Schlagwort-Archive: evil

With So Much Evil in the World, is there Hope?

We have hope, because God is going to make everything new!

Written by Hope on 07/09/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Devil, Evil, Hope
“Nothing evil will be allowed to enter.” Revelation 21:27a

The Bible teaches us that God loves and cares for His Creation, and that includes us. This love caused Him to offer us Salvation through Jesus Christ. God promises eternal, peaceful life with Him. Our current existence is filled with temptation, sin and evil; but God’s plan includes removing all remainders of evil in His creation. We have hope, because God is going to make everything new!

Evil Won’t Last
In 2 Timothy, Paul says we will have a “difficult” time on earth before Jesus Christ returns: “People will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, and love pleasure rather than God” (II Timothy 3:1-4).

Does this sound familiar? Although it was written about 2,000 years ago, this description of people choosing to live without God is a picture of our world today. People choosing to ignore God’s way, by doing whatever they want, is still the cause of the world’s problems. But evil won’t last. When Jesus returns, things will change.

Perfection Will Come
God has a plan to recreate this fallen universe as “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1). God’s new creation is called “a world filled with God’s righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13), where “no longer will there be a curse upon anything” (Revelation 22:3). God promises to cast away “the devil, who had deceived [people]” (Revelation 20:10), and that “there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:4).

Despite the evil in the world, we must continue to follow God. When we do, we can rejoice in God’s promise of His reward in His new creation. We should continue to have hope. Perfection will come when God creates a new heaven and new earth.

Pray this week:

To thank God for His promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

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Discovering Needs

Jesus said, “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you”

Written by Hope on 19/05/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Church And Community, Service
"You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”(Matthew 21:22)

Having a child has taught me a lot of things about meeting the needs of another person. As an infant, my daughter, like all babies, was unable to supply anything for herself. As she aged and grew, we’ve taught her to do more and more for herself. Our ultimate goal, of course, is for her to learn enough to become a secure, intelligent, Christian adult.

What We Want
It’s difficult to know what little ones need, sometimes. One of my daughter’s frustrating habits is neglecting to say when she has a basic need – such as hunger, thirst, or a restroom break. Unlike God, the Father Who “knows exactly what you need even before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8), human parents can’t always “just know” what a child needs. As the Apostle James taught the early Christians about the Heavenly Father, “you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it”(James 4:2). We encourage our daughter to talk about what she needs or wants. Then we can decide how to meet her needs; however, we won’t always get what she wants. And God won’t always give Christians what we want, either: “even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong” (James 4:3).

Not What We Expect
Jesus said, “ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). So why doesn’t God answer every Christian prayer with a “yes”? Sometimes our motives are wrong. And just as my daughter doesn’t know what’s best for herself from her young perspective, Christians don’t always know what’s best for ourselves from our earthly perspective. God knows what’s best for us, and He “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love [Him]” (Romans 8:28). Maybe the answer to our prayer doesn’t look like what we thought it would; sometimes God has a better plan! St. Paul trusted God’s provision and told his friends that “this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches”(Philippians 4:19). All God’s children can trust Him to meet their needs – in His way and in His time.

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus
If you cannot physically assist someone in need – Pray Now!

Scripture: "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34

In Scripture Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow – just to deal with today. His heart is also that we, as believers, will assist the people around us (believers or not-yet-believers) with the troubles they have today.

In a previous Prayer, Care & Share (PCS) teaching we are called to meet the needs of people around us by solving problems using our skills, talents and gifts, encouraging them or praying for them.

JUST ASKING THIS QUESTION is a proven way of discovering a person's real need: "If there was ONE THING I could pray for you, personally, what would it be?"

Example: When greeting a co-worker last week I asked the ONE THING question and he responded: "Please pray for my marriage, my wife and I are in a dry season." I prayed that God would help him court his wife in a new way every day and God changed his whole attitude in that minute!

The ONE THING question politely asks permission before you pray and we encourage always pray in the Name of Jesus so that there is no doubt to which god you are praying.

You may wonder what happens if the person says they have no concerns. Well, then you revert to the Bless step of PCS and say: "Can we simply ask God to bless you?" Most people then say, "Yes, please".

Very rarely someone might say "No" they do want prayer. Then keep being friendly and talk about other things (which is the "build relationship" part of PCS). When you walk away you can then intercede silently with God for the person who refused prayer.

A Helpful Tip:In most countries it is a cultural custom to ask people how they are when you greet them. Sadly we most commonly respond: "I am fine." What you can do is to continue the greeting by asking: "How are you really?" Often they'll tell you their real concern and that concern could be the door opened to PRAY NOW for them!

Pray this week:

God will purify our hearts and motives.

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Facing Sexual Temptation

Everyone—from presidents to preachers—is subject to sexual temptation.

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Sex, Sin, Temptation
Adultery. It’s a common word and a common occurrence in our society.

But adultery’s stain goes deeper than the individual. More dishonor has come to the name of Jesus Christ by sexual sin than any other sin.

You Will be Tempted.
C.S. Lewis, in The Screwtape Letters, said, "No man knows how bad he is until he has tried to be good. There is a silly idea that good people don’t know what temptation means."

We must learn from the Lord to enjoy full mastery over sex, His marvelous gift. "For God did not give us the spirit of timidity," Paul reminds us, "but the spirit of power and love and self-control."

Proverbs 4:23 exhorts, "Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it flow the springs of life." How can we do that?

Monitor your fantasizing and daydreaming when your mind is idle. Refuse pornography, whether written or in movies or videos.

You can talk yourself into sexual sin. It happened to a friend of mine. He had won thousands to Christ during 25 years. Suddenly he left his wife and became hard and rebellious, even pretending to return to evangelism. I found out that for years he had secretly watched pornographic films, yet preached heavily against immorality. Eventually, like a serpent, it bit him. It has happened to better people than you and me.

Firmly implant in your soul God’s principles established for our protection.
Believe them, accept them, reaffirm them. Study Malachi 2:13-16 and 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8, and make Joseph in Genesis 39 a model. He faced, resisted and triumphantly ran from temptation. But be ready! As my mentor, Ray Stedman, said, "Woe to the man who has to learn principles at a time of crisis!"

The Word of God, as our meat and drink, keeps the inner man and woman strong and sensitive on a continuing basis. "Your Word I have hid in my heart, that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11).

Resisting temptation by quoting scripture still is a mighty tool.

One preacher I know allowed himself to become enchanted by an attractive, sensuous convert who had made advances shortly before he led her to Christ. He resisted and she had converted.

Three years later, he saw her again. He drew close to offer an "innocent" kiss nothing more, he tells us when the young woman started quoting, "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:13). He left in a hurry!

God will remove His hand from your service to Him if you allow lust to lead you to actual sexual immorality. Samson lost his power. "He did not know that the Lord had left him" (Judges 16:20). So many friends started out well—winsome, friendly, authoritative. Where are they now? I can think of half a dozen on the sidelines because of money, sex, or pride. Useless, lonely, fruitless, bitter.

Beware:
Failure does not occur suddenly, overnight, in one blast of a careless moment or the explosion of uncontrolled passion. Dr. George Sweeting of Moody Bible Institute said, "Collapse in Christian life is rarely a blowout. It’s usually a slow leak." When a man takes that fatal step, it has been gestating in his soul for months, perhaps years. Toying, daydreaming. One step at a time, the sensitivity level lowers. Then, the unthinkable occurs.

Have you stumbled in this sensitive area of your life? Confess, make amends, clear yourself with the proper people. Where are you in your walk with God? If you must get reconciled to Him, do it now! "He who comes to me, I will in no way cast out," the Lord has said.

Sexual holiness demands we not play games in flirting, body language, and clothing. In the cases of fallen men I know, they first failed in precisely those areas. Keep friends accountable before drastic failure, discipline, and sadness happen.

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If God is Good, Why Don’t I Have Enough Money?

How and When Can I Claim the Promise, “God will supply all your needs?”

Written by GodLife on 25/10/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Benevolence, Giving, Money, Poverty, Providence, Provision, Riches, Unemployment, Work
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

It’s shameful when someone says, “You are poor because you do not have enough faith.” The Bible says when they make godliness a way to get rich, they have “corrupt minds” and “have turned their backs on the truth.” (1 Timothy 6:5-6) David did say, “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his children begging for bread.” (Psalm 37:25) But there’s a big difference between “wealth” and “begging for bread.” How can you keep from missing out on all your loving Father has for you?

Put His Kingdom First
“God will supply all your needs” was the Apostle Paul’s promise to those supporting his missionary work. He went to plant a church elsewhere and they sent him money more than once. (See Philippians 4:15-16) We can’t claim that promise in every case. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6:33). There’s a condition: God wants to come first in your life — every part it. Including finances, relationships and entertainment.

Watch How He Provides For Others
Another great provision promise is in 2 Corinthians 9. This also is for those who put His Kingdom first: “Now the One who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. ” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11). In other words, they can watch how God provides for His work to see that He will provide for them as well.

Ask How Much Is Really Enough
Desire for riches is a snare. (1 Timothy 6:9-10) Following Jesus begins with embracing a cross. (Luke 9:23) “…the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58) Although Jesus had His physical needs met, He was poor (2 Corinthians 8:9) by this world’s standards. Here He told His followers that the things others think are “essential” are not part of any guarantee for the righteous. But we, through His poverty, become rich with “an eternal inheritance, held in reserve in heaven, that will never fade or fail.” (1 Peter 1:4)

Pray this week:

God, I know you are good: you gave your only Son so that I could have eternal life! Please give me your view of what is enough for me and help me be content.

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The Problem of Evil and Suffering

To many, the most powerful positive objection to belief in God is the fact of evil.

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Evil, Hope, Hurt, Jesus, Pain, Suffering
When asked what questions they would like to ask God if given the opportunity, forty-four percent of Americans said they want to know, "Why is there evil or suffering in the world?"

John Hick noted, "To many, the most powerful positive objection to belief in God is the fact of evil." Peter Kreeft agrees, saying, "The strongest argument for atheism has always been the problem of evil." That’s been the case the past twenty-five hundred years, since the days of Buddha’s "enlightenment."

The ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus (342?-270 B.C.) stated the problem in four parts: "God either wishes to take away evil, and is unable, or He is able, and unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. If He is willing and is unable, He is feeble, which is not in accordance with the character of God; if He is able and unwilling, He is envious, which is equally at variance with God; if He is neither willing nor able, He is both envious and feeble, and therefore not God; if He is both willing and able, which alone is suitable to God, from what source then are evils or why does He not remove them?"

What Epicurus failed to consider is that, in light of his eternal purposes, God may choose to allow evil for a time. It wasn’t his idea, it’s certainly not his ideal, but he’s not going to instantly obliterate the universe to eradicate it, either.

Still, many atheists cite this problem as proof positive that they know better than God. Nietzsche, for one, called God "the greatest immoralist in deeds that has ever existed" and decried the religious theories that attempt to explain human suffering as equally immoral, especially those theories that infer that suffering is rightly brought on as a divine punishment of Humanity’s supposed sinfulness.

Some writers claim the problem of evil and suffering actually is the source of humanity’s varied religious impulses. Echoing Feuerbach, Holbach, and Freud all in one breath, Michael J. Buckley remarked recently that the aboriginal source of religion "is ignorance and terror, and the model on which the imagination fashions its creations is the human person writ large. Once fashioned, this chimerical agent is open to prayers and sacrifices, appeal of penitence and self-denial, which will disarm his anger and control the outrages of nature. Religion is the magical way of controlling the causes of human tragedy."

The implication? Buckley is blunt: atheism evolves into antitheism, actively seeking to destroy religion, which he sees as opposed to his "scientific" way of thinking. "Take, for example, the attribute of ‘goodness,’" writes Buckley. "Theologians call god ‘good,’ and human beings have some idea what is contained in that predicate. Then realize that this god is also omnipotent. Try to combine these two predicates in the face of human pain, the desolation of war, the destruction of earthquakes and disease. It makes no sense to say that this omnipotent god is good…. The goodness of an omnipotent god is contradicted at every turn of human history."

Buckley claims it makes more sense to say this life doesn’t make any sense at all; nature alone calls the shots, arbitrarily, certainly without any reference to morality, necessity, or purpose.

Hans Küng observes that "even in antiquity, philosophers strove in the name morality to deprive the gods of power, a tradition that can be traced up to Nietzsche, Sartre and Camus.

Albert Camus, the French writer and philosopher, rejected God for allowing the world to be a place "in which children suffer and die." His answer, then? Indiscriminate rebellion – as if that could possibly make things better.

What about classic Christianity?
Philosopher Mortimer Adler says: "Christianity is the only logical, consistent faith in the world. But there are elements to it that can only be described as mystery."

In writing about the origin of evil, John H. Gerstner admitted: "This is the most difficult problem in all of theistic theology and philosophy." Yet to be honest to reality, we must consistently avoid the irrational options of denying the existence of evil or of God.

If any period of history has conclusively proved the reality of evil, it’s the twentieth century. Albert Einstein said it bluntly: "I do not fear the explosive power of the atom bomb. What I fear is the explosive power of evil in the human heart."

Thomas E. Dewey stated: "Our problem is within ourselves. We have found the means to blow the world physically apart. Spiritually, we have yet to find the means to put together the world’s broken pieces."

More recently, Arthur C. Clark lamented, "This is the first age that has paid any attention to the future; which is a little ironic seeing that we may not have one."

In the face of such actual and potential evil, does religion offer any hope?
Actor Richard Gere says he was disappointed by what he found in Christianity: "I was raised a Methodist but found that Christian religions failed to answer crucial questions like, What is the nature of suffering and where does suffering come from? How can suffering exist? Why does evil exist? Why did God create good and evil? I finally found [in Buddhism] a system willing to engage those questions and many more."

For Gere, as a Buddhist, suffering is the result of an evil act and bad karma. What he missed back in Sunday school, had he read his Bible, is that Christianity takes the issue of suffering very seriously. Only four chapters in all the Bible – the first two in Genesis and the last two in the book of Revelation – say nothing about sin and its terrible consequences.

The scope of this article doesn’t allow me to address Gere’s questions at length. Others already have covered this subject well. In his book, The Problem of Pain, for instance, C. S. Lewis wrote: "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

In A Severe Mercy, Sheldon Vanauken in turn asked God some tough questions when his young wife died: "How could things go on when the world had come to an end? How could things – how could I – go on in this void? How could one person, not very big, leave an emptiness that was galaxy-wide?"

Still, let’s briefly consider the crucial questions Gere raises.

What is the nature of suffering?
The Bible says both humanity and nature suffer the consequences of humanity’s sins against God and hurtful deeds against each other. We both sin and are sinned against.

Novelist Harriet K. Feder suggests that in times of great evil and suffering, the question we should ask is not "Where is God?" but "Where is man?"

Stanley Hauerwas, professor of ethics at Duke University, says that when a disabled child is born, the religious question we should ask is not "Why does God permit mental retardation in His world?" but "What sort of community should we become so that mental retardation need not be a barrier to a child’s enjoying a gratifying life."

Dr. Harold O. J. Brown, director of the Rockford Institute Center on Religion and Society, observes that "an unfocused, intuitive awareness of God, without knowing Him personally, leaves us totally bewildered by and unprepared for the suffering of this world."

Much suffering is the result of sin, whether our own transgressions or the iniquities of others. Brown says: "The scope of human sin from Adam to the present, the pain it caused and continues to cause, is an incredible burden. As the Lutheran theologian Paul Althaus expressed it, the burden would be too much to bear except for two world-transforming facts: first, the victory Christ won on the cross over Satan and sin; second, His impending return in glory."

Brown continues: "These truths do not solve the problem of evil or answer all of the questions it forces on us here in time, but they do put everything in perspective. Philosophers and theologians can help us deal with the problem of evil, but the ultimate answer will come only when `God will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes’ (Revelation 7:17)."

Where does suffering come from?
The Bible gives four specific answers.

First, from natural disasters, such as an earthquake or a large storm. The suffering that results from these disasters happens to both the righteous and the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).

Second, from man’s inhumanity to man, including armed conflicts. Because of greed and pride, individuals try to hurt others (James 4:1-2).

Third, from our own erroneous actions. If I walk off the roof of my office and fall to the ground, breaking my leg, I am suffering because I broke God’s laws of physics. We also suffer when we break God’s moral laws. Some, not all, suffering is allowed by God as a punishment for sin. Often, God simply lets us live with the consequences of our actions (Galatians 6:7-8).

Fourth, from the unseen hand of Satan, our adversary. The abiding lesson of the book of Job (one of the oldest Hebrew Scriptures) is that even the wisest of men and women cannot always comprehend in a purely rational manner where evil, suffering, and pain come from. Often it can be understood only from a divine perspective, from the propositional revelation that God is far above us, God is good, God is in control (even though Satan opposes us), God has his purposes, and God will gain the victory through our perseverance.

The one mistake we dare not make, Philip Yancey reminds us, is to confuse God (who is good) with life (which is hard). God feels the same way we do – and is taking the most radical steps possible (Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, and more to come) to redeem the present situation.

How can suffering exist?
The Bible presents a paradox. In a remarkable exercise of his sovereignty, God has given humanity the freedom to make moral choices. In more than twenty passages, the Bible clearly states that every person makes wrong moral choices. Because by nature we tend to choose our will over and against God’s will, "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Such acts of rebellion against God produce most heartaches and suffering.

An atheist may rightly reject such an answer, but only if he or she is first willing to face a much more difficult question. Harold Kushner describes the atheist’s dilemma this way: "He has to explain why there is love, honesty, generosity, courage, and altruism in the world, and why it feels so good and so right when we let those qualities into our lives."

Scott Peck concurs: "Dozens of times I have been asked by patients or acquaintances: ‘Dr. Peck, why is there evil in the world?’ Yet no one has ever asked me in all these years: ‘Why is there good in the world?’ It is as if we automatically assume this is a naturally good world that has somehow been contaminated by evil…. The mystery of goodness is even greater than the mystery of evil." Whether due to a brain tumor or debilitating syndrome, no one ever has uncontrolled fits of goodness.

Still, Why does evil exist?
Contrary to Gere’s thinking, the Bible makes it clear God did not create evil. Evil entered the universe through the fall of Satan, an archangel who dared to rival the Almighty.

The prophet gives us a picture of this: "You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit" (Isaiah 14:13-15).

Another prophet writes: "‘You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you…. So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings" (Ezekiel 28:15-17).

Jesus himself said, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven" (Luke 10:18).

But before his expulsion from heaven, Satan drew perhaps a third of the angels into his rebellion. Ever since, the Devil has schemed against God and His people. Satan knows he’s doomed, but, like any common criminal, he wants to take as many with him as he can. Misery loves company, but the tragic irony is that hell will be the epitome of loneliness.

Some joke that they want to spend eternity in hell so they can party with their friends. Yet hell, by definition, is separation from relationship with God and others forever. In the words of Lewis, "The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."

No wonder Jesus warned, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matthew 10:28).

So, while the problem of evil and suffering is a serious problem, it certainly isn’t sufficient cause for unbelief or rebellion against God. Instead, it should drive us to God, humbly asking for his will to "be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).

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No matter who you are or where you are, God can empower you to do His work!

God’s Power in Your Life: The Power To Do God’s Work
No matter who you are or where you are, God can empower you to do His work!

Written by Hope on 25/10/2016
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Power, Holy Spirit, Guidance
God uses Scripture to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.

II Timothy 3:17
What makes you feel powerful? If you have accepted God’s forgiveness and allowed Him to teach you to walk in His ways, now you can show God’s empowerment in your life.

Here are ways you can show His power through your actions:

1. Don’t Depend On Your Own Strength
God’s power is given in His grace; He can work in your weakness. The Apostle Paul worked in the power of God’s guidance only, and is recorded as doing more to help form the early Church than any other Christian. And it was because he depended on God, not on himself. The Lord told him, “My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” And St Paul added, “So if Christ keeps giving me His power, I will gladly brag about how weak I am (II Corinthians 12:9-10). Are you willing to let God show his power in your weakness?

2. Let God Lead The Way
If you have accepted God’s power, and are ready to do His work, you might be wondering what to do. First, start by praying to God and consult with other believers about finding God’s will before making any decisions.

Here is an example of listening for God’s leading, found in II Samuel chapter 7. Israel’s ancient King David wanted to build a temple to hold the Ark of the Covenant, and at first, the Prophet Nathan approved this project. However, that night, the Lord instructed Nathan to stop King David, for it was not God’s will to have the building at the time. The Lord later allowed David’s son Solomon to construct the Temple.

We too must be careful to listen for God’s leading, and let Him empower us.

3. Understand The Power Of The Holy Spirit
So how will God empower you? The Bible tells us that “God’s Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control” (II Timothy 1:7). The Lord fills His people “with power and His Spirit” (Micah 3:8) whom Jesus promised to send to all those who have accepted Him.

Are you depending on the Holy Spirit for guidance? If so, you can trust the Lord to empower you and guide you in doing His work.

Pray this week:

Dear Lord, allow me to be weak, so Your power can enable me to do Your will! Amen.

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Beware Of Evil Communication

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good
manners (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Through the Word of God we’re trained
and cultured with good manners and godly
behaviour, but some people can corrupt your good
character through their unwholesome and perverse
communication. Evil communication corrupts good
manners. Any communication that negates, rejects
or challenges the authority of God’s Word is an evil
communication. Therefore, beware of such.
The Bible says, “He that walketh with wise men
shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be
destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed
is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth
in the seat of the scornful.” The wrong company can
influence you to do the wrong things.
For instance, the Bible says, “Show respect to the
aged; honour the presence of an elder…” (Leviti cus
19:32 MSG). Ephesians 6:2 says, “Honour your father
and mother.” Imagine that you have a friend who
says you don’t have to do it. That’ll be an ungodly
counsel. The Word says, “pray without ceasing” (1
Thessalonians 5:17). But your friend says, “Must you
pray all the time?” The Word tells you to not neglect
church meetings, but your friend says otherwise. Don’t follow his ungodly counsel, but do the Word always. In 1 Corinthians 5:11 GNB, the Bible says, “…you should not associate with a person who calls himself a believer but is immoral or greedy or worships idols or is a slanderer or a drunkard or a thief. Don’t even sit down to eat with such a person.” It parallels the Spirit’s
admonition in Philippians 3:2, to beware of dogs, evil workers, and manipulators. It’s a stern warning from the Lord. When you see an inscription on someone’s
gate that reads, “Beware of dogs,” they’re warning you of the dogs inside; not the ones outside.
Also, when it says beware of “evil workers,” the Greek rendering actually means “mischief makers”;
mischievous people. The Bible wouldn’t warn you of such people if they weren’t dangerous. Therefore, if someone, whom you may even respect, tells you
something you know isn’t consistent with the Word, you shouldn’t accept it. Be guided by the Word in all you do, and your life will glorify God.
Prayer
Dear Father, I walk in the
prearranged paths which you
made ready for me before the
foundations of the world. I’m
guided by your Spirit to walk
in wisdom and understanding,
filled with the thoughts of
righteousness. I’m guided and
regulated by the Word, today
and always, in Jesus’ Name.
Amen.

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Call To Divine Fellowship

comments on today’s devotional at www.rhapsodyofrealities.org
further study:
1-YEAR BIBLE
READING PLAN
2-YEAR BIBLE
READING PLAN
Acts 18:1-23
Job 9-11
Galatians 1:1-9
Isaiah 26
Prayer
Dear Father, I thank you for the
awesome privilege of being in
union with you, and the bliss of
fellowship with your Spirit. I’m
lifted and transported by the
Holy Ghost into the glorious
and higher realms of life, where
I only see and relate with the
realities of your Kingdom, in
Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Through the Spirit, you’ve been immersed into
Christ, literally joined with Him as one divine creation.
You ought to enjoy that fellowship every day; it’s not
something you go into and come out of, for you’re
in Him, and He’s in you. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new
creation….” Colossians 1:27 says, “…Christ in you,
the hope of glory.” So, just like Jesus, you’re in Him,
and He’s in you.
No wonder He says greater is He that’s in you than
he that’s in the world (1 John 4:4). The consciousness
of this truth will change your life forever, and give
you a unique mind-set, where you walk in victory and
dominion in everything and everywhere. Hallelujah!

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Cut Out All Evil

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour,
and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving
one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven
you (Ephesians 4:31-32).
In Deuteronomy 10:16, the Bible tells us to circumcise
our hearts: “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your
heart, and be no more stiffnecked.” What does this mean? To
circumcise means to “cut out” something. To circumcise your
heart would therefore mean to cut out from your heart those
things that aren’t supposed to be there: bitterness, anger,
envy, hatred, malice, and all forms of wickedness. Some
people unwittingly allow these things in their hearts because
they’re ignorant of the consequences.
A bitter heart, for instance, is a breeding ground for
demonic activity. Not only that, most cancers come from
anger and bitterness. Proverbs 14:30 says, “A peaceful heart
leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones”
(NLT). People only become aware of cancer when it starts
giving pain and discomfort; they don’t know it most likely
started years before, when they allowed bitterness, anger,
hatred, malice, and envy to persist in their lives. That’s why the
Bible says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without
which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any
man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness
springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”
(Hebrews 12:14-15).
There’re people who have been wounded to the point
of tears, and with bitterness in their hearts, acted in a wrathful
Cut Out All Evil out the way. The Lord says to you today, “Circumcise your heart!”
Cut out the bitterness and the anger from your heart, for your
own good.
Have you been trying to stop the anger, or trying to put
away bitterness without success? You don’t have to struggle.
All you have to do is proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ
over your life: over your spirit, soul and body. Then declare, “I
choose to serve the Lord; I reject hatred, bitterness and anger.
I’m going to walk in love.” No demon of darkness can stand
against that. Satan can’t resist the power of love. The Word
declares, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out
fear…” (1 John 4:18).
PRAYER
Dear Father, my heart is full of
your love, kindness, and
compassion. I refuse to allow
bitterness, anger, or strife to take
root in me. I walk in love today
and always, confident that no
weapon fashioned against me
shall prosper, in Jesus’ Name.
Amen. 1 YEAR BIBLE
READING PLAN:
Acts 13:13-52
Nehemiah 9-10
2 YEAR BIBLE
READING PLAN:
2 Corinthians
10:1-7
Isaiah 17
FURTHER STUDY:
1 Corinthians 13:3 CEV
Mark 11:25-26
James 3:15-17
Pastor Chris

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