Look around you today and you see the evil in the world. I’m sure you shake your head like I do whenever you hear about another senseless argument turned into a gunfight, another person dying with a needle in their arm, another church that gives in to false teaching, another home wrecked by divorce or unfaithfulness, another life hurt by disease, another person who lives life all alone. How can love exist?

Or we look at all the false spirits in this world. Spirits that tell us it’s ok to sin against God. Spirits that re-interpret what God says in his word, spirits that invite us to become lazy in our Christian life and to neglect our relationship with God. God’s love can’t live in that environment.

And we may feel crushed by this evil, but we should also feel devastated because we have brought our own false teachings into the mix. We love ourselves first and thus deny the love of God and in fact rebel against God who loved us first. And then the God who loved us first will rise up against us to condemn us together with all else that is evil.

But God overcame all that. Today you stand in the presence of God because God made you a part of him. Actually, I should turn that around: God made himself a part of you. God took your wicked flesh and gave you a new birth. He took away the sinfulness of your corrupted human flesh and gave you a fresh start. No longer are you and me “from the world” but we are now “from God.” Our source, our beginning, our life is not the love-less-ness or selfishness of this world, but the love and generosity of our God who saved us from sin because he punished Jesus for all that was evil. And because God overcame these false spirits in our heart, God has created a place where he can dwell in our hearts. And from that place, God overcomes all the false spirits in this world. He overcomes evil with his goodness. He overcomes injustice with his perfect justice. He overcomes sin, with grace—his undeserved love. And this transforms us; this changes the environment inside of us, so that we are “from God” and we can love.