Our Attitude Toward Evil Today

So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them—Luke 4:39

When Jesus went into the room where the elderly lady lay, Luke writes, “He stood over her and rebuked her fever,” another detail Matthew and Mark omit. Was he addressing some hostile power? On another occasion, He rebuked the raging wind and water to end a storm on the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:24). “Rebuked” in this verse is the same word used in Luke 4:35 and Mark 1:25, where Jesus “rebuked” the demon during the exorcism in the synagogue. The word means “to censure or admonish.” When Jesus rebuked something, evil was present, and His example instructs us that evil must be condemned if real healing is to occur.

There are times when the solutions to our problems may require rebuke or strong admonition. No one enjoys being on the receiving end of a rebuke, yet if sin has caused the problem, it must be rebuked before repentance can happen. In a larger sense, the world desires peace, but few are willing to punish evil. The attitude toward evil today is not that of condemnation but of toleration.

If we as believers continue to tolerate the conduct of our nation’s leaders then we are doomed to a life filled with fear and dread. I think it’s time our nation returned to its core principles and values as stated in the pledge of allegiance – “One nation under God.” If we don’t take a stand soon America will crumble and decay due to the forces of evil at work in our country.

How To Fight & Win Against The Urge To Sin—Advice From One Christian To Another

When you have a tremendous urge to sin, what do you do? Do you give in to it and say to yourself, “God will forgive me” or do you fight it with scripture verses and prayer? The devil is really devious when it comes to introducing the thought of sin in your head. He paints a picture that creates an overwhelming desire within yourself so that it seems like you’re powerless to stop yourself. You’ve committed the sin before and it felt so good but what about after? How did you feel about yourself?

If you’re like most, once the pleasure of the sin is over you begin to loathe yourself and wished to God you could have exercised more power to stop yourself. I’m here to tell you there is power to stop yourself and it comes from within as the Holy Spirit. He is there for you all the time waiting for you to call on Him and ask for help.

Learning scripture verses is also definitely helpful. You should find the ones that are suited to your personality and emotional state. I will suggest one verse that is very effective. It is Isaiah 40:31. Here is the verse: “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They will mount up as with wings of eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not grow faint.” Read that first line again. You will renew your strength! God is in the fight with you but you must do your part.

The battle to not sin is ever present within our head. As Paul said in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” In other words you’re fighting with the devil.

You CAN do it! You CAN win! Trust me, God has got your back.

More scripture verses to help you fight sin.

Romans 7:25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Luke 11:11-13 What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?

When Temptation Strikes….Start Praying Immediately

13When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone. 14But each one is tempted when by his own evil desires he is lured away and enticed. 15Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death—James 1:13-15

Temptation will be with us as long as we live. Although the areas of enticement and their power over us will change with time, we will never be so mature or spiritually minded that we can totally relax our vigilance against them. Satan is always ready to capitalize on our weaknesses and selfish desires to draw us away from the heavenly Father.

James says we are tempted when we are carried away by our own lusts. Therefore, the problem begins within us when we feel the pull of our flesh to think, speak, or do what is contrary to God’s standard of holiness. Although being tempted is not a sin in itself, yielding to it is. When we dwell on a tempting thought, the idea gains a foothold in our mind and desires. With more attention, the desire will grow until a choice must be made about whether or not to act.

At the same time, we shouldn’t think that holding onto sinful desires is fine as long as we don’t actually do anything. Jesus debunked this idea in the Sermon on the Mount when He enlarged the Law’s commandments to include not just actions but also attitudes of the heart (Matt. 5:21-48). Anything less than God’s standard of holiness is not His will for us (Matt. 5:48).

Temptations start small. Yielding to them may seem inconsequential, but once we give in, that sin gains strength in our life and our ability to resist grows weaker. It may seem as if there’s no way out of this downward spiral, but God has given us a way of escape if we choose to seek out His help.

Forgiveness Is The Act of Changing Your Attitude And Your Heart

12Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with hearts of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive any complaint you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which is the bond of perfect unity.—Colossians 3:12-14

Resentment will suck satisfaction right out of your soul. Bitterness, which is worse, consumes it. Revenge has a monstrous appetite and makes one start planning how to get back at that person. Then before you realize it, one act of retaliation is never enough. Grudges send us on a downward spiral and the enemy is dancing with glee.

Some people see the path of forgiveness to be impossible. So let’s be realistic. When you forgive someone it does not pardon the offense, excuse the misdeed, or ignore it. Forgiveness is not even necessarily reconciliation. The phrase “forgive and forget” sets an unreachable standard. Painful memories are not like old clothing, easily shed.

Forgiveness is simply the act of changing your attitude and your heart toward the offender; it’s moving from a desire to harm them toward an openness to be at peace. A step in the direction of forgiveness is a decisive step toward your happiness.

God is pleased. You are happy. The enemy is defeated.

Discover How to Handle Those Days When Nothing Works

“I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”—Philipians 4:13

Do you have days when it seems like nothing works? Your plans go awry; your job project gets canceled; and your car wouldn’t start in the morning. What a way to start the day. Or is it?

God waits for us to enter into His presence first thing in the morning. When we’ve spent time in His word and in prayer we come away from that time with a sense of peace that we can face and deal with just about anything the enemy will throw at us.

So, when your car doesn’t start in the morning you look at God and say thank you for the time we had together and the strength you’ve given me to deal with anything the world throws at me. Surprisingly, in some instances after telling God how you feel, you think to try once more in starting your car and it does.

I’m not saying that every time you have a problem or challenge and you pray about it you will get an immediate answer like in my example above. We’ve all experienced the “waiting” on God to answer our prayer. But, it’s what you say and do and how you act while waiting that encourages others to see that God is in your corner.

The devil waits for opportunities like the above to destroy our witness. When we buy into his emotional displays he has won. But, when we meditate on God’s word and react with calmness our witness to others is praise worthy.

Contentment Is An Illusive Animal

6But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. 7For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. 8If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. 9But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

Contentment is an illusive animal. You can search for it all day long but if you are looking in the wrong places, you will not find it. Some will search in the piles of money they have or in and around their big mansion on the lake. They might even look for it in the trunk of their very fancy and expensive car. But, their searching is to no avail. Why?

When you search for contentment you must have the proper equipment, which includes God’s word, a repentant heart and a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. These tools will prevent you from falling into temptation or harmful desires created by Satan.

As Paul says in verse 10 above, “the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil. If you pursue it too long you will wander away from the faith and be pierced by many griefs.” If you believe God’s word to be true, then you will also find it to be your greatest source of contentment. God makes many promises to his children (that’s us) stating He will take care of every need we have.

All the devil has to offer is empty promises, deceit and lies.

The next time you find yourself pursuing that promotion to the exclusion of all else, or spending the last bit of your paycheck to buy lottery tickets in hopes of winning the big one, then you may find you’ve fallen into the devil’s trap. He makes all of this look great but in the end, you will find yourself miserable and wishing you’d made the right choice of finding contentment with Jesus.

A final thought so supremely captured in verse 7 above says, “For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either.” Trust in God to be happy until He calls you home to the supreme contentment of your life, in heaven.

Is Temptation A Sin?

Temptation, by its very nature, feels wrong. God’s moral law is written in the heart of every human being (Romans 1:20), and when a sinful temptation is introduced, our consciences immediately sense danger. However, the temptation itself is not the sin. Jesus was tempted (Mark 1:13; Luke 4:1-13), but He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Sin occurs when we mishandle temptation.

Since Satan is the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and the father of lies (John 8:44), all evil originates with him. However, our own selfish nature is an ally of Satan’s. We need no prompting from Satan to entertain sinful ideas.

Even though we may desire to do good, we are all tempted. No one is above it, even someone like the apostle Paul. He shared his own struggle of flesh against spirit when he wrote in Romans 7:22-23, “For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”

Temptation is not of itself sinful. It becomes sin when we allow the temptation to become action, even in our minds. Lust, for example, is sin even though it may never be acted upon (Matthew 5:28). Covetousness, pride, greed, and envy are all sins of the heart; even though they may not be apparent to anyone else, they are still sin (Romans 1:29; Mark 7:21-22).

The best defense against giving in to temptation is to flee at the first suggestion. Joseph is a great example of someone who did not allow temptation to become sin (Genesis 39:6–12).

Romans 13:13-14 (ESV) gives us a guideline for avoiding situations that can lead to temptation. “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” If we determine to “make no provision for the flesh,” we will keep ourselves out of situations that may prove too tempting.

God promises to provide a “way of escape” when we are tempted (1 Corinthians 10:13), but often that way is to avoid the situation altogether.

We have a responsibility to pay attention to the direction God is leading us and avoid temptation whenever we can.