Keeping Darkness at Bay (Matthew 5:16)

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In J. R. R. Tolkien’s book The Hobbit, the wizard Gandalf explains why he has selected a small hobbit like Bilbo to accompany the dwarves to fight the enemy. He says, “Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. It found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary fold that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”

That’s what Jesus teaches us as well. Warning us that we would live in dark times. He reminded us that because of Him we are “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14) and that our good deeds would be the power against the darkness for the glory of God (v. 16). And Peter, writing to believers in Christ who were facing severe persecution, told them to live so that those accusing them would “by [their] good works which they observe, glorify God(1 Peter 2:12).

There is one force that the darkness cannot conquer – the force of loving acts of kindness done in Jesus’ name. It is God’s people who turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, and forgive and even love their enemies who oppose them who have the power to turn the tide against evil. So look for the privileged opportunity to perform acts of kindness today to bring the light of Christ to others. – Joe Stowell

Lord, teach me the folly of trying to repay evil for evil. May I be so grateful to You for the loving acts of kindness that You have shown me that I gladly look to share good deeds with others as will!

Light up your world with an act of kindness.
– August 23, Vol. 22, Our Daily Bread


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