We recently had a missionary from China come and speak to us – what energy and zeal for the Lord he has! It made me ashamed that sometimes we have an apathy about our salvation – we don’t appreciate it like those who are constantly persecuted do. He is a teacher of ministers, and recently he taught in Korea to many pastors and their wives, all of them staying at a hotel. As he was showing us the slides, I’m thinking to myself, “Why in the world are they in Korea?” Well, duh. You can’t have a seminar related to how to be a better Christian pastor in China. Can you imagine having to go to another country just to be able to learn more about your faith, to have to go to that expense and trouble? These pastors get up at 4:30 a.m. and begin to pray and pray for hours before their seminar begins. We are so lazy, we barely say a little prayer as we’re lying in bed waiting to fully wake up, and we think we’ve done something that God is pleased with. Lord, help us.
This week in Jackson County has been a gutwrenching look at the face of evil. There is no other word for it. The Bible warns us of evil constantly, and we tend to think that it is something other people do, but not something we are capable of. One of the things this Chinese speaker said was that one of his teachers once said that the only thing you need to teach young pastors and Christians that if you follow the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount, the rest of the Bible is just extra. I sat there listening to that and thought to myself, “What??” Then I begin to wonder, “What exactly is in the Sermon of the Mount? Isn’t that the beatitudes?” Sad to admit, I couldn’t come up with what the rest of it was. But since then, I have been teaching my young adult class about jus these things, making sure we KNOW exactly what they say.
As we’ve gone over the Ten Commandments, I have been convicted that I probably violate at least two of them on a daily basis. Not intentionally, of course. Like the rest of America and the Israelites, I have allowed my life to slip into disobedience in those gray areas. I’m betting some of you are violating them also. As a reminder, the Ten Commandments are:
And the keeping the Sabbath Day holy hit me hard as well. I never stop. I use the excuse that it’s in my DNA, but the truth is, I do not FORCE myself to just stop, relax, sit for a while. A few years ago, Tom and I both were very convicted about working on Sunday, and we made a vow to just rest on Sunday, go visit people, relax and stop doing any work-work or housework like laundry, etc. We lasted about three weeks, then Tom had a crazy Monday with 40 cases to get ready for, and I had a transcript due, and back we were, working every Sunday again. I am working on this one again – the Lord is going to have to help me!
But isn’t it ridiculous that someone who has been a Christian her entire life cannot follow the Ten Commandments? Or won’t follow, more like it. Isn’t following. However you want to phrase it. I would ask you: As we all discuss this evil that has plagued us this week, let’s examine what God has to say about evil.
There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
I note that this verse has lying in there twice. Twice! Do you think that means He really, really hates it? When is the last time you lied? My teens used to tell me that they lied multiple times a day – no one really cares – everyone lies. The Lord HATES liars! Yet is it something that everyone has accepted? There are many scriptures about evil, and we could be here all day, but as I have lain awake in the night, sickened by the things that have occurred, dreaming of castrations and horrible violent things, the Lord has reminded me that there are a lot of things He hates, and we need to examine ourselves more than point fingers. When we actually live the life God has called us to, we can be that light on the hill the Sermon on the Mount speaks of.
Romans 2:21 tells us: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Let this be our goal – to live as God calls US to live, and to let God be the judge of evil men. There is a day of reckoning for all of us. And when we can’t even keep the Ten Commandments, we need work on US!
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.