Thursday, May 22, 2014

Bless And Do Not Curse

14 Bless those who persecute you. Don't curse them; pray that
God will bless them.

(Fallen) human nature retaliates. If someone wrongs us, we want

But children of God, who have the love of God in their hearts,
should act differently (Romans 5:5).

9 Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate with insults when
people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That
is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.

We have been delivered from the power of darkness and placed in
the Kingdom of Love, where Jesus is Lord (Colossians 1:13). Our
King desires that all people be blessed (John 3:16, 1 Timothy
2:4, 2 Peter 3:9).

God loves the whole world. We are His representatives to give
them that message (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). We cannot win the
world by cursing them. We are supposed to love them.

JOHN 13:34 NLT
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other.
Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

We are to love as Jesus loved. Even when treated badly, He
never cursed those who mistreated Him.

LUKE 23:34a NLT
34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what
they are doing."

People do evil because they are trapped in spiritual darkness.
Our only real enemy is the devil and his forces, not people.

12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but
against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world,
against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil
spirits in the heavenly places.

Just as Jesus was mistreated, we will not avoid being
mistreated in this life.

JOHN 15:17-21 NLT
17 This is my command: Love each other.
18 "If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.
19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged
to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to
come out of the world, so it hates you.
20 Do you remember what I told you? 'A slave is not greater
than the master.' Since they persecuted me, naturally they will
persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would
listen to you.
21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have
rejected the One who sent me.

1 PETER 2:19-23 NLT
19 For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is
right and patiently endure unfair treatment.
20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are
beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and
endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering,
just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you
must follow in his steps.
22 He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten
revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.

We can expect to suffer the same things Jesus did in life,
primarily rejection and mistreatment. (Note that Jesus never
suffered sickness or lack during His life, until He died on the
cross for us.)

Yet in all this, we can rejoice, knowing that God our Father is
just, and He will protect us and reward us for doing His will.

SAY THIS: God loves me, so I can love others, even when they
act unlovely.


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