5 Minute Read + Scripture readings

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

Isaiah 15:1–18:7
Galatians 1:1-24
Psalm 58:1-11
Proverbs 23:12

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Galatians 1:23–24 (CSB): “They simply kept hearing: ‘He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith he once tried to destroy.’ And they glorified God because of me.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

In our Verse for Today, we read that Paul was talking about his conversion. Before Jesus saved him, he had been persecuting the church. He drug Christians off to jail regularly. And he did so with zeal because he believed he was serving God.

But, when he was gloriously saved, word began to get around. People were beginning to say, “Hey! I heard that Saul has been saved and is now preaching the Gospel! That is so hard to comprehend because he used to persecute those who preached that same Gospel! Isn’t God wonderful to take an enemy and turn him into an ally!”

Friend, it is so easy to pray against someone who is harming us. While it is fine to ask God to administer justice (Romans 12:19; 2 Timothy 4:14-15), it is wrong if we get upset at the Lord if justice isn’t quickly administered. It’s so easy to harbor resentment at someone for something harmful that they did, especially if their actions have harmed our family or close friends.

But, God doesn’t get any glory when we do that.

What gives God glory? Just read our Verse for Today. God is praised when He changes someone’s heart!

Galatians 1:23–24 (CSB): “They simply kept hearing: ‘He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith he once tried to destroy.’ And they glorified God because of me.”

So, instead of praying against the person who is mistreating you, pray for them. Pray that God would give them a change of heart. Pray that God would draw them to Himself.

In other words, don’t focus primarily on yourself. Instead, pray that God would bless the one who is mistreating you. Take the focus off of you and put it onto them. Turn your negative prayers into positive ones.

Friend, if and when God answers your prayers and the one who is mistreating you gets a heart change from the Lord, you will have more than enough reason to praise Him!

Luke 6:27–28 (CSB): “But I say to you who listen: Love your enemies, do what is good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

What I am addressing in this post is the heart attitude of the one who is being mistreated. This topic is a huge topic that is multi-faceted without the space or time to deal with it in this post.

For instance, some mistreatments are so big that they cannot be ignored. While we continue to love and pray for the offender, we may feel the need to confront them, or ask someone to step in to help, or tell the authorities.

This thing called “following Jesus” is often a balancing act that requires the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit within us to live it.

And, finally, realize that while I enjoy writing each of these posts with a desire to show the relevancy and application of Scripture, I am flawed. I particularly struggle in the area of forgiveness. I share the Apostle Paul’s comfort in the fact that God will one day administer justice to those who have horribly mistreated me and my family. If you believe this attitude to be unChristian, just read 2 Timothy 4:14-15. Since I am resting in the fact that God will do what He said He is going to do, I desire to love, pray for, and bless my enemies (Romans 12:17-21).

Romans 12:17–21 (CSB): “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes. If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord. But If your enemy is hungry, feed him. If he is thirsty, give him something to drink. For in so doing you will be heaping fiery coals on his head. Do not be conquered by evil, but conquer evil with good.”

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