I recently read an email from a brother that shared his personal struggle in a situation that could have gone really bad. Thankful for the grace of God and this brother’s surrendered spirit to Christ as His Lord, it did not. In fact it served as a source of encouragement for me. It stirred up this response in me,
I want to thank God for all of you. For sharing the reality of how hard it is to do right, obeying the Lord in all things. It’s a constant reminder that we need Christ always.
I’m reminded of the message the Lord had for us through pastor this past Sunday.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
The thing that stuck with me the most was the part in verse 17, ‘but give thought‘. I did not disregard the message in its entirety or take anything out of context. I believe that the Lord has laid this on my heart because this is the “golden text” of the message that is given in these verses.
Lately I have been diving into the actual meaning of words in the “Original” language, Greek in this case. The word thought in verse 17 is,
Pronoeo (Don’t ask me to pronounce it..lol)
To apply one’s self to a thing, practice, strive to exhibit.
We are to practice, strive to exhibit to do what is honorable in the sight of all! Most importantly Christ!
I’m reminded of 2 Tim 2:15 (ESV)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
It’s funny how in Rom 12:2 we are told to
“not be conformed to this world,be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
It’s also funny how the Holy Spirit through Paul said that in the beginning of the chapter..lol The renewing of your mind, this definitely ties into striving to be more like Christ! It is the precursor to doing what is honorable in the sight of all! Most importantly Christ!
My point in saying all of this is that we are to always prepare to exemplify our Master in all things at all times.
We do this through,
His word- 2 Tim 3:16 (ESV)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Prayer- James 5:16 (NKJV)
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Had to use the NKJV version because I know that it will throw some people off because in the ESV it doesn’t say avails or availeth much..;-).
Encouragement- Heb 10:23-25 (ESV)
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Accountability-James 5:16 (Coincidently the same is applied to Prayer, interesting)
16 Confess your trespasses[a] to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (NKJV)
I know that there are other verses that pertain to the items above so please share!
None of this is possible without the total self-reliance of our Lord Jesus Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit!
I share all of the above just to say that I thank God for what God is doing in our lives, at this particular moment, with you Brother. Do not lose hope and be encouraged in knowing that Jesus has not given up on you! Look how far He has brought you.
You have demonstrated that you have been in His word and in prayer. You are constantly encouraging us, me in particular, to aim to please the Lord by letting us know that we are His. through your transparency you allow yourself (And others) to be accountable to your actions. Thank you for who you are in Christ and I pray that we continue to grow in our Master’s grace and mercy together. I love you and thank you for this opportunity to express my love and gratitude for you.