January 28, 2019
Romans 12:14-21 NLT
As we go through every day in our ordinary lives, we will encounter evil, negative, angry, and selfish spirits in people. It is just a part of living in an unredeemed world where evil still has a space on the playing field with willing or oblivious hosts. Scripture teaches we do not war with flesh and blood but with cosmic powers over spiritual darkness. So, how are we going to contend with those who curse at us or hurl unkindness our way? 1) Will we return evil for evil? 2) Will we shoot off our mouths like we know it all in order to put others in a humble place? 3) Or, will we surrender our flesh, dig down deep into the Love of God, and make a Holy Exchange for Christ’s righteousness so we can return the spiritual fruits of patience and goodness instead? Make the decision how you will respond before the opportunity actually comes and it will be easier to follow Christ.
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.
15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Prayer: Lord, I know you hold me, so I am going to reach to make a Holy Exchange to give Christ’s righteousness when I am treated poorly and trust you with the outcome. I will pray for my heart to be right and for the hearts of those who mistreat me to meet you. Maybe I will be giving them a taste of you by making the Holy Exchange. In Jesus’ name. Amen.