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Bless And Do Not Curse

Bless And Do Not Curse
25-Ways to Honor God-Number 15

But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Colossians 3:8 (NKJV)

We are looking at a series of devotionals which are revealing 25-ways to bring glory and honor to God - these are actually duties or responsibilities for every Christian. We find these 25-ways in Romans 12:9-21.   

Today we will be looking at the 2nd of our "Duties to All People" as Christian men and women. These are our duties to "All People," including every Christian believer, or non-believer that we come in contact with.  And that 2nd duty is also our 15th way to honor God.  

15.    "Bless and do not curse."

Okay, we just had three devotionals in a row that covered our duty to "Bless those who persecute you."  And now we have this next Christian duty that honors God; it seems very similar to the last.  And that is because this duty is a follow up to the last one - it's as if God wants to drive a point home with us. "Listen here children, I want you to bless those who are "going" to persecute you, and I want to repeat it again so you hear me clearly, 'I want you to bless them, and do not curse them."

Growing up and living here in the United States, or any western culture for that matter, we really don't tend to be physically persecuted for our personal religious beliefs - we'd be apt to face more of a verbal attack than a physical one.  

Q:    So how do we as a culture respond to verbal attacks?
A:    We are prone to verbally attack in like manor - which often can lead into eventually cursing those who attack us at some point.

I know, I know - right about now most of you are gasping at this notion, saying, "Not me...I never say a bad word against anyone who persecutes me Pastor Scott." (Can you see the smile on my face as I think about you saying this?)  I am not being cynical here, but remember Jesus teaching us (See Matthew 5) that if we simply thought it within our heart, we are guilty of the act?  

So maybe you don't say a cuss-word, maybe you might just give that person a piece of your mind - let them know what you are thinking about by telling them off.   I've heard on more than one occasion, "Man, I told them a thing or two.  I bet they think twice before doing that again...etc. etc. etc."

Well for those times we need to understand what really has happened, because we have just taken a big bite on that "Stink bait" that the enemy (Satan) uses when he wants to get two or more fish with one cast.  We have just been trapped and duped into thinking we were victorious by speaking up and setting someone straight, when in fact we have just lost.  Pride has caused us to speak like a fool.  We are now carrying around that offending person's sin as our own personal one.  Instead of showing grace, mercy and forgiveness, we are now as guilty as they were.

In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, But the lips of the wise will preserve them. Proverbs 14:3 (NKJV)

You know the sad thing is that we have scientific research that shows great evidence that we are physically paying the price for our verbal rants in retaliations.  Do you know that much of our high blood pressure and other anxiety-related diseases that we are suffering from are in fact being caused by persistent attitudes of resentment and hostility?  Anyone who has suffered from a resentful attitude or one of hostility can relate to that particular situation continuing to eat at them until it manifests into another negative situation.  Let me ask you something:

Q:    Are you pronged to react negatively to unpleasant situations or to unpleasant people?

If you answered, "Yes," then it may be that you need to be reconciled to God today in this area and as a result, be restored to service in His ministry.  

Q:    How can we be reconciled to God if we have a Spiritual stronghold in our life with regard to the un-forgiveness of someone who has offended us?

A:    We need to let go of the incident or incidents that have transpired from our past with regards to the people who have offended us.

When we lay those things such as bitterness, pain, grudges, and un-forgiveness down, and acknowledge where they originated - giving the proper credit to Satan - then we can freely identify that this is simply a temptation from him to get us to hold those things within our heart toward that person.  If he is successful he knows that your prayers will be hindered and you will be relegated ineffective in your Christian walk and in your Christian witness.  

Trust me, people are watching us because they know that we are Christian; they want to see how we will handle various situations - they want to know what sets us apart from them.

We need to realize and identify that God is going to allow us to come into various trials and tribulations from time to time to exercise our faith.  God is going to use you in a powerful way when you bless those who persecute you.  The only question left is, "Will you let Him?"

Let's not let the circumstances of this world, lead us away from the truth and promises contained within the Scriptures of God.

Let's "bless, and not curse, those who persecute us" by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

Let's make that conscious choice today to do this.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regard to our speaking to others when we are persecuted?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you struggling with your tongue during times of persecution?

APPLICATION: Ask God for forgiveness for those times you've said inappropriate things to others, and if possible, ask them for forgiveness as well.  Let God do a work in you today.

Father, Thank You for Your love, mercy, and grace.  Thank You for giving me an example to live my life by.  Help me today to remember and acknowledge any times that I have said inappropriate things during conversations with others.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000