30 Days with Wesley – Day 14: Loving Revenge

30 Days with Wesley(Optional Reading: Romans 12:13-21)

There is a law of the land that we all live by. There are many different elements that make up this law. Thing like; don’t spit into the wind, don’t drink coffee right after drinking orange juice (I learn that one awhile ago. Don’t try it), and toilet paper should always roll over not under. Ok, those might not be huge laws but there is one law of the land that many people today live by: An eye for an eye.

Sometimes, we live in an early elementary age way of thinking. If someone was a jerk to me, I’m going to be a jerk to them. The difference is, we become more malicious as adults. We hold grudges, we talk behind someone’s back or even belittle someone’s value as an individual. If you are wanting to be someone who is follows the teachings of Jesus, we have to begin to look at our enemies in a different way.

Paul writes in Romans, “If possibly, to the best of your ability, live at peace with all people. Don’t try to get revenge for yourselves… Don’t be defeated by evil, but defeat evil with good.” (Romans 12:18-19, 21)

Jesus calls people to a life of loving revenge. These two word might not seem like they should go together, but they can. Paul paints a beautiful picture of loving revenge. “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink.” (Romans 12:20).

When someone mistreats us, Jesus calls us to seek out an act of loving revenge. May we love those who hate us. May we pray for those who persecute us. May we not be defeated by evil but defeat evil with good. 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 12: What Hurts You Should Be Wrong To Me

stumbling-block(Optional Reading: Romans 14:1-21)

Freedom in Jesus is not to be taken lightly or treated with disrespect. Paul writes about freedom in chapter 14 of Romans. Specifically, Paul is writing about the freedom to eat anything. Christians were not limited to eating only vegetables or only certain meats. Jesus came and fulfilled the law of Moses and, in a way, freed Christians from a strict diet dictating law. This freedom must not be taken lightly though.

Paul continued in chapter 14 to lay out a law of love. This love is a love from Christ. Verse 7 and 8 states, “We don’t live for ourselves and we don’t die for ourselves. If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord” (CEB). Our lives are God’s and we need to be living a life of love to those around us, as Jesus did.

This is where freedom comes into play. Paul says not to fight over what food is right or wrong for someone to eat. Rather love someone by not causing conflict or creating stumbling blocks for them. Paul writes, 

So stop judging each other. Instead, this is what you should decide: never put a stumbling block or obstacle in the way of your brother or sister… If your brother or sister is upset by your food, you are no longer walking in love. Don’t let your food destroy someone for whom Christ died. And don’t let something you consider to be good be criticized as wrong. God’s kingdom isn’t about eating food and drinking but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (vs 13, 15-17 CEB)

Simply put, if it hurts someone, it should be wrong for us. If you know that your brother or sister in Jesus struggles with drinking alcohol and is trying to quick, we should not let our freedom in Jesus say… “Sorry but I am going to drink anyway.” When we respond this way, Paul says we are no longer living in love. It can be anything. If you friend is trying to give up smoking… sugar… video games… swearing… etc, you should lift them up and not create ways for them to stumble. 

As Jesus followers, we must live a life of love that is willing to sacrifice our freedom for the sake of others growing closer to Jesus. When we make this sacrifice, we find that we are truly becoming Christ-like in our love. 

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days With Wesley – Day 11: A Miracle Filled Life

30 Days with Wesley(Optional Reading: Romans 8:35-39)

There is a questions that many people ask today. “Does God still do miracles?” I am not bringing this question up to have a debate breakout out in my comment section. I bring up this question because I believe it is an important question to ask ourselves. In today’s reading, I read Psalm 77:13-15 and in those verses it states, 

“You are the God who performs miracles;

you display your power among the people”

I don’t know what side of the fence you are on in response to the miracle question. You might argue that God miraculously heals people today. I have actually witnessed God’s healing power within my own family. You might also be reading this and think, I have never seen God heal anyone and you might think God doesn’t do miracles anymore.

When we ask the question “Does God still do miracles?” we need to also realize that each and every person who has committed their lives to following Jesus is a miracle. The reading today from Romans explains that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Each person that is a follower of Jesus is someone who was lost in darkness and came into God’s redeeming light. We were lost and Jesus found us with his unstoppable love. One of the greatest miracles Jesus has done is to take a life that was broken and make it whole.

If you feel like you have never seen God perform a miracle, perhaps there is one in front of you every time you look in the mirror.

God may we live in response to the miracle of your redeeming love. May our lives point others to you. Continue to transform us into the children of light you call us to be.

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.

30 Days with Wesley – Day 6: Always Forgives & Always Forgets

30 Days with Wesley(Optional Reading: Ephesians 4:29-32)

The guided prayer this morning focused on the subject of God’s forgiveness. God’s forgiveness is truly mind blowing to me. We serve a God that will forgive us every time we sin, and every time He forgives us He forgets our sin. It is truly unfathomable how God is able to completely let go of all that we have done in sin. 

God always forgives and always forgets because He desperately wants to be in a relationship with us. By relationship, I mean that God wants to be involved in every part of our lives. A relationship with God means daily praying and inviting God into every moment of thought and every interaction we have during the day. This is what God desires.

The dilemma we face, as people who sin, is that sin causes a break in relationship with God. God never gives up on us though. He is daily pursuing us and drawing us out of our life of sin and brokenness. Once we see God and give him all our sin, God completely forgives and completely forgets. Then God works in our hearts to call us to a holy life, because it is in this holy life that God helps us become the exact person He desires us to be. This understanding is found all through the Bible.

“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:9

“The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.” John 10:10

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” Isaiah 43:25

“You must be holy in every aspect of your lives, just as the one who called you is holy. It is written, You will be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:5

 

“Oh God, now that you have renewed our lives and our mercies to us this morning, help us to renew our desires, resolutions, and efforts to live in obedience to your holy will.” (30 Days with Wesley, pg 29)

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those

who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial,

and deliver us from evil.

For the kingdom, the power,

and the glory are yours,

now and forever.

Amen.