This Thursday’s Thought is by Shelly McGraw
This week we are reading 2 John 1, 3 John 1, Revelation 1-3, and Psalm 139.
One of the passages that really caught my attention this week was 3 John 1:11:
11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. ~ 3 John 1:11
At first glance, the idea of believers who faithfully serve God suddenly imitating evil seems a bit far-fetched. However, imitating evil doesn’t happen over night.
It’s a process.
It starts with becoming desensitized to the growing darkness of the world. This leads to apathy. In turn, apathy wears down our discernment, allowing our minds to start giving credence to false teaching and deception.
7 I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. ~ 2 John 1: 7-8
Finally, deception creates strongholds that form a wedge between us and our Creator. At this point, imitating evil no longer seems so far-fetched.
No one-not even believers-are immune to sin or the way it corrupts and perverts everything.
David recognized this evil and cried out to God.
He realized that anyone could get to the point of imitating evil and begged God to root out any offense or strongholds within his own heart so he didn’t bear evil fruit.
19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty! 20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies. 23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. ~Psalm 139:19-24
In spite of evil, there is always hope for our future.
In Revelation chapters 1-3, Jesus speaks to us through the ages:
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it…13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. ~ Jesus (Revelation 3:11-13)
Jesus was and is warning us to not allow evil to take our crown. Let us all have the ears to hear what the Spirit says so we may stop apathy and strongholds dead in their tracks.
Lord Jesus, I praise You today for giving us Your Word to guide us through a dark and hurting world. Search my heart and know my anxious thoughts. Reveal to me any unknown sin or offense against You that could cause a break down of our relationship. Break the chains of strongholds and apathy in my life and lead me in the way everlasting. Lead me in Your righteousness and help me conform my mind and will to Your Will. Give me the humility, discernment, and wisdom to hear what the Spirit says so I may continue serving You into the future. Thank You, Jesus for Your forgiveness of my sins and for Your unfailing love.
If you would like to join us in reading through the New Testament during the rest of 2017, go to the YouVersion Bible app found on iTunes and click on the OWNit365 reading plan.