Word for the Week

The rioters who attacked Paul outside the temple, or the plotters in today’s reading (Acts 23:12-35) who conspired to assassinate Paul reasoned that God would approve of their actions because they were defending His glory – ignoring the fact that in carrying out their plans, they would be breaking God’s commandments not to lie and not to murder.

We all have a capacity for finding ways to persuade ourselves that the thing we most want to do is in line with what God Himself wants for us, even if it would involve breaking His laws. We turn a blind eye to inconvenient Bible truths that stare us in the face.  Like those plotters, we argue that we are defending God’s glory and that therefore God will approve of what we do even if it entails going against His express commands.

God is well able, as we see in today’s reading, to bring great good out of great evil.  But that doesn’t mean that He approves of our deliberately doing wrong things – deceiving, manipulating, hurting other people, even if our aim is ultimately for their good.  God never sanctions the use of evil in order that good may result.

Our readings this week focus on the tension between our imperfect motives and desires and God’s perfect will and purpose.


Monday   Romans 6:1-14
Tuesday   Romans 6:15-23
Wednesday   1 John 1:5-2:2
Thursday   James 1:13-21
Friday   Romans 7:21-25
Saturday   Matthew 5:38-42