Last week we discussed the idea of pursuing peace with all people. Today we are going to break down two different passages that I feel give us guidance on how to actually put this into practice.
But first remember these promises:
1 John 5:2-4 (ESV)
By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
Mark 10:27 (NLT)
Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.”
Go to your journal page seven and look at the name of the person or the situation that you wrote down. Keep these in mind as we go through these next two passages.
Read Romans 12:1-21
This passage gives us a list of nine thing we are not supposed to do and eleven things we are to do:
Things not to do:
- Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world. (verse 2)
- Don’t think too highly of yourself. Make sure you evaluate correctly your involvement in the matter. (verse 3)
- Don’t pretend to love others – really love them. (verse 9)
- Don’t be lazy – work enthusiastically at serving God. (verse 11)
- Don’t curse those who persecute you. (verse 14)
- Don’t be proud and think you know it all. (verse 16)
- Never pay back evil with more evil. (verse 17)
- Never seek revenge. (verse 19)
- Don’t let evil conquer you. (verse 23)
Things to do:
- Take delight in honoring each other. (verse 10)
- Rejoice in hope. (verse 12)
- Be patient in trouble. (verse 12)
- Keep praying. (verse 12)
- Help those in need. (verse 13)
- Practice hospitality. (verse 13)
- Bless those who persecute you. (verse 14)
- Be happy with those who are happy and weep with those who weep. (verse 15)
- Live in harmony. (verse 16)
- Do everything you can to live at peace with everyone. (verse 18)
- Conquer evil by doing good. (verse 24)
As I read through these verses of things we are supposed to do, something stuck out at me. I think the opposite of a lot of these is “don’t compare and don’t compete.” If Christian women could truly be happy for each other and not try to prove themselves or one up each other, I think we could all live happier and healthier lives.
Read Philippians 2:1-18
This passage gives us three ways we are to interact with those who have hurt us.
- Agree wholeheartedly with each other, love one another and work together with one mind and purpose. (verse 2)
- Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interest, but take an interest in others, too. (verse 3 & 4)
- Do everything without complaining and arguing. (verse 14)
Mile 5. 6. and 7 Challenge
Now spend a little time in prayer and ask God to show you which of the nine examples of things we are not supposed to do in Romans 12, you should begin to work on. Which one doesn’t come naturally and actually is hard for you to do? Which one irritates you the most that scripture says you are supposed to do to the one who has hurt you? On page 8 of your journal, write that verse down. This week meditate on that verse. Find other verses or passages that support that one. Ask God to show you how to change and why you should change. Write one in your journal things that you have learned or things God speaks to you.
On page 9 of your journal write down one to two of the things you should do. Think about the person that has harmed you or the situation you are facing. What would it look like for you to live out those verses? In this next week pray for the strength and courageous to do two of them.
Remember that victory is right after the hardest battle you face. Actually loving the person who is making your life miserable is probably one of the hardest things you will do. There will come a time in your battle when you will have to decide if you are going to keep pushing forward and keep fighting or decide it is just too hard to continue. I pray in this moment you choose to complete the journey. To fall at your Father’s feet and ask Him to guide your steps and give you the strength to do the right thing. When the victory is won, you will know that was the best decision you could have made!
Now I know this is hard and it isn’t a once and done type of battle. You will have to choose over and over to do the right thing. But God’s Word is always true. If you choose to really love others no matter what you get in return you will walk in hope, peace and joy. God will bless you and take care of you in ways that you could not even imagine.
This is my prayer for you this week:
Philippians 2:13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him!
Hebrews 12 Conquest of Myself Series