Good morning, Lord Jesus. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God -- help me start this day and live out each moment centered and grounded in You…. 

Therefore be very careful how you live - not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil…Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things Godʼs wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them, for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord…Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For the things they do in secret are shameful even to mention…. (Ephesians 5: 7-15)

Evil actions of hatred and violence, along with simmering cauldrons of chaos seem to be invading and infusing the soul of our nation. Even in our personal relationships and everyday encounters, patience runs thin, nerves are frayed, and tempers flare. A thin veneer of pretended politeness often covers seething emotions ready to erupt with even the slightest expression of a differing of opinion. Lord, help us. We need You now as much as ever, maybe even more than ever.

It is as You said it would be in these days, ever-nearing Your return, since You first spoke the words to warn us (Matthew 24:2-14). It is as Your Word prophesied long ago, that "darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples" (Isaiah 60:2). Yes, "the days are evil" because of the evil choices made by those willing to embrace the darkness rather than the light (Ephesians 5:16). But even in the midst of the evil, Your Word tells us to welcome Your Spirit, to worship through the wickedness, with gratitude for Your goodness, "giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:18-20). 

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

This is how we "overcome evil with good." This is how we "shine like stars in the world" even "in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation" (Philippians 2:15). This is how we "Arise, shine; for (our) light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon (us)" even when "darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples" so that "nations will come to (our) light, and kings to the brightness of (our) dawn" (Isaiah 60:1:3). This is how we can embrace and live out the promise of Your Word even in the midst of our dark and angry world:  "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows" (John 16:33). But with our faith in You and Your nature being formed in us, we can "take heart, because (You) have overcome the world" (John 16:33). "For every child of God defeats this world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God" (1 John 5:4-5)

Come, Holy Spirit. Empower us with nature of Christ in our hearts to shine with the light of Christ in our world. Give us courage to speak the truth and to speak it in love -- neither truth without love, nor love without truth. "We will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ" and by the power of the grace of God at work within us, "(we will) let the Spirit renew (our) thoughts and attitudes" seeking to "put on (our) new nature, created to be like God -- truly righteous and holy" in the midst of our world in these dark and evil days (Ephesians 4:15-24 NLT).

Only in Christ, can we pray for those who persecute us, bless those who curse us, and even love those who hate -- loving our enemies, overcoming evil with good, calming the chaos with peace, while standing firm in our convictions and true to our consciences -- just like You (Matthew 5:43-48). We are in Christ and Christ in us (Colossians 1:27). So Christ is in our world because the "Spirit of Christ" is in us -- having already overcome this world and, at the same time, still overcoming this world through our attitudes and our actions every day (Romans 8:9).

"Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing Him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.... In Christ, we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in His presence" (2 Corinthians 2:14-17). In our world, "we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making His appeal through us" (2 Corinthians 5:20). Lord, let it be so in our hearts and through our lives. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

My family, I pray you “worship through the wickedness” and shine with the light of Christ in you everywhere you go, overcoming evil with good, praying for those who persecute you, blessing those who curse you, loving those who hate you; and I join with you in pray for our nations, in Jesus' name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you, my friends!

Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog in the comment box below.

 

Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower

One Direction Community

Email: garyl@onedirection.community

Website:https://www.onedirection.community

Facebook: One Direction Community-ODC

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