Tag Archives: Doing Good

Conquer Evil

“Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.” (Romans 12:21 HCSB)

It appears as if evil is out of control in our world today.  We hear and see more and more of it, and it seems as if we and people around the world have succumbed to it, accepting it as if there is nothing that can be done about it.  We seem to have the “if we can’t beat it, we must join it” mentality.

But evil can and must be conquered and defeated in our society and in the world.  God, through the Apostle Paul tells us that in today’s verse of Scripture. Let’s take a closer look at it.

  1. “Do not be conquered by evil” – means that, as Christians, we do not have to be conquered by anything, much less evil.  In Romans 8:35-37, God, through the Apostle Paul, tells us that “we are more than conquerers.”  Therefore, if we do evil, it’s because we allow ourselves to be conquered by evil; we give up the fight against it and join it. There are many so-called Christians who believe that the way to fight evil is by accepting it, in the name of “love”. Accepting evil is in itself evil, and can never be love.  Evil cannot defeat, or conquer itself.  There has to be a greater force that conquers it.
  2. “but conquer evil with good.” – God is telling us that the only way to conquer evil is by doing what is good, even as we face evil.  As Christians, we are “not to repay evil for evil,  or insult for insult (1 Peter 3:9; italics added).”  Here’s what Jesus has to say to us:  But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you (Luke 6:27-28; italics added).” Christians, this is the way that Jesus wants to use us to conquer evil in this world; He wants us to take His love and goodness to the entire world, beginning where we are.

The problem is that few are the Christians who are willing to do what is good to conquer evil, because they fear what evil is going to do to them for their efforts.  

But God tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment (2 Timothy 1:7; italics added).” So we, through the power of Christ who lives in us, have the power to overcome and conquer evil and do what is good to all people.

So, what will you choose to do?  How will you make a difference in your community and the rest of the world?  Will it be for good, or for evil?

*** If you are someone who wants to do what is truly good and make a difference in this world, you cannot do it on your own, you need the power of God’s love and goodness living in you.  Think about it.  God is calling you to Himself, right now.  If you are interested in knowing how you can have God’s power in your life, message me. I’d love to help you. ***

Christ’s Law

“Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 HCSB)

In today’s verse of scripture, we find one of the ways in which God expects, us, as Christians, to live our lives.  Notice that this is command, not a suggestion.  So, as Christians, we are to obey what He commands us to do.  This shouldn’t be hard to do. Jesus is our example.  He lived His life this way and we are to imitate Him.

Lets break the verse down and see what it truly says so that we can obey it correctly:

  1. “Carry…” – this is a command to go, get underneath the burden, and carry it.  There is no, “if you feel like it, go.”
  2. “one another’s…” – this involves all Christians, with no exceptions.  All Christians are to be involved in ministering to one another.  Jesus did this for us, even when we didn’t even deserve it.  We must do the same.
  3. “burdens;” – this means weight.  There are many Christinas who are weighted down with so many problems that they’re about to collapse.  We are not to let that happen.  If we know that they’re suffering, we don’t ask them if they need our help, because their pride will convince them to say, “no.” We just go and do what we can do to help.
  4. “in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – when we carry each other’s burdens, we fulfill Christ’s moral law.  In another passage of Scripture, God, through the Apostle Paul tells us;

“Now we who are strong have an obligation to bear the weaknesses of those without strength, and not to please ourselves. Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even the Messiah did not please Himself. On the contrary, as it is written, The insults of those who insult You have fallen on Me (Romans 15:1-3 HCSB).”

As Christians, we are to live for the benefit of others, at the cost of our own benefit.  Jesus is our example, and this is the way that Jesus lived His life everyday.  God, through the Apostle Paul, teaches us that as God’s children, we are to be imitators of God:

“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children. And walk in love, as the Messiah also loved us and gave Himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God (Ephesians 5:1-2 HCSB).”

If we are Christians, Christ lives in us, and if Christ lives in us, His love and compassion for others lives in us as well.  Then, His Spirit of love and compassion compels us to love and have compassion for others.  If we are not filled with love and compassion for others, there’s a problem with our relationship with God that needs to be addressed immediately.

Are you carrying a heavy load?  Only when we carry someone else’s load can ours be lifted.

So then,

  • how will we obey today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will we share today’s lesson?
  • With whom will we share the story of our salvation and the story of wehat Jesus did for us?

In Christ’s love,

Phil

 

 

Motives

“All a man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord evaluates the motives.” (Proverbs 21:2)

 

It amazes me that there are so many of us, who profess to be Christinas, who continue to live their lives according to their standard of living.  They live a selfish, self-centered, self-serving life that excludes God.  Today’s verse is one of those verses we love to hate because it tells a truth about ourselves we’re not willing to admit, and a truth about God we don’t want to accept.  Let’s break it down, and take a closer look at it.

  1. “All…” – the word, “all”, in this verse, is an all-inclusive word. It means, with no exclusions, or exceptions.
  2. “a man’s ways…” – this includes all we think, all we do, and all we say, with no exceptions.
  3. “seem right to him…” – selfish, self-serving pride convinces us that everything we think, do, and say, is right – that there is no wrong in us, so much so that we often pick a fight when others disagree with us.
  4. “but the Lord evaluates the motives.” –  God is our Lord.  He, alone, has the right, power, and authority to examine, evaluate, judge, and give us our just rewards for what motivates us to think, do, and say what we do.  Whatever He finds to be our motivation, He will give us our just rewards.  Take a look at what He says about us:

“The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it? I, Yahweh, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve (Jeremiah 17:9-10).”

This is the part that we don’t want to accept about God.  There are many of us who truly believe that, because we are under grace, God will not judge, or punish us, for our sin.  Friends, when God said this, He was talking to His chosen people, the Israelites.  As Christians, we are also His people, adopted into His family through faith in what Jesus did on the cross for us.

God, through the Apostle Paul, says:

“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8).”

Everything we think, everything we do, and everything we say must honor God. The only way to truly honor God is to strive to live in immediate, radical, costly obedience to His commands.  Now, stop for a moment and ask yourself if your the motivation for the things you think, say, and do are to love and obey God, or to continue living according to your own agenda for your life.

So, then,
– how will we obey today’s Scriptures?
– With whom will we share today’s lesson?
– With whom will we share the story of our salvation, and the story of what Jesus did for us?
In Christ’s love,
Phil

Do As Unto The Lord

“Commit your activities to the Lordand your plans will be achieved.” (Proverbs 16:3)

Do we, as Christinas, ever stop to think about why we have such a hard time achieving our goals, and sometimes don’t even achieve them?  Many of us, today, live under so much stress because we work so hard, for so long, neglecting our personal well-being, our families, and many other important things, yet we never seem to achieve anything.  We are tired, grumpy, and unsatisfied, and we just want to isolate from everyone, including those we love, and who love us.  Why is this happening to us?  I believe today’s verse of Scripture has the answer.  Let’s take a deeper look.

  1. “Commit your activities to the Lord,” – this literally means to transfer everything we have to do to God, and do everything as if He was watching us do it, and as if He were our boss.  Let Him direct your way in everything you do, after all He is Omniscient.  This applies to all activities we may be involved in, whether it be personal, family, work, school, or play. God, through the Apostle Paul, says:

    “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, (Colossians 3:23).”

    The word, “whatever”, is all inclusive, which means that there should be nothing we do should be done to honor men, but God.  We do not work for men, but for God,    no matter what we do.

  2. “and your plans will be achieved.” – only if we do all things according to God’s will and guidance, will God will help us do it, and do it exceptionally well.  God never does a mediocre job, so if we follow His guidance and everything according to his will, we will do exceptionally well.

According to today’s Scriptures, I am convinced that, if we put into practice what we’ve just learned in every area of our lives, we will be successful in our personal lives, family lives, at work, at school, and at play, and we will be more content.

So, then,

  • how will we obey today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will we share today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will we share the story of our salvation and the story of what Jesus has done for us?

 

In Christ’s love,

Phil

Die and Live

“For Christ’s love compels us, since we have reached this conclusion: If One died for all, then all died. And He died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the One who died for them and was raised.” (2 corinthians 5:14-15)

This is an extraordinary passage of scripture in which God, through the Apostle Paul, teaches us what it means, and looks like, to be a true Christian.  As Christians, many of us chose to continue living a selfish, self-serving life which is contrary to the way God says He wants us to live.  Today’s passage proves that.  What is God really telling us?  Let’s take a deeper look.

VERSE 14

  1. “For Christ’s love” – Christ’s love that, as Christians, now lives in us.  If we are Christians, we have accepted Christ’s love, the forgiveness of our sins through His death on a cross and eternal life through His resurrection.
  2. “compels us,” – Christ’s love is so powerful that it compels us to love Him back, to want to stick to Him, to be with Him all the time.
  3. “since we have reached this conclusion:” – the following is what we now know by Christ’s revelation.
  4. “If One died for all,” – This is what we now know, that Christ, compelled by His love for his Father, and for us, died on a cross for all the people of the world, excluding no one (Romans 5:8; John 3:16-7).  He did it publicly, on hill, so that the entire world would know.
  5. “then all died.” – that those who chose to believe in, and accept Christ’s gift, are compelled, through conviction, to die to their selfish, self-serving lives, to begin a new, righteous life through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Galatians 2:20 explains it this way:

 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20 NKJV).” 

VERSE 15

  1. “And he died for all so that those who live” – those who live, are those who now have eternal life because they have believed and accepted Christ’s free gift of salvation.  Christians.
  2. “should no longer live for themselves,” – as Christians we are to stop living a selfish, self-serving life.  We are to kill our desire to live to fulfill our fleshly wants and desires.
  3. “but for the One who died for them and was raised.” – we are to give up our selfish, self-serving lives to live in service to Christ.

Friends, this is what God expects from all of us who claim to be His – Christians.  If we are not compelled, or convicted, by the love He has demonstrated to us, to love Him back, and to serve Him, something is wrong.  We must be serving Him with our lives.  Service is a verb, it’s action, and it demands that we not sit around waiting for him to come back for us.  God, through the Apostle Paul explains it this way:

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it? In the same way faith, if it doesn’t have works, is dead by itself (James 2:14-17).”

While we wait for Christ to come back for us (John 14:1-3), we are to serve Christ by serving others.  This is proof positive that we are true Christians.  We are to live for the benefit of others, not of ourselves.  Jesus said:

“Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 9:23).””

So then,

  • how will we obey today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will we share today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will we share the story of our salvation and the story of what Jesus had done for us?

In Christ’s love,

Phil

Do Good and Share

“Don’t neglect to do what is good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices.” (Hebrews 16:13 HCSB)

How are we doing with this?  Are we being intentional about looking for members of our churches who are in need in order to help them?  God, through the Apostle Paul, commands us to meet the needs of those who are in the faith, first, then care for those outside the faith:

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith (Galatians 6:10. HCSB).”

We may not know of anyone in our churches who are in need, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anyone in need, especially the elderly.  If we don’t know of anyone in need, it’s because we are not looking for them and encouraging them to let someone know of their need.  Some people will not speak up because of their pride, or for fear that they will be judged.  We must let them know that we love them and that they don’t have to fear us.  We are family and, as part of God’s family, we are to love and care for one another.  Jesus said:

“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35 HCSB).”

Do our personal and church budgets have a benevolence category in them, or have we omitted them?  If they do, what percentage of our income is designated for benevolence?  Doing good and sharing what God has given us is not a suggestion, but a command. Part of being a Christians is living our lives for the benefit of others.  Of course our families come first, but we should set aside resources that will help others.

So, then,

  • how will we obey today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will we share today’s Scriptures?
  • With whom will we share the story of our salvation and the story of what Jesus has done for us?

 

In Christ’s love,

Phil