Talk about starting the week off with a tough command! As we pick back up with our 13-day daily devotional on Romans 12, verse 14 gives us some hard truth. We are supposed to bless those who persecute us? That seems so unnatural, doesn’t it? Everything inside of us wants to get back at the ones who harm us in any way. True Christians, however, choose to bless the ones who persecute them.
This idea of blessing those who persecute us must be driven by love. If you remember our previous five days, love has been the driving force of this section of Scripture. “Let love be genuine” (Romans 12:9). “Love one another with brotherly affection” (Romans 12:10). Show hospitality and meet the needs of your brothers and sisters (Romans 12:13). It takes love to live out these commands. It takes a great commitment to love in order to be able to bless those who hurt us.
Some of us may not be “persecuted” like believers would have been in the time of Paul writing this letter. Some Christians still are, however, and we need to pray continually for them. But even if certain persecution isn’t a serious threat at this moment, being hurt and wounded is. We are imperfect human beings and we have a tendency to hurt one another. Have you ever been there? Paul wants us to focus on how we respond in those moments. Fight your natural urge to respond without love. Bless them. Do not curse them. Do what Paul tells us to do a few verses later and “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
So, give your persecutions, your pains, and your wounds to God. Start your week by letting God handle the situation and fill you with love. Jesus was persecuted and nailed to a bloody cross. While up there, He asked His Father to forgive the persecutors (Luke 23:34). The love of Jesus enabled Him to forgive the ones who nailed Him to a cross. God can put that same love in us. Ask for it. Bless those who persecute you. Do not curse them. There is more amazing truth in verse 15 tomorrow! Continue the devotional with us!
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- How can you put Romans 12:14 into practice today?
- Let’s pray today for persecuted brothers and sisters around the world.