Posts Tagged ‘evil’

We could never adequately appreciate times of quiet unless we knew times of chaotic, noisy racket.

When the annoying rattle in the dashboard stops and we can drive without the distraction to our thinking, it’s good.

When the neighbor’s incessantly barking dog is finally given a bowl of food and is silenced, it’s good.

When the persistently griping co-worker goes on vacation for two weeks, it’s good.

Quiet is SO nice compared to corrosive noise.

Yet, without that racket, we wouldn’t value the calm as we should.

It’s all about the contrast.

And so it is with the chaotic, corrosive effects of evil.

In fact, God re-purposes that evil so that it promotes good.

Satan must hate how God does this.

But Satan hates everything, so that’s OK.

Check out this verse that can help us understand the place of evil in serving God’s purposes:

“But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth.” (Exodus 9:16)

These words of God were directed toward Pharoah when he wouldn’t let the Hebrews leave Egypt.

Pharoah was evil in his heart toward Moses and the Hebrews and defiant in his rejection of God’s miracle-amplified mandates to “let the people go.”

In verse 15, Moses told Pharoah that God could have simply wiped the Egyptian ruler and his people “off the face of the earth.”

But God’s sovereignty and His purposes are better served by God’s will overcoming evil rather than eliminating it from the earth.

It’s quite logical when we think about it.

Teams don’t lift trophies after practice sessions, but instead after championship contests.

There is no victory where there is no contest.

Evil creates the occasion for the contest.

Faith in God’s purposes and power creates the avenue for the victory.

God allows evil so that His children might re-purpose it for His glory and their victory.

Let’s remember this when evil stings us. Just like Paul did in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

As faith strengthens us during the contest over whom we trust — God or Satan — victory over evil will become our testimony that can spread God’s fame throughout the “earth” of our lives.

As always, I love you

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I saw the stark contrast between spiritual darkness and spiritual light this morning.

It’s so sad to think that some people can be so filled with envy and fear that they’ll embrace evil thinking and intent bent on destroying innocence.

Yet, it makes me so glad to know that people can choose a better way that embraces godly thinking and an intent to pour innocent love into the lives of others.

First, the dark moment.

Then He said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one! Then the Pharisees called a meeting to plot how to kill Jesus.” (Matthew 12:13-14)

Jesus had compassion on a man with a crippled hand and healed him. But because the healing occurred on the sabbath — most likely during a worship service — the Pharisees went ballistic.

If Jesus kept doing this miracle stuff on the Sabbath in direct contradiction to the Pharisaic teaching, then everybody will start doing stuff on the Sabbath, the religious big shots surmised. And the Pharisees’ leverage of fear would weaken significantly.

This Jesus guy had to go, the Pharisees decided, because He was messing up the agenda of control and power upon which the Pharisees counted. It’s a pathetic picture of spiritual darkness.

Contrast that with the abundance of spiritual light found in Psalm 15, also part of today’s reading in the One-Year Bible.

“Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?

“Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?

“Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts.

“Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends.

“Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts.

“Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.

“Such people will stand firm forever.”

Let’s be people of the light, wanting to do what’s right.

And whenever we’re tempted to resent Jesus because we’re convicted of thinking or doing wrong, let’s recall who gets to spend forever in the land of the living.

As always, I love you

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