Worship Interludes: Overcome Evil with Good [Episode 37, June 19, 2017]

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21)

This morning as I spent a little time having my own prayer, meditation, and devotion time I was reminded of the passage in Romans 12:21 quoted above.  As I look around the world I can see so much hurt, pain, disappointment, and suffering.   Evil abounds and it sometimes leaves it’s mark on us … with rejection, pain, sorrow, and various emotions that take their toll on mankind.

We are faced with a decision on how we are to respond.   Will we respond with evil intent … spite, manipulation, and pain … or will we respond with good?   I believe with all of my being that responding with good is the way to overcome evil.   Yes, evil must be addressed, it must be disciplined, it must be called out for what it is, but even in that truth our personal response should be to overcome it with good.

My hope is that as you listen to this interlude you can reflect on any ways that you’ve been impacted by evil.  Perhaps you are hurt by someone you love or you’ve been a victim of a crime.  Perhaps you’ve been violated in a way that makes it hard to respond with grace or forgiveness.   I hope that as you listen you can release those wounds, find forgiveness, and respond with good.

From the Word: Under Law?

It’s my hope that one of the areas we’ll enjoy on the blog here in 2010 is increased discussion about God’s Word.

I believe that Matthew 5 is perhaps one of the more challenging chapters in the Bible.  Jesus’ teaching, “The Beatitudes”, and his explanation of what really constitutes sin ups the ante and is radical.

This morning, I’m especially stirred, challenged, and frankly, somewhat confused by this particular passage:

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  (Matthew 5:17-20, ESV, emphasis mine, YouVersion.Com)

We are taught that as New Testament Christians, we are no longer bound by the Old Testament Law.  (think specifically of the Ten Commandments, though there are thousands of other laws and commandments throughout the OT)

Yet here, Jesus seems to be alluding to that very Law, and actually, goes further in the next verses making it even more substantial.  (Example:  don’t commit adultery, but now, if you even think lustfully about a woman, you’ve committed adultery with her).


The only way our righteousness would exceed that of the “scribes and Pharisees” is by grace.  But Jesus doesn’t mention that at all in this passage.  He’s clearly speaking of keeping the rules.

So how does that play out?  Paul will teach us throughout the New Testament that we are not under law, but under grace.  Yet Jesus’ words here challenge us that “keeping the rules” is vital.

What are your thoughts?  Please add to the discussion below by leaving  a comment.