Scripture for Week of January 19-25

Romans 12: 14-21 (NIV)

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

11 replies
  1. Holly Anderson
    Holly Anderson says:

    Just read Martin Luther King, Jr’s letter he wrote while in jail in Birmingham and almost every point he makes comes from these verses. May we choose to be an extremist of love and overcome evil with good.

  2. Art Fulks
    Art Fulks says:

    I love the comparison of the words of Paul to those of MLK. The great thing about both of these servants of God was that they were both gracious, while not afraid to declare truth and justice. Love and truth not only can coexist…but must exist together. Love without truth is not Christ’s love at all. Truth without love is not found in Christ either. These two take a characteristic found in both the Apostle Paul and MLK…which was modeled for them first in Christ…and that is courage. May we exhibit courageous love in loving not only when it is easy…but when it is most difficult!

  3. Pastor Joey
    Pastor Joey says:

    As I reflect on this passage I am reminded that possibly the greatest deterrent to people coming to know Christ as their Savior is the behavior of those who call themselves Christians. Let’s face it, sometimes it is really hard to be like Christ in the face of all the sin and injustice in our world. Sometimes it would be nice to have a little bit of justice this side of heaven – or so it would seem. And while we all understand that Christians are far from perfect, there does seem to be a higher expectation on those who profess Christ than on those who don’t.

    I think Paul is reminding us of our responsibility to represent Christ in this world and is reminding us of the essential of surrender. Paul is testifying to the characteristics of a surrendered soul in ministering Jesus to a lost and dying world. Notice that our behavior doesn’t look like the flesh. Instead, our actions and attitudes look more like Christ. Such activity can only be derived by one’s surrender. This is the manifestation of Christ in you living through you to ministry Jesus to those who do not know Him. And once again, it all goes back to Romans 12:1-2 – because of the mercy and grace of God experienced in salvation, a believer is compelled to offer his body to God as a living sacrifice so that he might know and experience God’s will. This requires that a believer not conform to the patterns of this world, but instead, that he allows God’s Word, will, and Spirit to transform and sculpt his life for His good pleasure. Before this can occur, a person must recognize the truth of his personhood in light of the majesty of God which affords a fantastic collision of our surrender and humility which generates the love of God both within and outside the church.

  4. Mark Matson
    Mark Matson says:

    Love God, Love People

    We have got to be a people that lives the Word of God, not just read it.

    We have got to stop being apathetic and lazy and show Jesus to those we can. No more pity parties—-get up, dust the dirt off your britches, and keep going—get your hands dirty and quit expecting someone else to do it

    When was the last time I had spiritual bruises? “Consider it all joy………”

    • Katie Sherman
      Katie Sherman says:

      What does Romans 12: 14-21 look like… Elisabeth Elliot’s inspiring story is a great example. [Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was killed in 1956 while attempting to make missionary contact with the Auca of eastern Ecuador, a fierce group whom no one had succeeded in meeting without being killed. She continued working as a missionary to the very same tribe members who killed her husband.] Mark’s pity party comment resonated with me. Although I feel inadequate at times, I can take the pity party route or come to the realization in truth that as Believers we have the power through Christ to live out these verses just as Elisabeth Elliot did. Our story may not seem as remarkable in our eyes as hers but our story is remarkable to God.

      “If we do anything to further the kingdom of God, we may expect to find what Christ found on that road – abuse, indifference, injustice, misunderstanding, trouble of some kind. Take it. Why not? To that you were called. In Latin America someone who feels sorry for himself is said to look like a donkey in a downpour. If we think of the glorious fact that we are on the same path with Jesus, we might see a rainbow.” –Elisabeth Elliot

  5. David Bearden
    David Bearden says:

    In Romans 15:13, Paul writes,

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

    I don’t think it’s possible to live out Romans 12:14-21 without this “trust in Him” which requires our complete surrender—otherwise, we are only pushing-out ethical products of the flesh.

    Being honest, there are areas of my life that I’ve yet to surrender. Some nights, I lie awake worrying about my job, my family’s economic security; others, I battle thoughts of something awful happening to one of my children. These things present more than just a dissipating jab of fear: they bind me with breathless anxiety.

    It’s important to remember that being a believer and member of a church doesn’t grant us immunity from struggle: Paul demonstrates this through his many letters to the churches. However, being that we are all members of Christ’s body, and that “each member belongs to the other,” it is our obligation to help and encourage one another to surrender these hardships to Christ. Doing so not only allows Christ to live and work through us, it makes living-out Romans 12:14-21 an unavoidable desire rather than an ethical task to be completed.

  6. MH
    MH says:

    We are to be an example for other Christians and the world, of Christ in us. According to Romans 15:5 God grants us perseverence and encouragement; tools to work through adversity and lift each other up in times of distress and share with each other the times of joy. If we let sin control us, then we’ve lost our witness. David said in PS 4 “search your heart upon your bed and be still.” In other words don’t let anger get control over you. I’d be the first to admit that in some situations I struggle with this. Occasionally I hear stories of horrific evil perpetrated upon an individual and see that person’s family come into a courtroom and beg for clemecy for the defendant and moreover, tell that wrongdoer that they forgive them. That can only be Christ in them for our sin nature crys out to not only get even but to give back more than we got, and the sooner the better. That is why we need to be in the Word and on our knees every day.

  7. BBFH
    BBFH says:

    It is easier for believers to love those who believe as they do, act like they do and are in their circle of friends. This passage describes us reaching out beyond our comfort zones to really love authentically and embrace those who make us uncomfortable or do not share our beliefs. As a believer with a gay child, I have heard many hurtful things from Christians about this issue. Regardless of what our beliefs are, I wish we really loved people more, accepted them where they are and would allow God to sort it out in His time.There are lots of hurting people out there. Sometimes our beliefs make us smug.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      I’m personally dealing with some similar issues with a dear friend who is choosing to ignore the Bible’s wisdom. It’s a struggle to be sure I speak with a heart of love without judgement while being a Biblical friend and encouraging my friend to be sure choices align with God’s word. We all fail to meet God’s standard. No one is perfect but we’re also called to hold each other (other believers) accountable to God’s Word and can’t make excuses for sinful behavior. I can imagine you situation with your child is immensely more trying and heartwrenching than mine with my friend. We should all join you in prayer on your hard journey of loving your child while not loving their choices.

  8. Joey Rodgers
    Joey Rodgers says:

    Thanks to everyone this week for your thought-provoking and encouraging words. I’m blown away at how God is working in and through your lives through His Word. You have given me much to ponder as I continue to prepare for Sunday morning. We are going to be looking at a believer’s rules of engagement.

  9. Tommy Statham
    Tommy Statham says:

    our most powerful tool as a follower of Christ in the spirit are the words we use. We have to choose to bless. Paul was a scholar’s scholar. He could have one uped anyone he encountered. Instead, he encouraged. We are to treat the Bank president and the janitor with the same level of love and encouragement. In every situation in word or action, we are the ambassador for the King of Kings! period!

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