Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 24, 2014

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody."  Romans 12:17

Evil is easy to recognize in others.

But when it comes to owning up to the evil in you, that is a little tougher. You have your weak areas and your struggles, but you are not really evil. Right?

Let's see what Jesus has to say.

"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell." Matthew 5:21-22

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:27-28

Would you admit that any person who would commit a murder is an evil person? Certainly you would admit that murder is an evil deed.

Well, Jesus said if you have ever been angry at another person you have an evil in you that is capable of murdering someone.

And He is also saying that if you have ever lusted for a woman, that indicates you have a evil that is capable of committing adultery.

So, getting angry or lusting after a woman indicate an inner evil resident within you. Are you evil? If you have done either or both of these then you have evil in you. Yes, you.

In this very chapter evil is defined and identified.

In verse one, evil is refusing to surrender spiritually to God.

Verse two identifies evil as being conformed to the world.

The third through eighth verses indicates evil is using your gifts for yourself rather than serving others. Or, it is not using them at all.

Verse 9 mentions embracing evil as something evil.

Verse 10 indicates that self-centered love is evil.

The rest of the chapter reveals that being overcome by evil is evidence of evil within you. Refusing to do the good thing or the right thing or the godly thing opens the door for evil in your life.

Then the question becomes, "What am I going to with that evil?"

Will you tolerate it? Will you ignore it and hope it goes away?

Or, will you confess it and repent of it and resist it every day? Admit that you are evil and ask God to cleanse it out of you by His blood and His Spirit.

February 23, 2014

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody."  Romans 12:17

When the writer of Romans penned these words I think he assumed that his readers would know what evil is. Nowadays that may not be the case:

 Is evil a noun or is it a verb?

There is much confusion over that these days. Is evil something that is done by you or to you or is evil something you are? Is it a dark and powerful personal force within you or is it the harmful and hurtful things you do? That confusion contributes to many of our problems in our world today.

If we are going to overcome evil, obviously we must have a clear and actual understanding of what evil is.

A study of the whole 12th chapter will give you a good concept of what evil is.

V.1 - Evil is refusing to surrender your sinful nature to Christ.

V. 2 - Evil is conforming to the "world" or the "cosmos" in your thinking and your values.
          Evil is not desiring the will of God.

V. 3 - 8 - Evil is failing or refusing to serve God with your gifts and talents.

V. 9 - 13 - Evil is self-seeking and despising others.

V. 14- 20 - Evil is being conceited, spiteful and retaliatory toward those who disagree with you.

You will either overcome evil or it will overcome you. And until you deal with the evil that controls your nature, you will be overcome by evil.

So, evil is a noun.

It is a nature that dwells in you from the time of your birth. Being born evil you are also born separated from God. And that spiritual separation from God is the essence of your evil.

But, evil is also a verb!

It is because of the evil that dwells in you, evil guides your thoughts and decisions. Evil thoughts breed evil attitudes that are expressed in evil actions.

God calls you to be delivered from evil. You can choose to allow Him to deliver you and cleanse you from evil.

Or, you can be overcome by evil. Which will  it be today?