1 Corinthians 12:1-11
When Godís absent, evil wins, because when we turn our backs to God or
ignore Him and His Holy Spirit, evil becomes enticing and we let it in and
we and the world become even more corrupted.
This is the reason that the world is so violent, and why millions of humans and billions of animals suffer and die every year.
But we do not need to live this wayÖwe are to be the peacemaking children of God that the Lord called us to be, and in that capacity, we are to do everything in our power to free creation from its present corruption.
Letís take a look at Psalm 36:1-12, and see how it applies to our discussion of when Godís absent, evil wins.
1. Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;
There is no fear of God before his eyes.
This is what happens when we reject God and His heavenly will instead of rejecting the enticing pleasures that the devil offers us.
2. For it flatters him in his own eyes,
Concerning the discovery of his iniquity and the hatred of it.
Very few people really want to know about the evil things in their lives;
they would rather be flattered.
This is why there is so much evil and violence in the world around us.
Most people seem to be self-centered instead of caring about God, and the way He wants us to live.
3. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit;
He has ceased to be wise and to do good.
When people reject God and His heavenly will, they also begin to actually sound like the devil, and in the process, they all too often lead others astray; when Godís absent, evil wins, and we all need to take a stand against the evil around us.
4. He plans wickedness upon his bed;
He sets himself on a path that is not good;
He does not despise evil.
We have seen this in the top leaders of our government and in many leaders
of our industries.
Why does this happen?
Because too few of us take a firm stand in the heavenly will of God to counter these kinds of people and the evil in this world.
Then the psalmist switches gears and looks at the way things should be.
5. Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
Thy faithfulness reaches to the skies.
In other words, Godís lovingkindness is all around us, and we are without excuse if we fail to recognize it.
6. Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God;
Thy judgments are like a great deep. O LORD,
Thou preservest man and beast.
This is all true, except for the last part of verse 6, because we are still seeing millions of human beings, and billions of animals suffer and die every year in this corrupt and evil world, but we can help end it, if we really want to.
7. How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God!
And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings.
8. They drink their fill of the abundance of Thy house;
And Thou dost give them to drink of the river of Thy delights.
This is all true, if people would only recognize it, and accept it, for there is far more in the heavenly realm of God here on earth, than the devil could ever offer us.
9. For with Thee is the fountain of life;
In Thy light we see light.
Most people seem to live in the darkness of this corrupt world, and they think that is all there is, but when we live in the light of God we come to see the evil of this world as only a dark pile in the pathway before us, and we do not have to step in it.
10. O continue Thy lovingkindness to those who know Thee,
And Thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
And Godís lovingkindness is all around us.
Then the psalmist asks the Lord to help him remain in the heavenly will of God.
11. Let not the foot of pride come upon me,
And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12. There the doers of iniquity have fallen;
They have been thrust down and cannot rise.
We should all recognize this fact.
Satan losesÖthe Lord wins.
In John 2:1-11, we see the glory of God being revealed; itís a reminder to us that instead of accepting when God is absent, evil wins as the norm of this world, we see that when God is present, evil loses.
1. And on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the
mother of Jesus was there;
2. and Jesus also was invited, and His disciples, to the wedding.
3. And when the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine."
4. And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what do I have to do with you? My hour has not yet come."
We often wonder about this story; does Mary realize that Jesusí time has
arrived and is pushing Him into the public eye, or is Jesus correct?
But if we switch roles a bit and put the Lord in Maryís place and us in the place of Jesus, we all too often find that we are reluctant to take a stand in public about the glory of God, and need a little prodding to get going.
Just remember that when Godís absent, evil wins, but when God is present, evil loses.
We are not to be shy about the things of God, we are to live them every moment of every day of our live, as a witness to the world around us, for when we do, evil loses.
5. His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."
6. Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each.
7. Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water." And they filled them up to the brim.
8. And He said to them, "Draw some out now, and take it to the headwaiter." And they took it to him.
This is an act of faith, because they believed what Jesus did was real and not a magic trick.
9. And when the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did
not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew),
the headwaiter called the bridegroom,
10. and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first, and when men have drunk freely, then that which is poorer; you have kept the good wine until now."
The power of God turned the water into the finest wine, and itís the same
power of God that will cause evil to lose, if we are willing to use it, and
that power is in the word of God which is free for us to use.
This also is an act of faith.
11. This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested
His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
We shouldnít need signs and wonders, today, in order to believe, for the
Holy Spirit guides us, if we are willing to listen.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 is about spiritual gifts, but whether or not we have these spiritual gifts isnít important to our keeping God present with us at all times, for we should be able to do that by faith.
1. Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be
2. You know that when you were pagans, you were led astray to the dumb idols, however you were led.
But today each and every one of us should be aware; thus, we should never be led astray; we should always be living in the heavenly will of God here on earth as it is in heaven.
3. Therefore I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
We think that this statement needs a little clarification, because this
statement must be talking about believers, because people can say anything
even if they donít believe.
Itís not so much what a person says that we should believe, but the way they live and act.
4. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord.
6. And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
7. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
This is important for us to remember, for we believe that the Holy Spirit
even speaks to non-believers about what is true and false.
So people call this their conscience, but I strongly believe that itís the Holy Spirit.
8. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another
the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;
9. to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
10. and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
The gift of tongues is also the easiest gift to fake, and this is why we believe that we also need to look at the lifestyles of people.
11. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each
one individually just as He wills.
And this brings us back to the subject of todayís message; when God is
absent, evil wins, but when God is present, evil loses.
The choice is ours; are we going to have God present in our lives every hour of every day so that evil continually loses everywhere around us?
And if our answer is, Yes! Then together we should be able to free creation from its present corruption.
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