To Overcome Evil
In our second week of our sermon series God is Big Enough, we looked at those moments when we feel overwhelmed by evil and sin in our world and what God was doing in the midst of that. We cannot deny that there is “another team on the field,” as Pastor Mike says. There are forces not only opposed to God but dedicated to destroying God’s mission in the world. Evil has a power and momentum to it within our world- we see it, we experience it, and sometimes we even engage in it. Some days we wonder, will good really overcome evil? Is God big enough to overcome?
Evil was palpable in the first century AD too. In Luke 10, Jesus sent the disciples out to places where some people would not welcome them. Not only that, but some places would be quite hostile because of Jesus’ countercultural, rebellious message that “The kingdom of God is near.” In Luke 10:17-24, the disciples rush back to Jesus after being sent out, rejoicing at the lives transformed, people healed, and demons submitting at the name of Jesus. Jesus responds, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning. I have given you the authority to crush scorpions and serpents underfoot. I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy.” The disciples begin to realize the power of Jesus and what it meant for them to be sent out to defeat evil and restore hope.
In our own life, sometimes the more we follow Jesus, the more opposition we receive. However, whatever evil we experience or witness, evil does not have the last word. God is big enough to overcome evil, and there is nothing that can happen to us that God cannot redeem. Not even death had the last word in the face of Jesus. Jesus redeemed, brought new life, and hope out of one of the most gruesome deaths and suffering. Even when the worst happens, we are not alone, God is with us. God resists evil and works for good, and there is a whole lot more good in the world than evil. God is not only big enough to overcome evil, God empowers us to resist evil. We resist evil not by returning evil for evil or by being bystanders when someone is being harmed in front of us. We resist evil by doing good and being love in the face of evil. Romans 12:21 states, “Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good.”
To paraphrase a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when people plot to do evil, others must plan to do good. When people burn and bomb, others must build and bind. When people shout ugly words of hate, others must commit to the glories of love. When people seek to perpetuate an unjust status quo, others must seek to bring into being a real order of justice. By committing to small acts of compassion and good together, good will overcome.
Monday- Luke 10:1-12
Tuesday- Luke 10:17-24
Wednesday- Romans 12:9-21
Thursday- James 1:1-18
Friday- Psalm 52:1-9
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
1. Think of one of the worst times in your life when you experienced or witnessed evil. Now consider, where did you see God working for good in the midst of that evil?
2. Where is God inviting you to resist evil by doing good in our world today?
February 03, 2019
January 28, 2019
December 02, 2018