Sunday, August 31, 2014

Gems in Romans 12:9-21

One of the lectionary readings for today is Romans 12:9-21. Now there's a sermon series that could last for months! What great truths!  What hard truths! I actually wrote a devotional over these last few chapters of Romans.

A few verses that stick out to me are:
  • "Honor one another above yourselves." This was one of my Grandpa Shepherd's verses that my Dad also adopted as a life mission: "in honor, preferring one another." Don't act selfishly but act in a way that is in the interests of others. Put others first.
  • "Rejoice with those who rejoice." This is one I have said more than one to my children. It's tempting when something good happens to a sibling to be jealous. Instead, we should rejoice with those who have good things happen to them.
  • "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." You can't always do it, because it takes two for there to be peace. Some people (spouses, countries, etc...) will pick a fight no matter what you say or do. There's nothing you can do about that. But you can live at peace with others "as far as it depends on you."
  • "Leave room for God's wrath." It's not your job to make sure that every wrongdoer gets his or her just deserts. Leave them to God.
  • "Do not repay anyone evil for evil." "Overcome evil with good." This is in the same vein as "a gentle answer turns away wrath" (Prov. 15:1). Things only escalate when you respond in kind... until one or both of you is dead.
Great stuff! Hard stuff!

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