When you read the Old and New Testaments together, you will find some companion verses. These Scriptures complement each other. Even though there are hundreds of years between the times of their writing, they state the same timeless truths.
Notice the words of the Psalmist and the Savior:
- Psalm 37:4: Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.
- Matthew 6:33: Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Do you “delight” yourself in the Lord as much as you delight yourself in your children and grandchildren? Do you seek God’s kingdom and righteousness as much as you pursue your passions in life?
I think of these verses when I read the story of a woman in Matthew 15. She cried out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is possessed by a demon. Have mercy, Lord!”
This woman was persistent and kept on seeking and asking and knocking until she got the attention of Jesus and His disciples. This woman was daring, desperate, and determined in her quest to request divine intervention on behalf of her daughter.
Because of her faith, Jesus responded and blessed her with the desires of her heart. How daring and determined are you in your life of faith?
Can I let you in on a little secret? There’s a standing invitation from Lady Temptation to come over and abide on her side.
Because it’s so easy to follow the path that leads to an evil and vile life style. Paul issued a warning to Christians in Romans 12:21:
- Don’t allow yourself to be overpowered with evil. Take the offensive—overpower evil by good! ~Phillips
- Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. ~The Message
- Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. ~English Standard Version
Evil can be so subtle that it’s hard to recognize and offer a rebuttal. This is why it’s necessary to take the “offensive.” If you allow yourself to be overpowered with evil it will have power over every area of your life.
Paul said “doing good” is the key to gaining the upper hand in this conflict, and he described his game plan in a letter to the Thessalonians:
“Live together in peace, and our instruction to this end is to reprimand the unruly, encourage the timid, help the weak and be very patient with all men. Be sure that no one repays a bad turn by a bad turn; good should be your objective always, among yourselves and in the world at large. Be happy in your faith at all times. Never stop praying. Be thankful, whatever the circumstances may be. If you follow this advice you will be working out the will of God expressed to you in Jesus Christ . . . by all means use your judgment, and hold on to whatever is really good, and Steer clear of evil in any form.”
I’m not going to lie to you—“doing good” is tough work. The following list from Kent M. Keith (The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council) makes it clear:
- People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered—Love them anyway.
- If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives—Do good anyway.
- The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow—Do good anyway.
- People really need help but may attack you if you do help them—Help people anyway.
- Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth—Give the world the best you have anyway.”
Remember, “Never let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.”