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Blessing Those Who Persecute Us - Part I
8/19/2013

Bless those who persecute you… (Rom 12:14 (NKJV)

Of all of the duties God has given us, blessing those who persecute us is probably the hardest one to complete.  In fact, without God, it would be impossible to do this with any true consistency.  We may be successful to a certain extent, but eventually we will come to the end of our own capabilities and eventually retaliate by repaying evil with evil.  Thankfully, all things are possible with God (Phil. 4:13).

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

To not retaliate is one thing—but to actually bless someone who has persecuted you is entirely another, and it goes against everything in our fleshly nature.  God tells us, in order for us to be obedient and faithful, we are to repay evil with kindness—and therefore we are to actually bless those people who come against us.  Jesus gave us the example and model to follow in Luke.

“But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either.  Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.” Luke 6:27-30(NKJV)

We must understand we can only do this with the Agape love from God, and not of our own abilities   Many people have a hard time with this command of blessing those who persecute us, and Jesus knew this would be the case; so He continues a few verses later explaining why we must, as Christians, be able to act in this Agape way.

 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” Luke 6:32-33 (NKJV)

We need to understand Jesus isn’t asking us to do something impossible.  He Himself was tempted in this way, and He Himself turned to His Father for strength, and overcame, and we are to do the same. 

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 (NKJV)

We see Jesus modeling this great act of forgiveness, blessing, and Agape love as He was dying for our sins on the cross of Calvary.  In His final words, He interceded for those who had ridiculed, mocked, spat upon, and persecuted Him to the point of death—and at this point He uttered these final words of blessing:

 “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34 (NKJV)

In part II of this devotion, we will continue to look at this and find some practical applications for our life.

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn with respect to blessing those who persecute us by the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to let God help you bless others who persecute you?

APPLICATION: Let’s seek God for His Agape love.  Let’s choose to love those who persecute us despite our fleshly desires to retaliate with evil.

Father, thank You for Your perfect example of Jesus returning a blessing for the persecution He faced on our account.  Father, help us to think this way the next time we are being persecuted, and give us the strength and abilities to be Christ-like in return.  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