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Tuesday, March 7, 2006

"Overcoming Evil"

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6). "But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness" (1 Timothy 6:11). "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).

I passed a huge billboard near Reading, Pennsylvania advertising a "men's club".  It showed a photo of one of the women (actually giving her a name) and announced, "really, really wicked".  At least I will give them credit for truth in advertising for indeed this is really, really wicked.  Yet this is just what so many in the world hunger and thirst after.

The Bible says, "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil" (Isaiah 5:20).  Among the signs of a culture's moral decay and downfall is a failure to uphold the Creator's standards. This leads to great confusion as to what even constitutes evil. That's just where we are right now.  My, my, is there ever so much confusion!

We are being flooded with perversions and a great danger is the confusion regarding what is good and what is evil. Evil is being called good and good is being called evil. In man's "wisdom", the holy standards of God's Word are often mocked. But here's God's assessment of fallen man, "Professing to be wise, they became fools" (Romans 1:22).

As followers of Christ, we are called to overcome evil.  I've seen a bumper sticker that says, "Real Men Don't Do Porn."  That's true!  Rather, real men of God daily seek to live their lives to serve God, hungering and thirsting after His righteousness.  Today let us determine that we will not hunger and thirst after the wickedness of the world but rather after God's Kingdom and righteousness.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's prayer: Jesus, help me to remember that my character reflects that which I pursue daily.  When I reflect that which is good it is because I am pursuing the Kingdom of God that is full of righteousness, peace, and joy. Help me to diligently exercise the gift of discernment so that I will always recognize the kingdom of darkness which is full of evil, deceit, and chaos. Because of Your Holy Spirit abiding in my life I know that Your good in me is greater than the evil that is in the world!  By Your grace I will recognize and overcome the destructive forces of evil!

Note from Brooksyne:  Some of you with young children have a tremendous opportunity to engraft the Word of God into their hearts as you regularly sing the Scriptures.  "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" from Romans 12:21 is an excellent Scripture to sing before sending your child to school.  We enjoyed the songs on Steve Green's CD's "Hide 'Em In Your Heart" when Ester was a child and yet we still sing them word perfect many years later.  As a matter of fact we've been singing Romans 12:21 recently, even this morning as Ester was preparing to eat breakfast. That's probably why it made its way in the daily encouragement today!

Final note: This resource is still available (see below) and I certainly recommend it, not just parents but also grandparents.  I have memorized many of these Scripture songs just listening to them. As I was in my study preparing today's message it seems the Spirit prompted me to use this text and later I found out Brooksyne and Ester were singing it upstairs as they had their devotions so I might have been influenced in that way as well as I heard it in the background!

CD64300: Hide 'Em in Your Heart, Volume 1, CD and DVDHide 'Em in Your Heart, Volume 1, CD and DVD
By Steve Green / Emi Cmg Distribution
Little ones learn God's Word easily by singing and seeing its relevance applied to their life! Includes "Do to Others" (Matthew 7:12); "And Jesus Grew" (Luke 2:52); "Believe in the Lord!" (Acts 16:31); "When a Child" (Proverbs 20:11); and more.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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