Tag Archives: evil

Love in the Center of It All

Father, the day is ahead and there is much to be done. I would pray that You would guide my thoughts and my actions. May I squeeze as much from it as I possibly can. May I bring glory to You through it all. Amen.

Revelation 1:4-6 (<<click green)

Here I am, Lord, at the beginning of the book that speaks of the end. For those who have had any exposure to teachings from this book we think of many horrific and terrifying things – and those will come as we move forward. Even our own culture paints the apocalypse as being that way, full of evil, death, and destruction.

Lord, You will be our judge, there is no doubt about it. But first and foremost we have to get it in our heads that we were not created to be judged – we brought that upon ourselves – it was our choice, it has been our actions that have made judgement a necessity. In all of our existence from the beginning of time until the end of time, we have been created to be loved. Love is at the center of it all!

As we begin reading these verses we don’t see anger or judgment or condemnation. In the first words of John’s letter to the seven churches we see, “peace”, “grace”, and “love”. John 3:17 tells us,

“God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

God, You love us…period. The hymn “To God Be the Glory” has a line that clearly states Your intentions towards us,

“The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.”

Peter in his second epistle addresses the question of scoffers who say, “What has happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?” v4 and he answers the question in verse 9,

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”

Lord, as I begin my journey into this book, help me to look at all that will transpire through Your eyes and with Your heart. May I be a man after your own heart as I interact with people of all races and creeds, for You love them all. Amen.

June 7th, Wed, 8:23 am

I Am a LION!

A brisk morning to come and sit with You, Father, but my heart is warmed by Your presence.

1 John 4:4-6 (<<click here)

“…the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” v4b

Lord, if we sit and think too long on the rampant evil and wickedness that surrounds us, it is way too easy to become fearful. And if we are not careful we become immobilized. Like turtles, we withdraw into our shells thinking we can just hide from it all.

Now I admit evil and wickedness are way strong that I am…but I am no longer a child of evil and wickedness. I am a child of the Lion of Judah and Your Spirit, oh Lord, lives in me. Evil and wickedness may be stronger than me but You are “greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”

So, Lord, as I look about me, yes it’s scary – it’s overwhelming. But I am not a turtle. I am a LION for I am Yours! And that means, in You, I am brave. In You I am powerful. No matter how much evil make shake the rafters…and may want to shake me, as well, but I will stand firm in the fact that I have peace in You.

You proclaimed in John 16:33,

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Amen – so be it!

May 8th, Mon, 6:33 am

Your Light Broke Through

Father, I’ve been here for ten minutes and am fretting over what to write You. Everything that pops into my head sounds like something I’ve already written several times in some way or another. I was stymied until You spoke into my spirit and said that You don’t mind if I repeat myself. I thought, my mother doesn’t care how many times I start off with, “Good morning, Mother.” What’s important to her is that I am calling! What’s important to You is that I am here with You. We are spending time together, and I am the better for it. Thank You, Father.

1 John 1:5-7 (<< click here)

“God is light…” and my study Bible* says that “light represents what is good, pure, true, holy, and reliable.” By nature we are not light – we are darkness which “represents what is sinful and evil.” We were not created to be that way but are that way by birth. We cannot make our own light. In fact, many don’t even realize that they are trapped in the darkness. They trudge through life stumbling blindly about trying to find their way.

And, Lord, only You can help us. Only You can shine Your light into our darkness. It shows things as they truly are. Only You can lead us out of our own darkness into Your light. And as John proclaims, “if we are living in the light, as God is in the light…the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” You are our only hope and with great gratitude, You are mighty to save!

As I’ve been writing, a song has been rambling through my mind and it is definitely worth sharing. The song is “Your Love Broke Through” by Keith Green. Light isn’t in the lyrics but love is and You are love as well!

Like a foolish dreamer, trying to build a highway to the sky
All my hopes would come tumbling down, and I never knew just why
Until today, when you pulled away the clouds that hung          
     like curtains on my eyes
Well I’ve been blind all these wasted years and I thought I was so wise
But then you took me by surprise
Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
Until your love broke through
I’ve been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
Until your love broke through
All my life I’ve been searching for that crazy missing part
And with one touch, you just rolled away the stone that held my heart
And now I see that the answer was as easy, as just asking you in
And I am so sure I could never doubt your gentle touch again
It’s like the power of the wind
Like waking up from the longest dream, how real it seemed
Until your love broke through
I’ve been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
Until your love, your love, broke through
Songwriters: Keith Gordon Green / Randy Stonehill / Todd Fishkind
Your Love Broke Through lyrics © EMI Music Publishing

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Mar 28th, Tues, 6:36 am

A Single Spark

Father, You are the anchor in my life. You are what keeps me grounded. Thank You for Your presence. Thank You for Your patience. Thank You for Your love that is in constant pursuit of me.

James 3:2-12 (<<click here)

Every day is stock full of choices. Some are insignificant “what kind of cereal do I want today?” “Do I pick up that unsolicited phone call or let it go to voicemail?” In the grand scheme of things they don’t have a whole lot of impact.

But, Lord, some of the choices I make today can have far-reaching effects. Today’s passage addresses the tongue and throughout this day and every day I have to decide whether I will use it for good…or for evil.

One of many things that James compares the tongue to is fire. A single spark can set a forest ablaze causing much loss and destruction. But fire in and of itself is not Inherently evil. It just needs to be controlled. It needs to be contained.

A song from my youth comes to mind. “Pass It On” by Kurt Kaiser was written in 1969 and has been sung by many young people around glowing campfires at church camps and retreats.

The first verse is…

It only takes a spark
To get a fire going
And soon all those around
Can warm up to its glowing
That’s how it is with God’s love
Once you’ve experienced it
You spread His love to everyone
You want to pass it on

Fire can be a very good thing – we just have to be in control. Lord, may Your fire fill me. May my tongue be used by You to kindle a fire that will welcome those about me to gather round to feel Your warmth and love. Help me to use my tongue for the good.

Sept 9th, Fri, 6:47 am

In It, Not of It

Father, it is a morning of thanks. Thank You for the good sleep over the weekend. I am so grateful for Your presence and direction in yesterday’s service. And thank you for the opportunity to be with family. No matter the circumstances, I am grateful that you are by my side. Thank You, Father.

James 1:21 (<<click here)

In this passage, we are admonished to rid ourselves of the filth and evil in our lives.” In the culture in which I live, Lord, this is a great challenge. The world is replete with it. I can’t turn a TV on, walk through a checkout like, flip through Facebook or stand in any given public gathering of people without being exposed to it.

I may be exposed to it on a regular basis, and would have to be a recluse with no access to technology, to avoid it but ultimately it is my choice as to how I respond to it. I see it but that doesn’t mean I have to embrace it or take it in. I don’t have to read it or watch it or even look at it. You enable me to turn the other way – help me to do so.

That can be tough enough but the real challenge is abiding by John 17:14-19. Lord, in this passage You state that we “are not of the world, even as [You are] not of it.” But the challenge comes in living out our commission of being sent into the world.” We cannot simply run and hide. In Your strength alone can we stand strong as we are sent “into the world.”

I cannot impact the world for Your kingdom, Lord, from a distance. I must be in the midst of the fray. It is dangerous. I might get hurt – seriously even. But I cannot shirk my responsibilities. The battles must be fought if the lost are to be reclaimed! Lord, “protect [me] from the evil one” and use me as You will! Amen.

Aug 15th, Mon, 6:06 am