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 Slippery Slopes

JUNE 18

MATTHEW 6:13_into temptation…

Jesus says pray not to fall into temptation. What is temptation? A place where weaknesses have the upper hand. A slippery slope. A place where you are the controlled – not the controller. 

Everyone is vulnerable. It is easy to think you’re not. Why?  If you are a church-going, Bible-believing, Jesus-following person, you can’t be vulnerable, right?  Wrong! It is true all of those things give you the upper hand. The more your spirit grows, the stronger your resistance to temptation develops. But don’t think you can’t fall like everyone else.

If you get a bit cocky, let go of Jesus’ hand, and think you got this – prepare to go down. Jesus teaches to pray that you are not led into temptation. Praying keeps you focused on the power in you – is from Him!

Jesus knows your weaknesses and the devil’s strength. Be wise and follow His model way to pray, not to be led into temptation. Pray for the discernment to be alert to your weaknesses. Call out to the power of the Father to lead you away from the slippery slopes. Pray for help from the temptations which empower your specific weaknesses.         

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, Please help me become aware of my weaknesses and know the temptations which empower them. Direct my steps not to go there. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows my weaknesses—He will help me!

Jesus' Input

APRIL 16

MATTHEW 5:39_But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil…

Resist not evil sounds odd. After all, wouldn’t you want to resist evil whenever it came your way?

The word resist here can be translated, to withstand; oppose. Again, that sounds like the right way to handle evil. If evil comes at me, I intend to oppose it. 

So, why is the word not a part of this teaching? Does Jesus say not to fight evil? Let evil have its own way? It could almost sound like Jesus is in favor of evil.  Since that isn’t true, it could only be one thing – scale balancing. Justice and mercy do not balance without Jesus’ input.

If you’ve been treated wrong in a way that is not an actual crime, you won’t run to the court for help. If you are transforming into a salty-lit-up disciple, you’ll run to Jesus for help. He tells you not to plan a revenge plot. Jesus wants you to resist that temptation.

Something just doesn’t seem right. The only way it can be right is if Jesus beats up your enemy, right? That’s how to balance the scales!

So, what would Jesus do?

The answer to that question is phenomenal!!  Jesus transforms the whole revenge thing.    

PRAYER

King of Kings, Please change my heart so it seeks mercy more than revenge. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                                                                                                              

Christ balances the heart—He will balance mine!

A Jesus Relationship

MARCH 18

MATTHEW 5:22 _But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…

Needless to say, there are a lot of tragedies in the world. High on the list is when anger destroys a church congregation. If we all held ourselves liable for our thoughts, words, and actions, we’d be more careful how we speak. Remember, we’re called to be salt to preserve and flavor, not destroy. 

We are all sinners. We all fail from time to time. Hopefully, the more time we spend in a Jesus relationship, the fewer our failures. This includes curbing anger.   

Galatians 6:1, 10 says “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Verse 10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

The scales are balanced when the murderer is held accountable for his actions according to the law of the land (judgment), and when the Christian holds himself accountable according to the law of Jesus (mercy).

PRAYER

Kind God, Help me be merciful to my fellow Christians. Help me know I am no better than the one who falls to temptation. When I am victorious over sin it is because of Your power in me. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is merciful—He wants me to be!

On Your Mark, Get Set,Go!

JANUARY 3

MATTHEW 5:1_he went up into a mountain: and when he was set…

Have you ever heard, “On your mark, get set, go?” In this verse Jesus reaches His mark, which is up on a mountain. You must reach your mark before you can begin the race, and you must have prepared yourself before you reach the mark. Once the mark is reached you get set—ready to begin the work.

Baptism was a part of Jesus’ preparation for His mark. Another was testing and endurance. Jesus endured a wilderness experience away from home, family, and friends. He suffered.

He suffered physically because He chose to fast during this time—to deny the body in order to strengthen the spirit.

He suffered temptation of the flesh to break the fast—in order to satisfy the physical over the spiritual.

He suffered a power struggle—to test God’s Word rather than believe it. He suffered the struggle of fame—to seek the praise of men over the praise of God.

You will face tests and sufferings throughout life. Suffering can break you or make you. The making or breaking is a decision, and the decision is yours.

PRAYER

Holy Great God, Help me endure my struggles in life. Let Your Word teach me wisdom that I may reach the mark and be set for Your go. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.                     

Christ suffered—He will help me be strong in suffering!