Wrestling with the Word
Rom. 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
The words from Paul to the Romans were clear. The Roman Christians were living in an environment that was completely hostile to them. They would face the very real possibility of becoming martyrs for their faith. Paul admonished them to keep on loving those who hated them; to try every way that they could to live at peace with those around them. Instead of seeking revenge, God’s people were to leave that to God. Their response was to be one of holy love, overcoming evil by the power of God’s goodness in action. They were to go and feed the hungry and provide water for the thirsty. This was the word of the Lord for God’s people in Rome.
I leave us to simply wrestle with that scripture today and what it might mean for us personally and corporately.
Lord, we pray for your peace and grace to be revealed in and through your followers. Amen.
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