12/21 1 John 5:19

19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

John explained that we know we are of God because we love God and the family of God (1 John 5:2). We are no longer dominated by sin (1 John 5:18). The enemy of our souls can't do as he pleases with us, for God protects His children (1 John 3:1). But those who have not come to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have rejected the forgiveness He offers us don't realize these benefits. They are under the power of the evil one.

To treat others as if they have no value is normal for those who don't love God. They live entirely for themselves. Without realizing it, they are dominated by evil one. It is quite normal then that they can extinguish a life in the womb and justify it. If they cheat you or abuse your trust, don't be surprised. Their disobedience to laws and lack of concern for others is to be expected.

When we realize the power of the evil one over their lives and realize that we were once in the same condition (Ephesians 2:1-2), we should have compassion instead of anger. We should desire to see them have the same freedom we have found in Jesus. The actions of the world may upset us deeply, but we should long to see everyone set free, even when their actions have hurt us. Jesus exemplified this from the cross when He said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34a).

Consider: This is another challenge to think upon and respond to in a way that is different from the way the world would respond. The change doesn't happen overnight, but is brought about by meditating on and acting on the truth of the Word.