Live in Peace

16. March 2022 Romans 0

Text: Romans 12:14-21

Theme: We are called to live in harmony with others.

Key verses: “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them (v. 14). “Live in harmony with each other…Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge…(v. 16-19a). “Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good” (v. 21).

What God said to me: Dwayne, your heart and mind are far from me right now. You are typing these words, but you are thinking elsewhere. You know what holds your attention this morning. You don’t need me to search you. You can examine yourself and know what you are fixated on. You and I both know it doesn’t honor me; it is not honorable, as this passage mentions. For people to see you as honorable you should first actually be honorable. That is the first lesson you need to be reminded of today. Secondly, the thrust of this passage, the overarching theme Paul keeps reiterating is the importance of outward holiness and service toward other people. You are not to stir up strife and hostility with others. You are to love them, to show them love and kindness and forgiveness, to give them help expecting nothing in return. You are to strive to live in peace and harmony with everyone you possibly can. This does not mean you should dismiss or ignore what they have done or are doing. You are not to excuse their misdeeds and sinful ways. Notice Paul called some people your enemies; he recognized that reality may exist for you. He also called what some do evil. He wasn’t denying the fact that people can act and be evil at times. You are not to lie down and overlook their sin as though it doesn’t exist or matter. Sin separates people from me, so yes it very much matters. However, your response should be that of love for the sinner–not their sin. Love them regardless of how they treat you. Pray for them and for their salvation and deliverance from the evil one. This is how you demonstrate your love for me–by loving others with a pure and selfless love.

What I said to God: Thank You, my Father and God and King, I bow my heart and soul to You this morning. Thank You for this beautiful day to serve You! I love You and want to honor You in all that I do. Thank You for giving me this time to retreat and pray and seek Your face and will for the upcoming months. I need Thee every hour, and I certainly need You this hour. Forgive me for allowing my mind to stray. Help me bring every thought into the obedience of Christ. I reckon myself to be dead to myself and alive to You.