Good-Versus-Evil

JUNE 19

MATTHEW 6:13_but deliver us from evil…

Because the world is full of evil does not mean good does not exist. Nor does it mean good does not prevail. Good prevails more than evil – it is just harder to see. Ultimately, it will prevail once and for all. In the meantime, you live with evil.

Every day is a good-versus-evil battle. The times when evil wins are difficult. Just to see some of the world’s evil on the News can be disturbing. It causes an oppressive spirit to hang heavy in your soul. You ask God how such things can happen. You wonder how humans reach such a level of degradation.

When there is evil in your personal life – you need hope.  

When you pray not to be led into temptation, add as Jesus did to be delivered from evil. The devil intends evil daily. That’s his intention. It does not mean he wins. God intends mercy daily. God holds all the cards. One card God holds which the devil can never get his hands on is found in Romans 8:28 (KJV), “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Get to know this verse and praise God for it. This is why good prevails more than evil. God can take the devil’s evil and cause good for His people. The times when evil wins a battle are not the end of the war. Your hope is in this verse.

Somewhere in the long run, God’s compassion and power will use pain to make you a better person!              

PRAYER

God of Hope, Please deliver me from evil. I know evil is in the world, but I know You are greater than the world. I praise Your power that helps me! In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ can make good from the devil’s evil – He does it for me!

The Big Three

MAY 26

MATTHEW 6:6_and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward them openly.

More rewards. Open rewards. Have you noticed how often God has plans to reward you? It is a definite part of His plan. 

The world is cruel, hard, and evil. Praise God that while you live in it He blesses with rewards. Praise God He works supernaturally on your behalf.

What a mighty God!

Along with awaking with God’s likeness, I also desire to receive wisdom, understanding, and knowledge. Proverbs 24:3-4 (KJV),”Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”

I want to build my life on wisdom. I want to establish my life in understanding. I want to furnish my life with knowledge. Want to know how to live in the world, but not of it? The Big Three! That means during my lifetime I can grow into a salty-lit-up disciple and not be bound by the world’s sins. By now you know what that means – I can live free. It does not mean I will never sin again. It means I will no longer be controlled by sin. No bondages.

Freedom means I’m not captive to anything but the love of Jesus!

PRAYER

God of Wisdom, Please teach me to build my life on wisdom; establish it with understanding and furnish it with knowledge. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is freedom—I want to live free!

The Win-Win

MAY 17

MATTHEW 6:4_and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Proverbs 15:3 (KJV), “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”

God is omnipresent. He never lets you out of His sight. Some people can be intimidated by this verse thinking God keeps check on everything they do. He does! But, that’s a very good thing!

God loves you enough to prod you when you’re headed astray, and to bless you when you’ve done a good deed. II Chronicles 16:9 (KJV), “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…”

Jesus says your Father is everywhere, showing His strength. Let there be no doubt about it. There isn’t any place, or any way, you can hide from God. Why would you want to?

To hide from God would be like trying to outrun love.

A love that never fails.

A love that draws you close to your Creator.

A love that would die for you.

A love that did die for you.

A love that gave you eternal life.

God sees in secret and rewards in the open. Live out the creation principles Jesus teaches! Become a salty-lit-up disciple who gives God glory.

That’s a win-win!

PRAYER

Jesus God, Thank You that You are always with me—anytime, anywhere. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ is omnipresent—He will never leave me!

A Salty Residue

MAY 2

MATTHEW 5:46_For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same?

We like rewards, especially when we have worked hard to receive them. We like to see an accomplishment receive its due credit. 

In the kingdom of heaven, we don’t necessarily work to be rewarded – but God does use that system. Our work for God is to love His people by being salt and light in a dark and thirsting world. The fact that God rewards us for that is a blessing.

Just because we love those who love us does not win a blue ribbon. Jesus said even tax collectors (publicans) can do that. Let’s take a moment and clarify tax collectors. In case either or both of your parents work for the IRS, don’t think they are the chief of sinners. During Jesus’ earth time, Israel was occupied by the Romans. The Romans demanded taxes from the Israelites. Tax collectors were considered enemies. Hebrews who worked for the Roman government to collect taxes from their fellow neighbors were considered traitors. Rome allowed the Hebrew tax collectors to charge extra for themselves (under the table). Therefore, if Jesus wanted to leave a graphic image of the worst of sinners, tax collectors were a good choice. Jesus says even bad or weak people can love those who love them.

And for the record, Jesus taught to pay taxes – even if they went to Caesar. But He did not defend the Hebrew who stole extra tax money.

Returning good for evil leaves a salty residue.

PRAYER

God of Love, Please don’t let my love be weak, let it be powerful. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                             

Christ loves those who don’t love Him—He helps me to!

180

APRIL 17

MATTHEW 5:39_but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

If someone slaps you in the face, turn so they can do it again. What? No way! Jesus couldn’t possibly mean that! Where’s the balance?

There are more ways to be slapped than just physical. The pain of words is one – don’t want to be on the receiving end of that unbridled anger. An arrogant attitude is another – treated like you’re less than stupid. In whatever form the slap comes, Jesus has already taught not to seek revenge. Does He say to let yourself be slapped again? That doesn’t make sense.

The teachings of Jesus can be radical – way radical! These law transformations are when Jesus is at His topsy-turvy best. His teaching appears to be wrong, maybe even crazy. A heart that has not been or is not being changed will find them to be just that – crazy!     

Jesus has set a stage. Take a seat and enjoy the show. This is a play about a good guy who is injured by an evil bully. The bully is motivated by jealousy and envy. The good guy’s injury causes hardships in his life. The good guy looks for help but no one rushes to his rescue. Everyone fears the bully.

The good guy’s help comes from Jesus’ 180 degree turn.

PRAYER

Lord of Lords, You want to rescue me from the devil’s evil deeds. Help me make the turns I need to make. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.     

Christ’s love knows when to turn—He will teach me!