To the Saints in Pakistan (31 of 38). Romans 12:14-21

Joseph Pittano

Today’s teaching is not for the faint of heart. It’s not for the novice. We should all hear it, but the supernatural ability to truly live it out from the heart is for the saint whose heart is truly close to Jesus’. How can we ever truly bless and not curse those who curse and persecute us? How can we pray for those who hate us? How can we ever truly do this? This is not the way of the world. It’s not what “comes naturally” to any of us. We’re not talking about a world where justice is despised. No, God has given governing authorities for that. What we are talking about is never returning evil for evil. Justice for evil? Sure. Evil for evil? No! How can our hearts and minds truly appreciate this when we’re persecuted? Many have been murdered in this. Why does God send it? Well, we’ll talk about it today. We’ll consider a few examples as we look to where Paul calls his readers to look, to Jesus himself. Jesus in his own life is our finest example of someone who- as Peter wrote of him- “…kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” 1 Peter 2:23b. Do we seek to do this in our lives? Do we know that our God is one of terrible wrath and that vengeance is his? That he has appointed a day of wrath? Can we then as his children truly entrust ourselves to him and thus seek for peace in every place? “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” -God the Son. Matthew 5:9. If we seek God in this, we can be certain that opportunities to live this out will come to us in our lives. Perhaps mostly from the places we least expected it. We’re guaranteed persecution as those who are not of this world. We’re told frankly: “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12. (Cf. 1 Peter 3:14; 4:19; 5:10; 2 Timothy 2:3; 1:8). When, not if, persecution comes then, may I humbly remind you of what our Lord says of us in Matthew 5:11-12a: “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great…” This teaching is not for the weak of heart, but it comes to the weak heart. It comes to us all. Be encouraged, reader/viewer/listener, it’s God who is at work in it all for his glory and for your eternal reward. Let’s seek to live at peace with all men as we’re exhorted to today in Romans 12:18, but yet never seek worldly peace for them. Let’s consider this difficult truth together today.

God bless!!!

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