Scripture:
Romans 12:19-21
Sat, 6 May 2023

Loving Others Outside the Church Together (2)

Observation:

According to verses 19 to 21, what would a church that is acting in love
together look like?

Deeper Reflection
We continue with Paul’s third and fourth sets of “do not…but instead…” exhortations towards genuine love even for our enemies.Third, do not take revenge, but instead leave vengeance to God (v.19) and help your enemy (v.20). The Old Testament prohibition of vengeance applied largely to relationships within the faith community.25 But here, Paul cites Deuteronomy 32:35 and applies it beyond the church, calling us to show kindness even to our enemies, modelling Jesus’ revolutionary ethic of love.26 To heap burning coals on your enemy’s head27 might refer to an Egyptian ritual in which a person carried a pan of burning charcoal on his head to purge sin. Helping your enemy aims to move him to repentance — to heal, not hurt him.28Finally, do not be overcome by evil, but instead overcome evil with good (v.21). This consummates Paul’s argument and returns us to Romans 12:9 (genuine love pursues good and avoids evil). If we curse (Rom 12:14), retaliate (Rom 12:17) or take revenge (v.19), then, having adopted evil responses to evil, we become defeated by evil. However, if we bless our persecutors (Rom 12:14), make peace (Rom 12:18), leave vengeance to God (v.19) and help our enemy (v.20), then we have vanquished evil with good (v.21).29When we are moved by God’s mercies and offer our lives to God, and our minds are renewed by His Word (Rom 12:1-2), our relationships become transformed. Christ’s love compels us to love God together, love one another within the church, and love others outside the church together. That is what a church that is acting in love together would look like.
25 Leviticus 19:18a; 2 Chronicles 28:8-15; Proverbs 20:22; 24:29 26 Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), 787 27 See also Proverbs 25:21-22 28 John A. Witmer, “Romans,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 490 29 John R. W. Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World, The Bible Speaks Today (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001), 337.
Application:

In what ways do I desire to grow in overcoming evil with good?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for Church Board: To be overcomers of evil with good, both in their personal lives and in their church leadership responsibilities
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for those in need
  • Pray for self
 

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Daily Devo
Daily Devotional Journal
Scripture:
Daniel 6:1-10
Wed, 7 June 2023

Consistent Daily Devotion to God

Observation:

What does verse 10 tell us about Daniel?

Deeper Reflection
For Daniel’s distinguishing competency and character, and commitment to ensuring that the king suffered no loss in his empire, Darius “planned to appoint” him “over the entire kingdom” (v.3). But out of jealousy, Daniel’s fellow-commissioners and the satraps attempted to accuse him of “negligence or corruption” in “government affairs” (v.4a). They could find nothing, because Daniel was “faithful” (v.4b). So, they planned to make accusation against him “with regard to the law of his God” (v.5). And they maliciously instigated Darius to establish a law that “anyone who makes a petition to any god or man” besides the king “for thirty days, shall be cast into the lion’s den” (vv.6-9).Then, “when Daniel knew that the document was signed…he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously” (v.10). This was Daniel’s spiritual discipline with a structure of regular “three times a day”. He kept it daily. We can say that Daniel never missed his quiet time. The most important words in the verse may be “when Daniel knew that the document was signed”. They indicate the context of Daniel’s spiritual discipline: A discipleship challenge where his life was at stake. Daniel’s spiritual discipline was no mere religious ritual and routine. He could have skipped his quiet time “for thirty days” and be safe. He didn’t. Daniel’s spiritual discipline manifested his consistent daily devotion to “his God”: “he continued…three times a day…as he had been doing previously.” At the heart of this spiritual discipline was Daniel’s relationship and fellowship with “his God”.
Application:

How can I cultivate a consistent daily devotion to God?

Prayer:
Write a prayer to God as your response from your meditation on and application of the Scriptures.
Prayer Pointers:
  • Give thanks and praise
  • Pray for leaders
  • Pray for significant people
  • Pray for the Generations: That young people will seek to be devoted to God consistently
  • Pray for self
 

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