God never threatens and the devil never warns. We sometimes use the words threat and warning interchangeably. Threats are used to get people to do what is in our best interest. Warnings are issued to get those same people to do what their best interest. In other words, threats seek to preserve power whereas warnings serve to protect people from possible danger.

Satan desires us to feel that God's loving warnings are mean-spirited threats, but he is totally wrong. A warning is a wonderful statement of God's, inspired by His love and patience. The proof of this is found in the many commands that are coupled with phrases like "that it may go well with you" (Deut. 4:40).

We find in loving relationships, people warn each other of the consequences of foolish behavior. In unhealthy relationships, people threaten one another with various punishments if they fail to love up to unreasonable demands.

As each of us interact with one another, it is good to consider the nature of our counsel and commands. Do we use ultimatums to preserve our own well-being? Or do we lovingly warn others to keep them from harm?

Warnings are an expression of love; threats are an expression of control.