Strength for Today
December 14
By Frank Eiklor

"And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness."
I John 5:19

When people mention the Apostle John, they often picture the man of love. But we've already seen in these five chapters of his first epistle that God's love is not mushy sentimentalism but tough and truthful. Take the world we live in. Why do we act so surprised at the level of sin all around us? Inspired by the Spirit, John tells us who runs this present evil world - and Satan's time is running out.

Only those who have pledged our loyalty to Messiah Jesus can see clearly where to put our values. Why invest any more than necessary in a world where we are pilgrims and temporary residents? Why not put everything possible into telling others how they, too, can meet Jesus for time and for eternity?

However, though the "whole world around us is under the power of the evil one" (v 19 Amplified), it only makes those who love God stand out all the more as lights to those wanting to escape the present darkness. For many earnest though unsaved people can see that good ultimately wins and evil men finally lose - even if it's at their death. Like the hate-filled farmer who captured a hawk, tied a stick of dynamite to the bird and turned it loose expecting to see it explode in mid-air. Instead, the hawk flew into the man's barn where the explosion destroyed both barn and part of the house.

Sin always blows up in a man's face. Yet Jesus died to turn sinners into saints. All we have to do is to reach them. That's why the Father leaves us here. He's not willing that any should perish - and neither should we be willing. But to be effective, we must not be slaves to the very world we're supposed to tell the good news of freedom. John's closing verse should ring in our ears: "keep yourselves from idols - false gods, from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life. Amen. So let it be." (5:21 Amplified)

My Prayer:

"Father, cause me to see this present world - including my time in it - in light of eternity. I want to live free from the idolatry of materialism or any false gods and be a slave only to You."

This devotional comes from Frank Eiklor’s one-year devotional book "Experiencing God’s Extravagance!” You may contribute and receive the book; click here for more information!


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