August 27, 2014
Bless And Do Not Curse
ROMANS 12:14 NLT
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 revenge.
But children of God, who have the love of God in their hearts, should act differently (Romans 5:5).
1 PETER 3:9 NLT
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.
EPHESIANS 6:12 NLT
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.
As for me: God loves me, so I can love others, even when they act unlovely.
Paul Blom Sr., Recovery Liaison
New Hope Community Church, Cambridge, MN 55008