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A Respect For What is Right
9/2/2013

Have regard for good things in the sight of all men…Rom 12:17 (NKJV)

I thank God for His faithfulness to always give me a rudder of righteousness to steer me through the land mines of temptation.  No matter what I face, I can be confident in the Holy Spirit’s leading and reminding me of how I should respond to the enemy's attempt to stumble me.  The rudder I speak of is God’s word, and it will always point us in the proper direction. 

The Apostle Paul was speaking of this rudder when he encouraged believers to, “Have regard for good things in the sight of all men” (Rom. 12:17). Having a regard for good things means we are to have a regard for what is right, or “Always respect what is right.”  The word, right refers to those things, which are fundamentally right, good, and honest.

This includes “respecting” what is right in the sight of our enemies as well.  Having such respect for others will help us to respond in the proper way rather than resolving to act in the way we are being treated during our times of persecution and affliction.

We are told, “The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27).  This word fear is speaking of a respect or reverence for The Lord. If we have this fear—this respect, or reverence for God and His Word, it will help us to be self-disciplined.  We will be able to stand when we are tempted by the enemy to do wrong instead of what is right (Proverbs 9:10; 14:27; 2 Chron 19:7, 9). 

I want to encourage you today to think about how you will handle the next time you face an attack against you.  If we do this we will not be caught off-guard.  Remember, it is great we read and study God’s Word each day, but it is even better when we live it.  English evangelist John Wesley said it right when he penned this quote,

“Beware you be not swallowed up in books!  An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.”

Let’s give our enemies an ounce or two of God’s love the next time we are attacked and see what God does with it—I think we will all be amazed.  Besides, this is exactly what Jesus told us to do, so we know we will be blessed by Him for our obedience one day soon. 

"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..." Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)

One more thing to remember when we find it hard to love our enemies—we were once enemies of God as well (Col. 1:19-21).  And yet, while we were yet sinners, God showed His great love for us by allowing Jesus to die in our place (Rom 5:8).   We need to remember, God isn’t asking us to physically die for our enemies—just to die to our selfish need to hate and be vindictive.

 STUDY QUESTION: According to Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:44, how are we to treat our enemies?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you prepared to respond in a loving way the next time you find yourself being attacked or persecuted by your enemy?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Let’s seek God’s wisdom, discernment, agape love, and strength when we face persecution.

LET’S PRAY:  Father, thank You for Your grace, mercy, love and forgiveness of us, even though we were once your enemy.  Help us to remember this the next time we face attacks or persecution from our enemies.  Help us to have the strength, and love needed to respond in the proper way.  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