Sunday Devotional: Romans 12:14-21

“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14-21)

Love one another.  We as followers of Jesus are called to do just that.  That includes everyone, not just fellow believers.  And that can be hard sometimes.  It can be hard to love or bless those that persecute us.  It’s hard to not want to repay when evil is done to us.  But that is what God wants from us.  He wants us to love others.

It seems especially in the social media age that if someone wrongs us that we want to avenge it and avenge it quickly.  But God doesn’t want us to seek vengeance, He wants us to seek peace.  He will bring vengeance when the time comes.  We love and bless those who hurt us, who wrong us.  We are to try and live at peace with them.  And that’s not always easy especially when they are antagonistic to us.  But we remember who we serve.  We remember that God has forgiven us much, we should forgive as well.  God has loved us much, we should love as well.  God is holy, we should strive to live holy as well.

This week, let us love one another.  Let us rejoice with those who rejoice.  Let us weep with those who weep.  And let us trust God to right the wrongs.

Sunday Devotional: Romans 12:15

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”  Romans 12:15

In part of being in community with others, there are some who are celebrating and there are some who are mourning.  There are some who are blessed with good times and there are some who are enduring rough times.  I’m reminded of this regularly when I hear news from friends and family.

I’m reminded of one couple that I knew from seminary that are celebrating the arrival of their son whom they adopted from Ethiopia.  I rejoice for them as they have waited for a long time for the paperwork to go through to be able to bring him home.  I’m also reminded of a friend from grade school who is grieving over the loss of his wife who passed away after a long fight with cancer.  I weep for him and his family over the loss.

When we rejoice with others and when we weep with others, we are reminded that it’s not just about us.  God wants us to see beyond us to those around us, to love on those around us.  At the same time, when circumstances bring us to joy or to grief, others need to come alongside us to rejoice and weep.

This week, celebrate the victories and mourn the losses.  And remember that throughout all of it God is right there through it all.