Rev. Dr. Delesslyn A. Kennebrew, J.D., M.Div. - Visionary Strategist  Faithful Innovator  Inspirational Essayist
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I Got PAID to Say This!!! - Matthew 28:11-15

I Got Paid to Say This!
Matthew 28:11-15
While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened.  When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’  If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.”  So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
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BlogFam, have you ever seen or heard this statement at any time as you have watched your local or cable network television programming?
This program has been paid for by ______________________________.  The views expressed in the preceding [or in the following program] are independent and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views of this station.
I appreciate this disclosure.  It is a legal statement expressing the limitations of the station’s support of the images and messages expressed in the program that is being aired on the station.  In other words, the program paid the station in order to share the images and messages it chose to convey during the time of that particular program and if any viewer does not appreciate what they have just seen or heard or what they are about to see or hear, they can contact the producers of the program and not the station itself.  Because the station was paid a certain amount in order to fulfill a contractual obligation, they assume minimal responsibility regarding the images or messages that have been aired.  The station got paid so that the producers of this program could convey their images and messages at this time and on this station.
Friends, I would venture to say that there are some people in your life – or there have been or will be people in your life who are getting paid in order to convey an image or message about you.  This image or message may not necessarily be what they personally feel but because the price was right – whatever the currency used – they have chosen to allow this image or message to be expressed through them.  They have gotten paid in order to share an image or message about you that they otherwise would not share because it benefits them in a way that at the same time calls your witness, your faith, your ministry, your authority, your reputation, your salvation, and your testimony into question.
In our text for today, we find that this is the case.  Soldiers were paid by the church leaders in order to convey a message that is still told today.  The message that they were paid to express is that Jesus is still dead.  Jesus has not risen.  And His disciples came by night and stole Him away while they were sleep.   The soldiers got paid to convey an image and message negating the resurrection of our Lord in order to discredit the ministry of Jesus and those who would follow Him even until this day.  They got paid my friends and such are some of you – or at least somebody you know.  Some of us are getting paid with money, popularity, appearance of celebrity, clothing,fine wine, and jewels in order to discredit, discount, disregard the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the pay has been good, really good.  As a result, there are others of us who have been the victims of these deals behind closed doors, money passed under the table, and secret handshakes in the hallways which have seemingly stifled the progress of our ministry in a variety of contexts all because somebody has gotten paid to discredit, discount, and disregard you.
So, I do not know if you are reading this as one who has been the victim of such devilish plots and planning. I do not know if your pockets have been the receptacles of whatever currency was appealing to you and put you where you selfishly wanted to be anyway at the expense of another who has been created in the image of the Almighty.  No matter what side you may find yourself, I will say this –
This strategic attack has been paid for by the one who has come to steal, to kill, and to destroy.  The views expressed in the preceding or in the following strategy are independent of the one who loves you more than you will ever know and do not at all reflect or represent the views of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega,
the Beginning and the End.
So, sistas and brothas, PLEASE BE CLEAR: If you are the victim or if you are a perpetrator of this attack, THIS is Not of God and you are not the first, nor will you be the last.  There will always be a plan to prevent the images and the messages of the Kingdom of God from going forth.  
The question becomes: In what ways have you been deceived by the enemies of the Kingdom of God to silence, stifle, or stigmatize the Gospel? 
How much would it cost someone for you to get paid off like the soldiers in order to convey an image or message that you do not necessarily share but the pay was so good you decided to get paid now and then get forgiveness later? 
Are you already being used as a perpetrator of such an attack against the mission, vision, or the actions of your local church, church leaders, family,friends, classmates, co-workers, neighbors, etc. to the extent that you are knowingly and selfishly attempting to block the work that our God has chosen to do through them?
BlogFam, the strategy of the priests and the elders in the Gospel as recorded by Matthew is still at work today. Let us pray one for another so that we will not be deceived by the glitz and glamor that is promised by the enemies of the Kingdom of God.  Let us pray one for another so that we will not negotiate or accept payment- in whatever currency is most appealing to us –to participate in the victimization of those who are striving to do the will of God.  Let us pray one for another so that those among us who have already chosen to compromise the integrity of the Gospel of our risen Savior would repent and turn from their wicked ways.  Let us pray one for another so that the Lord would give us the boldness to expose and openly and appropriately reject the thoughts, the strategies, and the actions that serve to misappropriate the images or messages of our Lord and of those who follow in His way. 
AND let us pray one for another so that the Lord will keep our hearts and our minds stayed on Him so as not to be pulled into the devices of darkness.  May we all be men and women of LOVE, LIGHT, and TRUTH and may we with great conviction declare that the ultimate price has already been paid in full at the cross and we have already been redeemed.  Enemy,you cannot pay us enough because all that we are and all that have in Christ is priceless!
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