Fighting Evil

Advent, Week 3, Day 3 – We Can Fight Evil Only When We Listen to Jesus

There are times we find ourselves in situations we never intended.  Our choices or those of others got out of control, and life is now far different, and scarier.  Living is no longer about the simpler things of life, but about living and dying, safety and security.  Simple. Preservation.

In those moments it is easy to lose hope, and begin to believe that you are no longer worth fighting for, no longer worth being loved.

Evil whispers in your ear, “You are worthless, because….”

BUT Jesus says, “Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
    With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” (Jeremiah 31:3 NLT)

And he says the same to you this very day!

Evil hisses, “You are stuck forever.” “You can’t escape.”

BUT Jesus says, “28 …“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28 NLT)

Evil taunts, “You don’t deserve any better.”  “You brought this on yourself.”  “There is no hope.”

BUT Jesus says, “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.” (Romans 5:6-9 NLT)

If such taunts reverberate, whether from without or within, they are lies, because Jesus says differently.

Jesus contrasted himself with Satan, the author of all evil and said, “10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”  (John 10:10 NLT)

To Jesus, you are irrevocably, and relentlessly loved.  A valuable treasure worth dying for.

You are worth being treasured.

You are worth being protected.

You are worth being cherished.

You are worth being valued, not as one would value property, but as one intricately created in the image of the Most High God.

Lord Jesus, if there are any within reach of these words today who can’t see their worth blinded by the lies evil has spoken to them, I pray that you would pierce their hearts with the truth.  Give them the courage to seek help. Grant them protection in the process.  May they soon find freedom from their shackles, that they may learn who you are and all you offer them through your death and resurrection.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

If you already live in Jesus’ amazing love, please stop and pray for those who fight unimaginable battles this very moment.  Thank you.

With love,

Robin

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When Christmas Won’t Be Christmas, Because of Evil

Advent, Week 3, Day 1 – Jesus Our Asylum In the Midst of Evil

From Matthew 2:1-2, 7-13 (NLT)

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”….

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”

After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

12 When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

13 After the wise men were gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up! Flee to Egypt with the child and his mother,” the angel said. “Stay there until I tell you to return, because Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”

The world hasn’t changed much in the last 2,000 years.  Those with power plot and scheme, while those without pay the price.  Even now our country and world face great menacing evil.  How do we face it without being overcome with fear for ourselves and future generations?

Mary and Joseph had to flee for their lives because of an insecure king bent on annihilating any threat to his rule. When Herod realized that the wise men from the east outwitted him, he ordered the onslaught of all baby boys of Bethlehem under the age of 2.  Had not God intervened with a dream, and had Joseph not listened and fled to Egypt for asylum, most assuredly baby Jesus would have lost his life that tragic day.

If you are currently facing evil in your life, or if you look at the world around you and shudder at how we can continue to survive, know that just as God provided a way for Joseph and Mary to face the evil that longed to swallow them, so too he has made a way for us.  Please join me this week as we consider Jesus, our asylum in the midst of evil.

Psalm 91:9-10a

If you make the Lord your refuge (shelter or trust),
    if you make the Most High your shelter (dwelling or asylum),
10 no evil will conquer you;

With great love,

Robin

(I’d like to thank Amanda Case from Lighthouse Church for her beautiful chalk art background to my feature this week.)