How You Are Affecting the Headlines

And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. Luke 6:33

“Don’t hate evil more than you love good.”

I read those words in a Facebook post a few days after the Dallas shootings. A police officer had posted a heartwarming story of a woman and her little boy who approached him to thank him for his service and pray for his safety. He shared how the kind gesture had touched him deeply and ended his post with this advice.

Don’t hate evil more than you love good.

The statement is simple, yet profound. Perhaps you should take a moment to contemplate it.

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Most of us would readily agree that we hate evil. We see its handiwork unfolding before us, getting much nearer than we ever anticipated it could. And far too many have personally felt the agony of its reach.

And we stand appalled, as we should.

We hate evil.

But hating evil does nothing to stop its movement. The real problem—the reason evil’s reach continues to expand— is that the people of God haven’t embraced loving good.

Don’t get me wrong. We like the idea of good. And we certainly like to think of ourselves as good people. But we rarely take the opportunity to release some good into someone else’s life.

We may think about it, but we don’t often do it.

Hear my heart, beloved. A great chasm exists between hating evil and loving good, and if we‘re honest, we’d have to admit that most of us dwell there.

It has a name.


And when we float along in the sea of complacency, nothing changes. Evil continues to harm.

Yet we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re doing our part, because we hate evil. So we voice our outrage. We join the ranks of those casting blame. We shake our heads in disgust at those who do violence. We accuse.

But that’s all we do. And our anger over the evil we hate only swells its tide, feeding its wrath and giving it strength.

Because hatred itself was born out of evil.

Beloved, only something contrary to its nature can overcome it. If we want to see evil defeated, you and I need to embrace God’s command in Romans 12:21.

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Only good holds the power to stop evil, dear one. Simply hating evil won’t overcome it. Evil will suffer defeat when God’s children begin to take on His nature and express His goodness. We must learn to love good more than we hate evil.

How? By giving of ourselves.

By taking time to stop and pray with someone in the middle of our busy day instead of simply saying we will. Or blessing a stranger by paying for their meal in a restaurant or offering help when we see them struggle. We love good when we send an encouragement to a hurting neighbor or make them a hot meal.

Goodness—the nature and character of God—released into the world around us will begin to diminish the enemy’s power at work in our midst. We overcome evil with good.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus said in Matthew 7:19,

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Failing to produce good fruit is useless. Anything else only feeds evil. Expressing love is our answer. Giving of ourselves even when it’s not comfortable. Because love is never about what we say, it’s always about what we do.

 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18

This generation cries out for hope. People long to know and believe that the evil rising in our midst won’t win. You and I hold the means to prove it. The Spirit of God who only gives good gifts (James 1:17) dwells within us. Let’s let Him loose!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

Beloved, the tide of evil will only diminish when we begin to love good more than we hate evil. When our actions—not just our thoughts—begin to release goodness and love into the world.

I’m game. Are you?

A Surprise Gift From a Sovereign God

“For the simple are killed by their turning away, and the complacency of fools destroys them; but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” Proverbs 1:32-33 (ESV)

Do you ever wonder where God is? What He’s thinking? Why He isn’t doing more to stop the spread of evil in our generation?

We love to blame God when bad things happen. We accuse Him of not doing His job and failing to protect us. Our anxiety leads us to doubt His goodness while our hearts tremble with fear.

I’d like to ask you to consider something with me.

What if God isn’t responsible for the increase of evil we see occurring? What if the blame lies a little closer to home? What if, in fact, you and I see one with the power to change things on this earth every time we look in the mirror?

I know the thought seems preposterous. After all, what can we do? Maybe we need to remind ourselves of Jesus’ words in Mark 9:23.

“All things are possible for one who believes.”

All things remain possible for the believer, and the impossible becomes possible through prayer.

God’s been teaching me a few things about the power of prayer, dear one. You and I have a role in holding back the tide of darkness. You see, here on earth that’s not God’s job. He entrusted that job to His church.

Jesus spoke some powerful words to Peter in Matthew 16:18-19.

“… on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Do you see it, dear one? Christ’s Church holds the power to prevail against the gates of hell. We have been given authority to bind the powers of darkness and loose the will of God on this earth. The problem is, most of us have no idea how to do it.

We’re going to spend the next several weeks unwrapping the gift God gave us in prayer.

Perhaps that doesn’t excite you too much. I’ll be honest with you. For a long time, prayer didn’t excite me either. It felt more like a burden than a joy.

I knew I was supposed to pray, but I didn’t really understand the reasoning behind it. Perhaps your thoughts have echoed the questions mine raised. If God is sovereign and is going to do what He wants anyway, why do I need to pray? Why should I spend my time in prayer if I can’t really change anything?

I have good news for you, my friend. God’s Word answers those questions. And I pray that what we discover together about prayer will not only move you to pray, but make you excited about it too!

Let’s begin by asking God why we should pray. After all, Ephesians 1:11 teaches that God works all things according to the counsel of his will. Psalm 115:3 echoes that sentiment.

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

Scripture clearly paints God as a sovereign ruler that does exactly what He wants to do. The enemy often uses that truth to convince believers it does no good to pray. But what if God’s sovereign will provides the very reason we need to?

You see, God is the Creator and rightful Ruler of all things, but when He created this earth, He did something unthinkable.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. He created man in His image, giving him a free will, and then He gave man the earth—not just to live on, but to rule over.

Think about the enormity of that statement. God chose to give man stewardship over His creation, entrusting it to his care. It pleased Him to give us a say in what happens here. And when God commits to something, He never goes back on His Word.

Check out what happened after God made the animals in Genesis 2:19.

Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

The supreme Creator of those animals had every right to name them. Yet He chose to give that privilege to man because God had decided that earth would be his. Amazing.

Unfortunately, man didn’t keep his dominion for very long. A crafty serpent stole it and has been having his evil way on this earth ever since. I think it’s time we put an end to his reign.

You and I are about to learn how to claim the authority God intended for us and release the will of God through prayer. Are you ready to take back what the enemy stole and learn to release God’s blessing?

I hope so. As our opening scripture reveals, complacency only ends in our destruction.