Good morning all! Father, we know that You are a holy God, One that is righteous and true. Thank you Lord for showing us who we are by the power of Your word, that You alone are the Maker of all things. We know that You are our shield and protection, our shelter in the storms and no evil shall ever take hold of us, Amen. Recently the pundits have said there’s a lot of evil in the world today, but what is evil?
Zec 8:14 KJV – For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not:
This is what the Lord of ALL heaven and earth has to say, I will afflict you just as those that went before you, let me say again the Lord of ALL heaven and earth, I haven’t changed MY mind:
Zec 8:15 KJV – So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.
However, I will NOT change My mind to bless you either and you will do well to keep the city of Jerusalem and the remnant of the house of Judah…the overcomer: you have NO reason to fear.
Zec 8:16 KJV – These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:
After I bless you these are the things you’ll do; speak to everyone you know TRUTH and judge only according to that which brings truth and peace in life:
Zec 8:17 KJV – And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
And whatever you do, DON’T think evil of the people in your life; and don’t love speaking things that are not truth: for that lifestyle I hate says the Lord of ALL heaven and earth.
Zechariah is encouraging the tribes of Israel to rebuild the temple after it was destroyed by the Babylonians. They faced a lot of opposition from the other nations, they didn’t want them to build that temple. The Israelites thought the people were evil and caused them all this trouble, but as you can clearly see from the scripture God tells them NOT to think evil about them.
What is evil? Heb 3:12 NLT – Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. Simply put, evil is the absence of God in my life. If I think the worst of people and not the best that’s evil, then I turn away from God …I turn away from faith.
What’s the opposite of evil? Faith!!! What does faith think of people? Phl 4:8 NIV – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
A life of faith has plenty to think about, even though you may face some opposition or perhaps some people that you thought have done evil to you. Faith will look beyond the circumstances and believe there is a God and not turn away from His word and precepts. Remember, the reason Paul is telling them to think kind and loving thoughts of one another is because there was a fight in the church and they were speaking poorly of one another. In fact, he reminds them God is near…there is NO evil, so stop thinking and speaking as though He doesn’t exist.
Phl 4:5 NIV – Let your gentleness be evident to all men. The Lord is near. Seriously, when isn’t God near you? He dwells inside of you, if He does how can there be evil? We should be gentle to some men…only those we think deserve it…only those that help build the church…okay…it should be clearly evident to ALL mankind, makes sense if God dwells inside us and He is holy. Didn’t He tell us that also?
1Pe 1:15 NIV – But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; It’s kind of hard to be holy if you think evil of people, chances are you’re not going to treat them with much gentleness. We’re all going to face difficult circumstances in life, and when we do will faith prevail?
Jas 1:13 CSB – No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God,” since God is not tempted by evil, and he himself doesn’t tempt anyone. When we face that trial we should remember God is near, He dwells inside of us and we should execute the judgment of peace in our gates. You know where the gates are right?
Psa 24:7 KJV – Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Does anyone want the King of glory to come in? Then lift your head to the heavens because there’s a gate on that head of yours and it should declare what’s present in the EVERLASTING door…it’s the only door that will last forever…the door is the heart of Christ inside of you. Will your gates execute the judgment of peace…the absence of fighting and hostility in your life! Remember, God’s not tempted by evil and He don’t tempt you either…He is near. What does that mean God is near?
Psa 119:150 NLT – Lawless people are coming to attack me; they live far from your instructions. But you are near, O LORD, and all your commands are true. Listen if we attack people we live far from God, but when we’re near we know all His commands are true. What commands do you suppose are TRUE?
Mat 5:44 KJV – But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. ALL His commands are true and right…hmm…maybe He really does want peace in our gates.
What’s evil? Separation…division…discourse…you can’t have peace and separation at the same time…open that everlasting door and you’ll find all the right words to live the life of Christ.
Point to Ponder
Will you execute judgment today? Jas 5:9 CSB – Brothers and sisters, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door! You have a righteous Judge standing at the door of your heart, hold that complaint brothers and sisters and speak with words of love.
Let’s all destroy evil today and live in peace, In Him Phil
Faith – family – Friends