Sing to the Lord, and praise him! Proclaim every day the good news that he has saved us (Psalm 96.2, GNB).
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Speak these words out loud:
Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6.9 (NIV)
Read the proverb through three or four times, slowly. Pause in-between, maybe write it out by hand – savour the words, let them speak deeply to you.
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. (NIV)
If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them a drink. You will make them burn with shame, and the Lord will reward you. (GNB)
This is one of those Proverbs where in the first half you nod along sagely, and then pause halfway through and think, really?? It seems like the Proverb is making causing our enemies pain the motivation for doing good!
To make matters worse, Paul quotes it approvingly in Romans 12.20.
But it’s Romans 12 that helps us understand what’s going on here: the second half of the Proverb simply states the result, not the motivation of treating our enemies well.
In Romans 12.2 Paul says: ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ Then in verse 19 – immediately before quoting this Proverb – he says, ‘Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath.’
In other words: do the right thing, and trust God to make things right. Don’t act as the world does (i.e. by taking revenge) but act according to Jesus’ teaching by showing love to your enemies rather than hate, because that’s the right thing to do. Let God give them their ‘just deserts’, let God show them the consequences of their actions.
After all, only God is a perfect judge, and only God can see the secrets of our hearts – including the hearts of our enemies.
Pray for Five – pray for your five friends / family from Thy Kingdom Come.
Our daily prayer sheet includes the names of everyone for whom we have a signed church family directory form – and local parishes and senior church leaders. Today we are praying for:
Rosemary Baxter, Allan & Anne Baldwin
Father, please bless them with your peace, and a deep awareness of your presence with them, every day and in every way.
We also pray for: Couples Getting Married
Please pray for our leaders and healthcare workers, and all those working to keep us safe, well, and fed. Please pray that people would unselfishly put others before themselves.
Church Family Prayer
Come Holy Spirit,
and make us one in heart and action,
so that we can serve God faithfully:
abounding in love,
maturing in holiness,
and seeking out the lost.
Help us grow as disciples of Jesus –
in commitment, in depth, and in number –
that we may be a blessing to Amington;
to the glory and praise of God the Father.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus
the only way to the Father.
Psalm 127.1, Hebrews 12.2 & John 14.6
May Christ our Saviour give us peace.