Season 1, Episode 99
For Thursday, May 28, 2015
“Victory! Overcome Evil with Good”
Welcome to The New You, where we focus on maintaining and accentuating the new that Christ has created in you. I’m Robert Hatfield, and here is today’s scripture:
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Therefore
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head” (Rom. 12:19-20).
This is the context for our memory verse this week, which is Romans 12:21. Just before Paul exhorts us not to be over by evil, but to overcome evil with good, he says that we should recognize that vengeance doesn’t belong to us. It belongs to God. Our responsibility is to seek to make our enemy our friend. To feed him if he’s hungry; to give him a drink if he’s thirsty. This is difficult! This is counter-cultural! This is JESUS!
You remember that Lord, “when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 2:23). And that is exactly what we are called to do.
So two points to consider today. The points come from the natural break in the two phrases found in Romans 12:21.
1. “Do not be overcome by evil.”
It’s so easy to be carried away by our emotions in a moment! We have to stop and check ourselves before we go too far. We have to practice patience, fairness, and equality toward ALL people. Paul put it this way in 1 Thessalonians 5:15:
See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
Evil will win when we let our guard down by not meditating on the Word enough and by not praying enough. Evil will win when we try to take matters into our own hands that really belong only to God. Evil will win when we’re living our lives on the “auto-pilot” of self-service instead of intentionally inviting the Lord to control our lives by conforming to His Word.
Ultimately, we have two choices: to either be overcome by evil or to be victorious.
2. “Overcome evil with good.”
The only way to overcome evil is by actively doing good. Neutrality is not an option. To not make a choice is to make the wrong choice. Paul commanded Christians to put off the old man and to actively put on the new man. It wasn’t enough to get rid of the evil, they also had to put on the good.
We will be victorious when we take a stand, when we defend the cause of Christ, when we shine the light of Jesus in our dark world, when we refuse to conform the this world, choosing rather to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. That’s victory! That’s overcoming evil with good.
Let’s wrap it up: Romans 12:21 presents us with a choice. We can lose or we can win, but whatever happens will be the result of what we have chosen. Why wouldn’t we choose victory? Why wouldn’t we work to overcome evil with good? Choose victory today. Overcome evil with good!
Memory Verse: This verse is so simple, I’m going to stop insulting your intelligence by saying it once by myself. Let’s say it together once today – Romans 12:21.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).
Thanks for listening to The New You. For more information about this show and the other work that we do on The Light Network, visit thelightnetwork.tv. You can follow me on Twitter by going to twitter.com/roberthatfield. For more information about the North Charleston church of Christ, just go to northcharlestonchurchofchrist.com.
This season of The New You will come to a close at the end of this week. We always break during the summer, and return in August, the Lord willing. After this week, you can look for a brand new season to begin on Monday, August 3.
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Tomorrow, we’ll see a beautiful picture of the Christian’s victory, but we’ll find it at what some might consider an unlikely place: the Christian’s grave. Join me then for the final episode of the season! Right here on The New You.