Devotion for January 27, 2024

“If anyone returns evil for good, evil will not depart from their house.” (Proverbs 17:13)

As you reflect on the last few devotions, you’ll find some recurring themes. Themes like humility, quietness, trusting ourselves to God, ceding our sovereignty to his. And having a listening ear.

The focal verse for today is a self-evident truth: If you are treated kindly, you should not repay it unkindly. Sadly, what should be self-evident often isn’t. Otherwise, we would not have crucified Jesus. He is the ultimate fulfilment of passages such as Psalm 109:5: “They repay my kindness with evil and friendship with hatred.”

Even on the level of normal human relationships, if we are treated kindly and repay it badly, we reap a harvest of unhappiness: Our relationships become tainted by our selfishness, and we diminish ourselves as human beings.

When we come to the New Testament, Jesus expands this teaching: “But I tell you who hear me: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-treat you” (Luke 6:27,28). That is what Jesus did. It is what he does.

Thus, Peter says to us, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).

Peter also says that in a time of suffering, when we are treated unkindly, “in [our] hearts set apart Christ as Lord” (1 Peter 3:15) and that it is better “if it is God’s will to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17).

Because of Jesus’ ministry and the gift of his Spirit, we must also let go of wrongs suffered and not seek revenge or hold grudges. Or, to put it positively, to walk in the liberty of the Lord.

Prayer

Father, let me always show love to others as You have shown it to me. Let my life be a blessing to those around me, no matter the evil that surrounds me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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