Is there an activity? Is there an action? Is there a habit? Is there an idea? Is there a schedule?
What might it take for you to make a change? What might be the trigger that makes you change the way you live your life? Might it be the reality of good and evil? Might it be the reality of life and death? Might it be the reality of love and hate? Might it be the reality of bitterness and forgiveness? What is keeping you from taking hold of what is going on right now today and answer the call of what does love require of you?
If someone talks about the evils of this world, what comes to mind? Terrorism? Illnesses? Viruses? Governments that generate such fear people become refugees in order to escape? Poverty? Greed? People more interested in money than taking care of the environment around them?
How about good? What good news can you think of around the world? Giving people! Generous people! Serving people! Sacrificing people! People who go out to fight the evils? People who go out to share the Good News? People who see a problem and step up to help? People who see the hungry and feed them? People who see the thirsty and give them something to drink? People who serve the orphans and widows?
Ever noticed how little of the good news makes it into the news? It seems and feels to me there are so many reasons to have hope but the world tries to diminish or hide them. It seems and feels to me that the hope that everyone needs no matter how good or bad their life circumstances have been get diminished or hidden causing more despair and tragedy.
What if there were things that you could do to turn that around? What if there were things that would help keep kids out of being abused, tortured, and neglected. What if there were thing that would help kids find hope that their past doesn’t have to define their future? What if there were way to stop the evil of the sex trafficking and other such pornographic activities? Be it from kids sold into by parents (how to stop it?)! Be it from kids being tricked or trapped by others impersonating and tricking them into doing thing they shouldn’t be doing and then sending pictures which then tie them up in chains of guilt and shame that they find are hard to escape from? Be it in school bullying! Be it the internet where people misrepresent themselves in order to trick those at risk youth into meeting them or taking pictures of themselves in inappropriate positions? Be it other kids or teens or adults!
We need to protect our kids! From evil! Some within their families, some outside their families, some in their schools, some outside their schools, some “friends” in quotes some strangers, … there is a dark world out there! there is good and there is evil! we need to choose hope, life, light, and love to be able to step up and step in to make a difference!
If we bring this back to home, what is tempting you? what is your addition? what sin is impacting your life?
Ever gone through the Bible and found the issues, the disfunction, the miracles, the grace, and so many life touching stories? The highest of highs? The lowest of lows? The obedience? The rejection? The good, the bad, and the ugly? It’s all in there and the answer to the problem comes back to God! We need to have a relationship with God that will transform our eternity! We need to have an encounter with Jesus who paid it all so that we could be set free!
The battles aren’t against flesh and blood, even though that tends to be where we see the evil materialize! The battles aren’t against flesh and blood but rather the battles are against powers and principalities of this dark world – in other words, there is a spiritual battle taking place – good vs evil and we get to choose which side we will be on! We can choose to join the good side! We can choose to join the evil side! We can choose to ignore it which will lead to the problems spoken of in the quotes:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. All that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing. All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.
So… which side will you pick? What do you believe? What will you stand for? If you won’t stand for something, you will fall for anything!
The battle belongs to the Lord, yet He invites us to it with Him to be a part of it!
His desire is for us to have a living, real, growing, developing, maturing relationship with us so that we can walk out this life with Him and grow daily to be more and more like Jesus!
So today and daily we need to make a decision on how we will live our lives! What will be our passion! What will be our drive? Is it beauty? Is it outrage? We need to pick up our cross daily and follow after Jesus! Not outrage that will cause sin, but a holy outrage!
So will you receive the power and promise and victory of God?
So will you live out a passionate life driven by the beauty of God’s work and the holy outrage of what people are doing in this world?
When I think of the camp I am a part of, the incredible beauty of kids being kids, kids being transformed and having hope planted into their lives it brings great joy! When I think of the camp I am part of, there is also a holy outrage with the people and the system who have done such horrible things to the kids, robbing them of their childhood, removing the hope and the choices through threats, abuse, and neglect.
It is only by grace and through Jesus that my life can stay aligned and keep the passion from bursting into flames that burn but rather keep it for warmth and compassion and grace and love and hope.
So today, let’s take time to hear from od and choose how we will make sure that there is some good news to produce hope taking place in the world around us!
Seven Life-Changing Habits
- Victory over bondage and slavery … Psalm 114:1-8
- Victory over the devil’s schemes … Ephesians 6:1-24
- Victory over the forces of evil … Nahum 1:1-3:19
So let’s check out the 7 life changing habits called out through today’s devotional by putting on the full armor of God…
Focus on the truth of Jesus
Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth –Ephesians 6:14a
Keep short accounts
and the body armor of God’s righteousness. –Ephesians 6:14b
Get actively involved
For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. –Ephesians 6:15
Trust God in difficult times
In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. –Ephesians 6:16
Win the battle of the mind
Put on salvation as your helmet, –Ephesians 6:17a
Soak yourself in the word of God
and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. — Ephesians 6:17b
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. –Ephesians 6:18
Today’s reading from God’s Word: