Summary: EOLS: The greatest weapon the Lord gives us against overwhelming evil is the passion and conviction for overwhelming good.
(9) Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
(10) Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
(11) Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
(12) Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
(13) Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
(14) Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.
(15) Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
(16) Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.
(17) Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
(18) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
(19) Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
(20) To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head."
(21) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. (NLT)
21. Don't let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good. (The Message)
“You are not necessarily called to do something great; you are called to do small things with great love.”
EOLS: The greatest weapon the Lord gives us against overwhelming evil is the passion and conviction for overwhelming good.
Do we live in an evil world? Do you believe that evil abounds and that it wreaks havoc among nations, among countrymen, in the workplace and in the family? It seems that everywhere you look, evil men cause great suffering. It seems that evil increases on every hand, in every situation.
We fight two major wars and several skirmishes this very day; the United States is still involved in the longest running war in our history in the nation of Iraq. And it all started on that terribly dark day in 2001, a day that we will remember in just a couple of weeks.
Greater carnage still has happened in ten years on the streets of major cities than the sum total of our war-fronts over the past ten years. Think of how many families have been devastated right here in America over the past ten years, and how many innocent people have suffered and died because of evil actions. We don’t have to leave the country to find a war.
Sin and evil have already been defeated by Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary. There is no titanic struggle between God and Satan-he is a defeated foe. The battle is between you and satan, and the only weapon he has against you is deceit and intimidation.
(10) The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
Let there be no doubt, we’re in a war of our own, and it is serious business:
(12) For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
The forces of hell are not random, they are organized and they have targets and goals. There is a war between two worlds that rages even as we speak and it’s manifested in a variety of ways, from international affairs to the privacy of our own inner thoughts.
The scriptures in Ephesians 6 continue to give us the defensive weapons that we need during the spiritual battle: the shield of faith, the breastplate of righteousness, the feet covered with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.
And finally our offensive weaponry:
(17) and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
In other words, we need defenses and we need weaponry. When it’s time to fight we need the greatest firepower available and the latest technology.
The “secret weapons” of warfare give one side the advantage and leverage. Kingdoms rise on superior weaponry both offensive and defensive, and they fall in time and give way to new technology.
At one time the bow was new technology and gave a band of people tremendous advantage!
Weaponry often provides the elements of surprise or intimidation. My grandmother’s generation saw the invention of the airplane and watched it become a “surprise” advantage in World War I. Some of us here remember real- time the Manhattan Project and the race to build the first atomic bomb through nuclear fission.