Tag: do good

Overcoming evil!

Scripture reading for June 28th:  Romans 12, Psalm 129, Proverbs 5

Key Scriptures:  Romans 12:17-21 “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Paul was instructing the Romans in proper behavior for believers in Jesus.  They were to offer their bodies as and living sacrifice and renew their minds.  One area needing attention was revenge.  Christ-followers must never take revenge into their own hands.  They must instead do good to those who mistreat them in hope that they might see Jesus and be saved.  God alone can repay but He would rather show mercy to a repentant sinner.

Faith Confession:  Lord, to You alone belongs all judgment and repayment for wrongs.  Lead me daily to do good to those who mistreat me because of You.

Proverbs 5:21 “For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the Lord; and He ponders all his paths.”  

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Imitate your Father (In Heaven)!

Scripture reading for March 11th:  Luke 6

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Luke 6:35-36  “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”  

The prevailing teaching was one of ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth!’   God’s people were to show restraint in paying back others who wronged them.  But Jesus came along and changed the rules.  He asked His people to show love to their enemies by doing good for them.  If they were hungry, disciples should feed them.  If they were thirsty, drinks should be provided.  If they hit you on one cheek, the other was to be turned.  The new rule was: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  (Luke 6:31)

God, Himself, is kind and loving to the wicked and ungrateful!  He provides rain from heaven, the earth and all its bounty for food, and meets the needs of even the atheist and satanist!  He gives them grace–the opposite of what they deserve in hopes of drawing them to repentance.  He promises to reward those who follow His example!

Observations for over-comers:  All revenge belongs to God.  It is His goodness that leads people to repent.  God is kind and good to all to win some and we must imitate our Father!  “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against on of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.”  (Leviticus 19:18)

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Love each other deeply!

Scripture reading for November 12th:  1st Peter 4

“The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength that God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”  (1st Peter 4:7-11)

Peter, at that time, was convinced that the end of all things was near!  That spiritual outlook is healthy for each generation as they await the coming of Jesus Christ.  When we live as if Christ could come any time, we look upon prayer as a necessity, not an inconvenience!  There are so many people that are needing salvation and only God can draw them!  We must appeal to heaven with a clear mind and vision of consequences for those not found in Christ!

Our treatment of others is deeply important to our Lord!  Peter encouraged the church to “love each other deeply”! Love covers sin, doesn’t expose and gossip about it!  Love offers hospitality and is generous because of Christ’s generosity to us.  Love also uses every God-given gift or talent to promote Jesus Christ and His Kingdom so that all may hear and be saved!  When we love in these ways, Jesus Christ is praised and receives glory, now and forever!

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Jesus: Worthy of Worship!

Scripture reading for October 30th:  Hebrews 13

In this letter, the writer of Hebrews has done all he can to call the Hebrew Christians to continue confidently in their pursuit of Christ!  The final words are very practical in light of the Great Shepherd of our souls who alone is worthy of our worship!

“Keep on loving each other as brothers.  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.  Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.  Marriage should be honored by all and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.””  (Hebrews 13:1-5)   Jesus is always with us and promised to be with us always!  (Matthew 28:20)  In light of this, we must live a life of worship by obeying His commands and example.  Jesus loved the world enough to die for them, even though all men were sinners.  Jesus identified with the poor, needy and suffering, having compassion on them.  Jesus forgave sin but called all to repentance.  Without repentance, there is no forgiveness and God will judge sin.  Money and possessions will not save us in the Day of Christ’s return!

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise–the fruit of lips that confess His Name.  And do not forget to do good and share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16) Living a life of worship and good deeds keeps us ready for the Great Shepherd when He comes again!

 

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Sabbath dilemma: mercy or murder?

Scripture reading for January 15th: Matthew 12:1-21, Psalms 10:9-18, Proverbs 3:11-12

“Going from that place, He went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there.  Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”  He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?  How much more valuable is a man than a sheep!  Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12:9-12)

The Pharisees were always threatened by Jesus and His simple teaching and miracles.  But success or miracles doesn’t always make one receptive to the good news that Jesus is God and came to seek and save lost.  These Pharisees had set up rules for behavior on the Sabbath and anything that smacked of “work” was strictly forbidden.  They watched Jesus with an accusing eye!  Earlier, on a Sabbath, they spotted Him and His disciples picking some grain as they walked along to the next town.  This was confronted and Jesus taught them through the Scripture about God desiring mercy, not sacrifice.  (Hosea 6:6) (Matthew 12:7-8)

Jesus went to their synagogue on purpose.  There he found a man with a shriveled hand.  These Pharisees asked Him if it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath.  (Matthew 12:10)  Jesus gave them a practical example of a sheep in a pit and how the owner would surely rescue his sheep on the Sabbath.  Men were more valuable than sheep!  He then healed the man’s hand!  The lesson was simple and powerful and should have convinced anyone with ears to hear and eyes to see that Jesus was showing mercy.  This was what God desired!

“But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.” (Matthew 12:14)  Religion cares more about its rules than about mercy for the hurting.  These religious Pharisees would not be taught by Jesus Himself!  For healing a man on the Sabbath, these religious leaders plotted to murder the sinless Son of Man, who was Lord of the Sabbath!  The moral of this story is to watch out for a religious spirit.  How you view Jesus and the Scripture can determine whether you follow Him or plot murder!  Learning from Jesus brings Sabbath rest! (Matthew 11:28-30)

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