1 Peter 3:9 Repay With Blessings

 

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Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:9

Every day people insult or do something wrong, evil, to someone else. People can be mean and hateful to others on a regular basis. Some are violent, while others are not violent in action, but in words.

The reaction of most people is to strike back. It is common that the strike back is done in the same manner, violence for violence, bad words for bad words. Others may not strike the person directly, but talk badly about him to others, cutting him down in public.

The world believes that a person has the right to strike back in the same manner. They use evil to combat evil. In this they are just compiling sin upon sin. They are making the situation worse. It will usually continue to build, each person adding more to the fire.

God does not work that way. Jesus did not work in that manner when He walked on the earth. As Jesus was being whipped, beaten and nailed to the cross, He did not strike back physically or with words. He actually blessed the people asking God to forgive them.

Believers are to pour out blessings upon those who do evil to them. It does not matter if the evil was done intentionally or by accident. Giving a blessing, is showing love–God’s love to the person.

People will hurt others, both believers and non-believers, because that is the nature of man–to sin. Believers are to show love and compassion, not hate. They are to leave the vengeance up to God. They are not to return evil for evil or insult for insult.

There will be times when someone does evil to you or insults you. Before you react, think about how God has treated you when you insulted or did evil to Him. He showed you love and blessed you. Take that same blessing and pour it forward to another.

Do not allow yourself to fall into the trap the world has of repaying evil for evil. Do not allow yourself to fall into sin because of someone’s bad actions or words.

In the end God will bless you greater than getting revenge will ever help you. Live as Jesus lived, not as the world does.

I pray today that you will know the blessings God has given you; that you will be filled with God’s love for those who offend you; that you will give God’s blessings to those who hurt you; and that you will be a blessing to those around you.

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Luke 23:34 Ultimate Love

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Jesus said, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

As Jesus was being crucified, dying on the cross people were mocking Him and not believing in Him. This was occurring after a long night of extreme torture. Even as this was happening Jesus still asked the Father to forgive them.

People get hurt by other people on a regular basis. Most people will strike back or attempt to strike back at those who strike them. They want to get full vengeance for the wrong that was done to them.

The striking back takes different forms. Some will physically strike back and immediately. Others will strike family or friends of the person. Some will strike with just words rather than get physical. Many will call authorities and lawyers to strike back. Some will slander the person, causing another type of strike.

One common theme runs through all these methods of striking back and it is self vengeance against another person.

Jesus did not do any of these things while He was on the cross. He had never done anything illegal or wrong to anyone at anytime. He was perfectly innocent before men and God, yet was tried and sentenced to death on a cross.

As He hung there He was willing to forgive the people, because He knew that they really did not know what they were doing was wrong. He showed ultimate love for the people.

Anyone who hurts another person really does not know what they are doing is wrong. They think that they are doing the right thing. Satan has deceived them into doing the wrong thing.

You may never have to go through actual physical violence, but you will have a time where you will be hurt by someone. Someone may lie about you, or curse you, or cut you down in some way. Regardless of how you are hurt, it will hurt.

You will have a choice to make. Either you strike back in some way. Or you choose to love the person and forgive them…showing ultimate love as Jesus did.

Show the person God’s love and forgiveness and they may repent of what they did and serve God. They may choose the path of love…if they have been shown it and given that opportunity.

What is your choice: vengeance as the world or love as Jesus?

I pray today that you will know God’s love for you; that you will share His love for others; that you will not seek vengeance, but forgiveness; and that you will know what God has forgiven you of. 

Proverbs 24:17-18 Don’t Rejoice At An Enemy’s Fall

Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them. Proverbs 24:17-18

Battles against the enemy is a common thing around the world. No matter where a person goes, there is some enemy in the midst and there is usually a battle going on. Some places the battle is physical and there is direct violence against each other. In most places it is a silent battle of words and quiet actions.

One thing that is common among many people is the rejoicing that occurs when the enemy has fallen or been destroyed. People will be happy when someone who is against them suddenly falls upon hard times or gets hurt badly. They feel as though it is well deserved and got what was coming to them.

Solomon said that people are not to gloat when their enemy falls. This is extreme rejoicing, acting as though they are better than the enemy and the enemy only got what they deserved.

The reason for that is that God would see that action and then begin to have mercy on the enemy and turn away His wrath.

Jesus told the disciples that they needed to love everyone, including their enemies. Rejoicing over the fall of the enemy is not showing His love at all. It is easy to look at the fall of your enemy as a good thing, but in doing so you have forgotten that God still loves that enemy.

God is not one who looks forward to destruction of the enemy. He wants all people to come to Jesus and believe in Him. God wants everyone to live forever with Him. When your enemy falls or is destroyed, they are not in the process of being able to live with Him for eternity.

Jesus said you are to pray for your enemies and do good to them. Gloating over their fall is not showing any good to them. It is not the way of God’s love.

How are you showing God’s love to your enemies today?

Is it with vengeance?

Or is it with mercy and kindness?

Seek God today on how you can have His love for your enemies.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for your enemies; that God will fill you with His love, mercy and kindness; and that you will pray blessings on your enemies, rather than curses and rejoicing in their fall.

Psalm 119:136 Tears Over Disobedience

Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed. Psalm 119:136

Even though the world has many rules and regulations for people to follow, many still accept on disobedience. Most will not accept disobedience against themselves, but yet will be disobedient to someone else. Everyone wants to be obeyed, but many do not want to obey.

The word “disobedience” is changed to “it is my right” or “it is my freedom.” People do not like to be told what to do. With that disobedience reigns in this world.

Christians often look at the disobedience and sin in this world and get angry. They cry out for laws to be made to stop the sin. They run people out who live in disobedience. People are shunned and kicked out of churches for disobedience. Protests are set up to go against those who are doing wrong.

In all of these actions, there is one element missing…God’s love. Striking out in anger against someone or a group is not showing the love God showed by sending His Son Jesus to die on the cross. It is not letting the people know that there is a better way.

When there are tears from weeping, there can be no anger. Tears are a sign of sorrow and sadness, not anger.

Jesus had wept over Jerusalem because of their sin and what they were doing wrong. He did not get angry with them. His heart was broken with sadness.

It is easy to allow anger to rise up, to allow for vengeance, and be vindictive when you see disobedience occurring. It is easy to allow someone to be brought to justice for disobedience.

Instead it takes being at the center of God’s heart to see the sin and disobedience and have your heart broken.

This is not only seeing the disobedience in others, but also in yourself. It is easy to see it in others, but how many times have you been disobedient? How many rules, both man and God’s, have you broken?

Take time to see people as God sees them. See that they are broken and need a Savior, not judgement. Weep over what they are doing wrong and seek God to touch their lives.

Weep over what you may be doing wrong and ask God to help you change. Weep instead of getting angry.

I pray today that you will see disobedience as God does; that you will feel God’s sorrow instead of anger; that you will seek to show God’s love to the disobedient; and that you will obey all of God’s commands.

1 Samuel 25:30-31 Stop Needless Bloodshed

When the LORD has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the LORD your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.” 1 Samuel 25:30-31

While David and his men were hiding from King Saul at one point they were staying in the fields near a man named Nabal. They protected Nabal’s shepherds and sheep during that time. Later David asked Nabal for some food, and it was refused as though David was nobody. He proceeded to go and kill Nabal and everyone with him. Nabal’s wife, Abigail, intervenes and stops David from doing needless bloodshed. She refers to herself as David’s servant.

In many parts of the world if someone does something majorly wrong to someone, that other person has the right to harm him back physically. Although physical harm is often looked down upon in other parts of the world, vengeance and harm is acceptable. The vengeance comes in other ways, such as giving the person a bad name, spreading false rumors about the person, or damaging the person’s property.

During the Old Testament times, what David was going to do, in killing Nabal, was perfectly acceptable and normal. However, Abigail saw it as needless bloodshed. She agreed Nabal was wrong, but she saw David as better than that and blessed by God. She wanted him to allow God to take care of the situation. David saw the wisdom in this and stopped from killing Nabal.

As a believer you can strive to turn others away from doing needless bloodshed or harm to another person. Be willing to step up as Abigail did and speak God’s love and truth into the lives of others.

You also must be like David and choose not to take vengeance into your own hands. Do not be willing to harm another person just for vengeance. God did take care of David and he became one of the greatest kings of Israel of all time. God has promised you an abundant life. God will also take care of you and pour out blessings on you.

I pray today that God will strengthen you to not harm anyone who has harmed you; that you will show the same restraint as David did; that you will trust God’s promises to you; and that God will help you to stop others from any needless bloodshed and harm.

1 Samuel 24:5-6 Striking Back

Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 24:5-6

King Saul was set out to kill David, even though he did not do anything wrong. David and his men had hid themselves deep in a cave. Saul had came into the cave not knowing that David was in there. His men wanted him to kill Saul immediately.  Instead of killing King Saul, David crept up and cut a piece of his robe off. After Saul left, David felt guilty and repented of what he had done, and rebuked his men for wanting to harm Saul.

It is very common that when a person is harmed, the person wants to harm the one who did the damage. In workplaces it can be seen time and again when a boss does harm to a person, that the person fights back with a vengeance. At times it becomes a physical fight, while other times it is talking bad about the boss and trying to harm him in other ways.

David had realized that even though Saul was trying to do him harm, he was God’s anointed person. He was put in position over David and David had to honor that.

There may be times in your life when a person who is over you does something wrong to you. The first reaction usually is to fight back in whatever method possible to cause damage to that person.

Every person who is in authority had been put there by God. That is regardless of who they are, where they are, and whether they serve God or not.

As a believer you must honor and love those in authority, regardless of how they treat you. Do not allow yourself to react like the world and strike back in vengeance. When you do that you will have a guilty conscience.

Have you been guilty of “cutting off someone’s ‘robe'”?

Seek to make it right and ask God to help you love and honor others, even your enemies. Do not become guilty of being like the world.

I pray today that God will show you how to love those against you; that you will always do the correct thing to others; and that you will allow God to take care of your enemies.

1 Samuel 11:13 Turning The Focus To God

But Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, for this day the LORD has rescued Israel.” 1 Samuel 11:13

When Saul was made king there were some men who despised him. They did not want him to be their king, but Saul kept quiet about it. Later the Ammonites started to attack the town of Jabesh Gilead. Saul takes his men to there and defeats the Ammonites. Once that happened there were some people who wanted to kill the men who did not want Saul to be king. Saul tells them not to kill anyone because God had just given them victory and rescued them.

There are many times when a person is moved up to a higher position of authority that there are others who do not want them to be in that position. Very often once the person gets in that position of authority, he chooses to remove those who did not want him there. During the time of King Saul, it was acceptable to kill anyone who opposed the king. Today killing is not acceptable, but removal is the way to do it.

The problem with removing the person is that usually it is done with a vengeance and out of anger against the person.

As a believer, you must not try to deal with the person out of vengeance or take the situation into your own hands. As King Saul told the people to look at what God had done for them, not having the people look to him or his own men, you also must point everyone, including yourself, to what God is doing in your life.

When you focus on others and what they have done, you will allow yourself to take things into your own hands and usually begin to do things God does not want you to do.

God sees what is happening in your life. He knows who is for you and who is against you. Allow Him to be the one to change a person or remove a person from your life. Turn your focus, and the focus of others back to God and what He has done and is doing.

I pray today that you will seek God for direction in your life; that you will not take vengeance against others who have done you wrong; that you will allow God to deal with enemies against you; and that you will turn your focus onto God in every situation in your life.