Friday, October 24, 2014

turn away from evil and do good

1Peter 3:8  Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9  Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called--that you might inherit a blessing. 10  For "Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; 11  let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. 12  For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

 It is thought that the Apostle Peter wrote this letter from the city of Rome in about 67 A.D. [1] This was the time of the outbreak of the persecution of the Roman Christians by the Emperor Nero, and the subsequent scattering of the followers of Jesus. This letter is written to "the exiles," or "the strangers in dispersion:" (1 Pet 1:1b-2a) to encourage them to remain faithful to all they have learned from Jesus. Despite their suffering they are instructed: “Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse.... repay with a blessing”;  In spite of the violence and fear  “seek peace and pursue it.” Jesus followers are to “desire life and desire to see good days”.

A passage such as this does not need me to add to it. This is inspirational.
Clearly it is also difficult – if it was easy it would not have been written down. But at the same time this resonates with our deepest longing for a life driven by the values of Jesus.

Let us live the Jesus-life to the very best of our ability, refusing to give up the values of love and justice for the grubby impulses of revenge and bitterness.    

Lord of all creation holds our lives in His hands
The God of all the nations holds our lives in His hands
The Rock of our salvation holds our lives in His hands
He cares for them just as He cares for you

So love them like Jesus, love them like Jesus
You don't need the answers to all of life's questions
Just know that He loves them and stay by their side
Love them like Jesus
Love them like Jesus
Casting Crowns “Love them like Jesus”

Ordinary 30
52 True Humility
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 317.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.

[1] Peter says he wrote it from Babylon (5:13) – a term that was commonly used by the Christians of that century to refer to Rome, 

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