Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: January 2016

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Problem with Good

A disclaimer: I apologize that this post won’t be concerned with apologetics. I see where the title can may be misleading but hopefully you’ll find benefit in the thoughts that follow.

In recent posts, although not my main focus, I’ve spoken more than a little about evil. About how we usually define it by its level of obvious heinous depravity when Scripturally, it’s much more subtle and present in the smallest things that simply don’t find their root in God.

The Scriptures have a lot to say about evil;

Matthew 5:27 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Matthew 6:34(b) Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Romans 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Ephesians 5:16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:12 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

Yes, evil is really 'all around' and though it's not enough to defeat us, we need to be prepared for the daily fight. We mustn't forget; we used to be daily contributors.
Thing is, we may not be keenly aware of how to recognize evil but that shouldn’t dissuade us from realizing that each day we wake up, evil has packed enough impact to spread sufficient coverage across the entire day.

This means -
Assume that not only is it trying to affect you, it’s trying to do so in ways that keep you unaware of its presence.
Assume that evil will begin to build and set traps that will not be ready until some time in the future and today's traps may have been years in the making.
Assume that you won’t see it for what it is and that your natural self may be initially enticed to go along or agree.
Assume that the noose of evil will not cinch tight around you until you’ve become very comfortable with the bait.
Assume that evil won’t use blatant trickery, it’s most effective lure 'makes good sense'.
Assume the source of evil doesn’t (and will hardly ever) look evil at all.

I believe that we’re called to ‘Seize the day’ with an informed mindset of what evil is, also realizing that it will also be ready to express its presence at every turn. If we have this mindset we know that all is not loss. We know that God has given us all that we need to prepare ourselves for each day. We know that we have the whole armor of God that we may be able to withstand in the evil day (Eph 6:13). We know that God is not only the Blacksmith of this armor, He’s also the Power in its effectiveness.

Here’s The Word:

Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

So the problem of good is that there's resistance: It doesn't come naturally and it doesn't come easy.
This is our call to be purposefully peculiar and promote a passion for GOOD
(Yeah….I have a thing for alliteration) –
Purposefully avoid or seek to redeem communication that does not edify – Ephesians 4:29
Purposefully engage in and encourage praiseworthy behavior and conversation – Philippians 4:8
Purposefully seek to build up yourself and others – 2 Peter 1:4 -9 & Jude 1:20
Purposefully let your light so shine in all circumstances that God would be glorified – Matthew 5:16

Okay, I can see where many might have a problem reconciling what it means to fight evil with good and the idea of ‘being perfect’.

Remember we made it clear mid-way through that the power to overcome evil with good comes from God.

Furthermore, I once had a student years ago, Jeremy Congdon, who said it plainly, “No matter how good you get, you still had to be told.” Which is a great thought to keep close by. We ARE called to be(come) perfect – That’s what Sanctification is as we’re already “saved” if we have received Christ. So the purpose of fighting evil is not to look down our noses, it’s what we’re called to do. We’ve been called out of the darkness of the guilt our past sin, out of the darkness of the fear of death, out of the darkness of bondage to lustful desires and out of the darkness of continued conformity to this world’s blindness to the True and Living God – so we wrestle as we relinquish the hold that evil has had on us.

In closing, I'm simply saying that we need to assume the presence of evil and not only its mere attendance, but it's tenacious drive to affect you personally (if ever so subtly); we need to know that we know that God is the source of power necessary for resisting and overcoming this evil with good, and lastly that we purposefully seek to LIBERALLY apply that good in our day. The focus here is obedience to Christ, Who is present and eager to promote your success and an All Powerful, All Loving Father whose eyes 'run to and fro throughout the earth to show Himself strong'(2 Chronicles 16:9). Strong enough to give us success in spreading GOOD throughout our days.

In Him,