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Overcome Evil With Good
12/8/2009

Overcome Evil With Good
25-Ways to Honor God-Number 25

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:21 (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 5th and final of our "Duties to Our Personal Enemies" as Christian men and women. These are our duties to those who we identify as people who are coming against us and persecuting us. And that 5th and final duty is also our 25th way in our series of 25-ways to honor God.

25.    Overcome Evil With Good (Rom 12:21)

This duty to "Overcome evil with good," is closely related to numbers 14 & 15 on our 25-ways to honor God as Christians, where we were told to, "Bless those who persecute us," and then to "Bless and do not curse."  Now we are exhorted again of this un-natural response - but this time we are also given the secret of how we can do this.

In our last devotional, "Never avenge yourself," we learned that we are never to take justice into our own hands - that belongs to God alone.  We then asked the question:

Q:    So, we can't seek revenge with those who afflict us - so what are we to do then?

A:    The answer according to God's Word is that we are to "Love" them.

Some would say, "It's hard enough not to pay back evil for evil, and to let God deal with these offenses.  But now I have to return love to them for their selfish evil acts."

And that's exactly what God is telling His Children to do - to be imitators of Him.  Romans 12:21 tells us to "Overcome evil with good," and the verse right before that the apostle Paul quotes Proverbs 25:21-22 where we are told, "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."

Q:    So what does giving our enemies something to drink or eat have to do with heaping coals of fire on their head?

A:    It is actually openly bringing shame upon them for their sin.

Let me explain how this works.  The phrase used in this Proverb is actually a reference to an ancient Egyptian custom.  When a person committed an offense against another and they were sorry, they would demonstrate their remorse by publically carrying a pan of hot coals upon their head.  The idea here was that they were experiencing a "Burning pain" for their actions, as they were openly repenting from them.

So, as Christians, when we let God's love flow through us like water does through a garden hose, we are exposing the evil for what it is, and at the same time, we are quenching our own desire to burn with anger and retaliate.  This happens as we couple together with God through prayer and allow the Holy Spirit to empower us in meeting the needs of the person who is attacking us.  As we do this they see God's love up close and personal.  It is through selfless acts of love that people want to know God in a personal way - it is kindness that leads them to repentance.

We need to be careful, because if we are not obedient to do this duty to our enemies, we can lose more than just an opportunity to share Christ with them - we can fall back into the fleshly patterns of sinfully judging others and harboring anger, resentment, and bitterness within our hearts - and that is far more damaging to our Christian walk than the original act done against us.  

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. Colossians 3:12-13 (NKJV)

I want to encourage you today to think upon these principles of righteous living according to God's Word.  Take time to meditate upon them and then ask yourself, "What does this mean to me?  How can I implement them into my life?"  Make a list of the 25-ways to honor God as outlined in this series of devotionals and then let God help you apply them to your life one decision at a time.  For the previous devotionals on 25-ways to honor God, go to www.mydailydose.org and look in 2009 devotionals.  The series starts in October 27th and continues through to December 8th.  

It is my earnest hope and prayer that these devotionals on our Christian duties will help to transform your life and most importantly, "Bring Honor to God."  May our Lord bless you mightily, and may you be strengthened in His power as you seek to do His will.
 
STUDY QUESTION: What are we told to do to our enemies according to the scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to allow God's love to overcome the evil that is being used by the enemy against you?

APPLICATION:  Go to God in prayer, and ask Him to guide you in your actions, and to empower you to do what He wants.  Now love them!

Father, thank You for Your power and might to do the things that I am too weak to do.  Help me today to do these things that You have outlined in Your Word.  Give me the ability to be a blessing to others and to do good when they do evil against me.  Lord I need You to empower me when these times come and to be reminded of Your Word.  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