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TITLE: Evil is Where?
By Cynthia Dawson

I have a strong desire to write devotionals that are written plainly enough that all can understand them and get God's message from them. This is my first actual attempt please be quite honest in your critique. I need to know if I'm on the right path with this or not. Thank you.
Evil is Where?

I had a mixture of emotions today. I was shocked and amazed. It never ceases to amaze me when God takes a verse I have read so many times, even memorized and teaches me a new understanding of it. I canít wait to share with you a new truth God graced me with today.

I was reflecting on The Lordís Prayer and one part really hit home. In saying The Lordís Prayer we pray that God would keep temptation and evil away from us.

Where is the evil? Evil is everywhere. All one has to do is turn on the local news or pick up a newspaper to hear or see about all the evil that is taking place.

Another child has been kidnapped and another child is dead. A drive by shooting, some country threatens war against their neighbor and a bank has been robbed. Angry teens have burned down a school, a homeless man is found dead in an alley and horrible crimes against our elderly in the homes they live in that are supposed to be set up for their care. Children being abused by the parents who are supposed to love them, the crime rate for rape has a drastic increase and even preachers who abuse their positions.

Evil is everywhere! This is the point that caught my attention. If evil is everywhere doesnít that include me? I am human could I not be capable of stealing from someone? Is it impossible to think that life could become so stressful that I could be driven to do something I wouldnít under normal circumstances? My spouse or child could upset me today and I could snap back at them with a verbal assault. Satan is everywhere and he is a deceptive soul. Without proper protection I could become one of those people I hear about on the news or read about in the newspapers. I believe there are things we must do to insure we are safely under the umbrella of Godís protection.

We must give our lives to God. That means all of ourselves, heart, body, soul and mind. We must put on the armor of God as well. (Ephesians 6:13-19)

We must study and be in Godís word daily. Reading is not enough, we must study and memorize so that we can put what God teaches us to use into action as we live each day. We cannot live a life that will bring glory to God if we donít know and understand what the word says about how we are to conduct ourselves in our daily lives.

We must have daily fellowship with God and build a lasting relationship with Him. God desires to fellowship with you, read 1 John 2:27. He wants us to lay our burdens down and let Him carry the load for us, to lean on Him in times of trouble.
Find a church home, one where the pastor is truly preaching the Word of God. Where you can learn and grow spiritually and put the gifts God has given you to use according to His will.

Pray! One of the last things I do before I go to bed is to pray for God to protect me from evil, whether that evil is of this world or inside me. Evil comes in many forms. Itís easy enough to say I would never rob a bank or abuse my child but what about ďsmallerĒ things. The same rule applies to evil as to sin. There is no sin that is better or worse, a sin is a sin, just as evil doings, thoughts or something said that is verbally abusive is bad. I think the one most of us need to watch is our thoughts and words. Iím speaking to myself as much as anyone else on this topic. We are warned in the Bible that the tongue has the power to wound and kill. (Psalm 10:7, 64:3) What ugly things have you said to someone in the past that may have left a lasting hurt or killed their spirit? I not only remember the horrid names kids used to call me, I remember the names of the kids who did the name calling. I have forgiven them, however, that hurt still resides to a degree even at my age.

The next time you ponder or pray about the evil of this world take time to do a self-examination and assure there are no seeds of evil within you. Pray often that God would help you recognize if there are any and to help get rid of them. Pray that He stop you if you start to say or do something that would help those seeds to sprout and grow into a really large issue. Ask God to give you a tongue that only speaks and thoughts that only think things that will glorify and give glory to God.

2 Corinthians 13:14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. [NIV-The Learning Bible]

Heavenly Father I pray that you help us keep our thoughts and words in check and that you allow no seeds of evil to sprout within us. Father I pray that you make it known to each of us when we begin to stray off the path that leads to you and salvation through you. That we not turn into the evil of this world but that we are shining lights of your love and glory especially to those who donít know you yet. In Jesus Holy name I Pray. A-Men
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