.

Remembering what Jesus said about Satan in His back-and-forth with the religious leaders...
" 'You are of your father the devil, and it is your will to practice the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar and the father of lies and half-truths' " - John 8:44 AMP
... we see, it's a match! Lying is part of Satan's DNA.

I can think of two things as a practical takeaway from this:

1. When lies and slander are used against us, we know their real source.

2. We must guard against our own tendency to lie.
Jeremiah reminds us: "The heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, who can know it?" - Jeremiah 17:9.

But, and this is where the DNA metaphor breaks down (hopefully), we can be changed, get a new DNA. Paul says: "Do not lie to one another since you have put off the old man and his deeds" - Colossians 3:9.
And "Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, new things have come [because spiritual awakening brings a new life]" - 2 Corinthians 5:17 AMP.

Dear God, please help me to recognize lies and their real origin, and to resist all temptation to lie. Amen.

 MORE: Feast of St. Stephen

Today we celebrate Stephen the first martyr. Here is the collect that begins the liturgy for this day:

"We give you thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of the first martyr Stephen, who looked up to heaven and prayed for his persecutors to your Son Jesus Christ, who stands at your right hand; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen."

[*DNA - 1. Genetics - deoxyribonucleic acid: an extremely long macromolecule that is the main component of chromosomes and is the material that transfers genetic characteristics in all life forms…

2. the set of nongenetic traits, qualities, or features that characterize a person or thing

From the definition of DNA on]

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked AMP are taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." (

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