Exacting Revenge

Revenge is sweet, or so they say. We plot and plan our next encounter and how we will get the jump on our enemy’s rude and spiteful behavior.

We set up a cycle of events in order to position our self to put our enemies in their place and to hurt them before they can hurt us. We despise them more with each breath we take.

Yet, revenge leaves us feeling empty. As Believers we even regret our display of ungodly behavior. Our vindictive and vengeful thoughts and actions take a toll on our spirit, and grieve the Holy Spirit within us (Ephesians 4:30).

It seems impossible to love our enemies. They taunt us, thwart us and stab us in the back every chance they get. We are willing to struggle with the concept of not hating them; but loving them is going a bit too far.

There is good news. We do not need to feel emotional affection to love our enemies, just a heart, which is surrendered to Christ.

When we love Christ more than we love our self, we can love our enemies with His Agape love. We grow to desire that our enemies will prosper and to experience the love of God, which we enjoy.

We can minister to our enemy’s physical, emotional, spiritual, financial and mental needs when God prompts us. He shows us opportunities to share His love with them.

God’s Word, which richly fills our soul, helps us to have meekness in order to walk away from the temptation to inflict revenge on our enemies (James 1:21).

God walks with us and in us through the dark night of our soul (Psalm 139:17-18). He rewards our faithfulness to walk in His truth. He roots us in His love and builds us up in His presence.

Prayer:
Father God, remind us that vengeance is Yours and You will repay our enemies for their treatment of us. Help us to kill our enemies with kindness, pricking their conscience with our loving behavior toward them (Romans 12:20).

Soften their heart toward us. Show us the root of their feelings, which cause them to despise us. Use us to help them to heal from their wounds which cause them to bully us and others.

Cause their reasons for attacking us to diminish; and if nothing else, make them just walk away and leave us alone. In all things, help us to prosper even as our soul prosper when we follow Your will for our life (3 John 1:2).

Thoughts for the Day:
God establishes our faith in His faithfulness; and we abound in our gratitude to Him. – Colossians 2:6-7

The Name of the Lord – Our Power

The Lord saves us and raises some people into prominence and authority for His name’s sake, so that He may make His power known in the whole earth; such as the little shepherd boy who slew the mighty giant by the power of the name of the Lord of hosts (Psalm 106:8; Romans 9:17; Isaiah 17:45).

God revives us, delivers us, forgives our sins and brings our soul out of trouble for the glory of His name (Psalm 143:11; Psalm 79:9). God gives His people, who magnify His name, rest like cattle who are fattened by the sweet grass of the valley (Isaiah 63:12, 14).

The Lord knows those who are His and helps us to abstain from evil (2 Timothy 2:19). Since we love Him and intimately know His name, He securely sets us on high and delivers us (Psalm 91:14).

We know and trust the Lord who will never forsake those who seek Him (Psalm 9:10). He helps us to resist our enemies and through His name we have spiritual power and might (Psalm 44:5, 118:12; Romans 16:20).

God gives a chance for repentance and forgiveness to all by proclaiming His name to all the nations (Luke 24:47). He blesses anyone who lives in His name and through them He blesses the whole earth (Psalm 72:19, 118:26; Joel 2:32; Luke 13:35).

When we rely on the Lord, we are overcomers. He makes us strong pillars in His church, and He writes on us His name and the name of His holy city (Revelation 3:12).

Prayer:
Father God, You will make Jesus the only Lord and King over all of the earth. His name will be the only one glorified among the nations (Zechariah 14:9). From the rising to the setting of the sun, we praise Your name, and we look forward to You reigning as King over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9; Malachi 1:11).

Many come in Your name in order to mislead the foolish (Luke 21:8; Matthew 24:5; Mark 13:6). Therefore, we must use discernment to realize who is speaking Your truth. Remind us not to follow any one person, but to feed from the life given to us in Your Word.

Thought for the Day:
The Son of righteousness has risen with healing in His wings, and enables us to dance with joy like a playful calf. – Malachi 4:2

The Name of the Lord – Multi-faceted

As Believers, we are called by the name of the Lord. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture (Isaiah 43:7; Jeremiah 14:9). In His name we are washed, sanctified and justified in the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 6:11).

God chooses individuals to stand and serve in His name; and requires that some cities and houses are dedicated to His name (Acts 9:15; Deuteronomy 18:5, 7; 1 Samuel 17:45; 1 Samuel 7:13; 1 Kings 8:19, 18:24; 2 Kings 21:4, 7; 2 Chronicles 7:16, 12:13; Nehemiah 1:9).

Jesus is the King who came in the name of the Lord (Luke 19:38); His name is also Emmanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). When we call on His name, we are saved (Acts 2:21).

Those who believe in the name of God’s Son receive eternal life (1 John 5:13). Those who do not believe in His name condemn themselves to eternal judgement (John 3:18).

When we receive Jesus and believe on His name, He gives us the right to become His children, and we receive forgiveness for all of our sins (John 1:12; Acts 10:43).

If we realize our reliance on God, obey His Word and do not deny His name, God opens doors for us, which no one can shut (Revelation 3:8). The power, provision and protection of His name are always near to us (Psalm 75:1).

The Lord appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty, but He did not reveal Himself to them as Lord (Exodus 6:3). He set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark, to serve Him and to bless His name (Deuteronomy 10:8; 18:5).

The one hundred and forty-four thousand will have the name of the Lord and the Father written on their foreheads (Revelation 14:1, 4). We also overcome our enemies in the name of the Lord (Psalm 44:5).

When we come in the name of the Lord, we are blessed (Psalm 118:26). The Father keeps and protects us in His name, which He gave to Jesus (John 17:11-12).

Prayer:
Father God, if we are hated, ostracize and insulted for our stand for the name of Christ, we are also blessed, because Your Spirit and glory rest on us (Matthew 10:22, 24:9; Luke 6:22; 1 Peter 4:14). We rejoice when we realize that we are considered worthy to suffer for Your name (Acts 5:41).

Remind us to make disciples from all nations and to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Help us to cast out demons and to heal the sick in Your name (Mark 9:38; Acts 3:6); and whatever we ask, for the sake of Your name, we know that You will do it (John 14:13-14).

Thought for the Day:
The Holy Spirit, our Helper, comes from the Father in Jesus’ name to teach us all things and bring them to our remembrance when we need them. – John 14:26

God Calls Us All

God calls the foolish, weak, dishonorable and despised person in order to shame the wise, strong and important, so that we will not boast in our abilities and take credit for what God accomplishes in and through us (1 Corinthians 1:27-29).

Satan will attempt to influence us to take the credit, but it belongs to God (Ephesians 2:8-9). When we hear Satan’s whisper in our mind, we realize the lie that it is and humbly thank God for using us.

Gideon was an illegitimate son in an insignificant clan of the tribe of Manasseh, and he even called himself the least in the family. Yet, God called Him to deliver Israel from the Midianite bondage.

David was a little shepherd boy when he killed Goliath. Moses was a murderer and could not speak well. Paul was very educated and had many accomplishments to his credit.

Yet, they all realized they were nothing without our Almighty God (Philippians 3:7-8). God even uses children and babies to prove His existence and to silence the God-haters (Psalm 8:2).

God foils the plans of the wise, exposes the supposed miracles of false prophets and plainly reveals the nonsense of pseudo-intellectuals (Isaiah 44:25; Jeremiah 8:9).

God shows us the foolishness of the wisdom of the world, and saves us through what the world considers the foolishness of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 1:20-21, 2:12).

God chooses the poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the riches in His Kingdom, which He promises to those who love Him and keep His commandments (James 2:5; John 14:15).

Prayer:
Father God, You expose the lofty who take credit for what You do for us and You continually do marvelous works on our behalf (Isaiah 26:5-6; 29:14, 19). The poor are always with us, to remind us that we are just a breath away from destitution, unless we trust in You (Matthew 26:11; Zephaniah 3:12).

You give us wisdom when we ask for it and hide Your treasure within us, in order to prove Your authority and Kingship over our life (James 1:5-6; Luke 19:39-40; 2 Corinthians 4:7). Then you give us weapons that are not for carnal warfare, but spiritual; so that we can triumph over all of our enemies (2 Corinthians 10:4, 5, 10).

Thought for the Day:
In the Kingdom of God, there are no big “I’s” and little “U’s”, but we are all equal with the same Holy Spirit residing within us and leading us throughout every moment of our day.

Paybacks

We experience trauma in this world in so many different ways. Even Jesus suffered in every area that we do; yet, without sin (Hebrews 4:15). We too can handle trials through Christ in us (Colossians 1:27).

There are people in this world who willingly, knowingly and purposely inflict anguish upon other people. They feel no remorse for the wounds they perpetrate.

They even take some perverse pleasure from hurting someone else. These people are wounded souls who find solace for their pain in demeaning, degrading and depriving others.

God tells us to be kind to our enemies because this uncharacteristic response to cruelty will prick the conscience of the offender, and may even cause them to turn from their wicked ways (Proverbs 25:22).

When we struggle to forgive someone, because they are being blessed in spite of their behavior; this causes us to feel further abuse. However, God protects His own (Matthew 5:45; Psalm 121:7).

If evil-doers remain bent on their course of destruction, they will reap paybacks for what they sow, either in this life or the next (Galatians 6:7). Eternity is the great equalizer (Psalm 37:7; 73:3).

Everyone is rewarded for their deeds, whether good or bad (2 Corinthians 5:10). God promises to take revenge on those who inflict pain upon His children, and God never breaks a promise (2 Corinthians 5:10; Numbers 23:19).

Prayer:
Father God, when we view trauma from Your perspective, we realize that our current issues are nothing when we compare them to Your glory, which these trials reveal in us (Romans 8:18). This glory is a witness to a lost and dying world around us.

They see that we suffer with grace, dignity, hope and even joy (James 1:2); and it impresses them. Help us to always look for the seed of a miracle within each trial, which You allow to come our way (Romans 8:28).

Thought for the Day:
When we draw our security from the Son, instead of some substitute, our serenity in spirit and soul lasts for eternity.

Apple of My Eye

The “apple” of one’s eye is commonly referring to the pupil (Deuteronomy 32:10). We protect our eyes at any cost, making sure that no foreign substance or harm come to them in any way.

We use the term “apple of my eye” when speaking about something very valuable to us. We instruct our children, the “apple of our eye”, to pay attention to our advice, in order to prevent them from reaping the destruction caused by making poor choices (Proverbs 7:2).

Those who harm the Lord’s anointed children or Israel, His chosen nation, will truly suffer from His hand, because they touch the “apple of His eye” (Zechariah 2:8). God protects His own.

Sometimes, we may wound a brother or a sister; or we may walk in sin for a season, which grieves God’s Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). At times like these, we plead with God to forgive us and to keep us as the” apple of His eye”.

We hide in the shadow of His wings and He saves us from our enemies and the issues of life, which threaten to overpower us (Psalm 17:8; Lamentations 2:18). This intimate expression reminds us about the extent of God’s love for each one of His Saints.

God took on a human form in order to pay the penalty, which we reaped from the first Adam’s sin (Philippians 2:7-8; 1 Corinthians 15:45). Emmanuel, God with us, felt the degradation, insecurity and weight of living on this sin-cursed earth.

God went all the way to the cross to make it possible for us to dwell with Him for eternity. All He asks is for us to keep His commandments, which were designed to protect us, not to restrict us (John 14:23).

Prayer:

Father God, You encourage us to keep Your precepts as the apple of our eye (Proverbs 7:2). Please, remind us to hide Your Word in our heart, so that we will not sin against You (Psalm 119:11). The nation of Israel was the first “apple of Your eye”. They strayed from You, as we tend to do; but we thank You for giving all Gentile unbelievers a chance to know You, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent to save us (John 17:3). Truly, this is eternal life, which we can enjoy now, as well as all throughout eternity.

Thought for the Day:

It is interesting to realize that any person we speak to sees a small image of their profile reflecting in the pupil of our eye.

Forgiveness Sets Us Free

How do we forgive someone who hurt us? By hearing and following God’s advice to love our enemies, to do good to those who hate us, to bless those who curse us and to pray for those who abuse us. When someone takes something from us, we give him/her more of what they want. We treat others the way we want them to treat us (Luke 6:27-31).

Forgiveness does not take the offender off the hook, but it does set us free (Romans 12:19). Our fellowship with God is broken by unforgiveness and His blessings cannot freely flow into our life. With God’s help, we can gain freedom from Satan’s strongholds in our life as we readily forgive those who hurt us and walk in God’s Truth.

We also learn to exhibit patience with other people who mistreat us, because we realize that their behavior comes from their wounded soul. Once we forgive those who hurt or offend us, the fruit from the root of bitterness ~ anger, anxiety, depression, irritability, meanness, pride, indulgence and doubt ~ are pulled out of our soul.

The Holy Spirit can then move into our spirit and plant the seed of His fruit in the place of our old carnal nature. As God’s chosen people, His holy ones, we cooperate with God’s Spirit and put on the cloak of love, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness and patience. We bear with one another and forgive each other, just as the Lord forgives us (Colossians 3:12-15).

Prayer:
Father God, remind us to put on Your love, because it binds everything together in perfect harmony. This allows the peace of Christ to rule in our heart, and we live in gratitude for all You do for us each day. Help the word of Christ to richly dwell in us. Whatever we do, in word or deed, we will perform it in Your name (Colossians 3:16-17). Once we find Your forgiveness for our self, we can give it to those who hurt us, and receive healing from the lies Satan planted in our wounded soul.

Thought for the Day:
Satan wants us to live in bondage to the law of sin and death, but Christ already freed us by the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. – Romans 7:22-8:3