October 15, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth." 1 Corinthians 13:6
When we are careless or complacent in our spiritual journey, Satan cunningly finds a crack in the door and invades our lives with destructive thoughts, attitudes, and finally the act which is so devastating. Paul admonishes, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:10-12).
How do you react when sin is committed by someone? So often we respond in judgment, in criticism, in scorn rather than in compassion, understanding, and grace. A fall from grace should be an occasion of driving us to our knees in prayer and intercession for the fallen one with a heart of compassion. Matthew said, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you" (Matthew 7:1-2). How quick we are to see evil and sin in others, when often we are guilty of the same in our own lives. Matthew said, "First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:5).
We do not realize our own vulnerability to sin and Satan. "Wherefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12). Let us be very careful to search our own hearts so we may "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10).
What was your reaction when some of our evangelical leaders fell into sin? I mention these because they were in the forefront of society as representatives of Jesus Christ. They should represent the standard for godly living God has set forth in His Word.
Do we take some strange pleasure in their dreadful downfall, as if we place ourselves above such evil, incapable of committing the same thing? God forbid! When someone falls, especially a rival, or one whom we regard as superior, are we quick to judge that person and criticize his misfortune?
Evil, whatever label it wears--jealousy, envy, an unforgiving spirit, hate, anger--is an abomination to God. Paul says we should "mortify the deeds of the flesh" (put them to death...give no place to them in our lives). Godly love does not take pleasure in seeing these sins in others. We should be driven to prayer, lifting the fallen one before the Throne of Grace, that there might be repentance and reconciliation to God, and restoration to man.
James says, "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you" (James 1:19-21).
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting" (Psalm 139:23-24).
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-10-15
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