Proverbs in Light of the Cross; Let God Pay You Back

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.” Wait for the Lord to handle the matter. Proverbs 20:22 NLT 

A while back, after a friend had wrongfully taken money from me, I was reading in Romans 12:19,

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

While I had read this many times before, this particular time I saw it in a new light. Yes,  it is true that people will hang on their own gallows, Yet rather than just seeing those who have wronged us getting paid back for their wrong, I saw God was telling me, He would repay me what my friend had wrongfully taken.

In Philemon 1:17-18 NLT Paul is pleading for everyone to give Onesimus a second chance in the ministry. Paul tells them,

So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge it to me.  I, PAUL, WRITE THIS WITH MY OWN HAND: I WILL REPAY IT. AND I WON’T MENTION THAT YOU OWE ME YOUR VERY SOUL!

Likewise I heard God telling me in Romans 12, “if your friend has robbed you, don’t worry. I will pay you back what they owe you. Don’t take it out on him. Leave him alone, and let Me make it right.”

That is exactly what happened. Right after I read Romans 12, another friend called who had bought some new furniture and wanted to give me their old furniture even thought it was still in excellent condition. God has continued to bless me in many other ways. God has more than paid me back for what my friend had stolen from  me.

You can study more Proverbs here. 

Proverbs in Light of The Cross; Emotional Healing

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble. For the Lord will be displeased with you  and will turn his anger away from them. Proverbs 24:17-18 NLT

In the sports world we celebrate when our team eliminates another team in the playoffs and we see them fall. In the corporate world people celebrate when another company closes doors enabling their company to create a monopoly on the market. Love triangles have created even more sinister  behavior, even bloodshed, when someone comes between them and the one they have a crush on. Its almost as if people think their healing has to come from  someone else’s downfall.

Christian’s don’t celebrate the downfall of their enemy. Christians do not derive any “healing” from the disaster of their enemies. Christians find their healing in Jesus.

He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. Isaiah 53:5 NLT

Jesus did not only suffer the punishment we deserve. He also suffered the punishment our enemy deserves. We are not healed by our enemy being beaten and whipped. We are healed by Jesus being beaten and whipped.

Studies have shown that many people return from war with PTSD and emotional scars from the pain and violence they inflicted on others. Hurting your enemy will not bring you healing. It will bring you trauma. Instead of healing, the act or revenge is trauma to your own soul.

Jesus was beaten and whipped for your enemy. Is that not enough? it is insane to believe that seeing our enemy fall, could bring us any healing or make us whole.

Jesus went to the cross to heal us and make us whole. Look to Jesus and not your enemy for healing.

He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. Isaiah 53:5 NLT

Thinking we need to see our enemy suffer in order to be healed and made whole, is saying Jesus did not suffer enough on the cross to heal and make me whole.

Romans 12-16; Vengeance is Mine

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  Romans 12:19

I used to read this and think that God meant that He would pay the people back who hurt me, by hurting them back. Recently, while reading this passage it dawned on me that maybe Paul meant it another way. Maybe he meant that God Himself would repay me what my enemy owes me. If someone has stolen from me, whether it be money, or any other blessing, God will pay me back so that I don’t have to get it from the person who tried to hurt me.

Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

The law defines what love is. Love is putting others first. “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please [his] neighbour for [his] good to edification.  Romans 15:1-2 If we love others, we will automatically be keeping all the commandments. The first four are about putting God first. The last six are about putting family and friends first.

Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, [be] glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.  Romans 16:25-27

Redemption in Romans, Lesson 12

I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

This week’s  SS Lesson covers Romans 12 and 13. Romans 12:19 reads, “…avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” A while back I was reading this and I saw it in a light I had not seen before. When God says “I will repay” could He mean not so much that He will pay the offender back for his wrong, but even more so that God Himself will repay the offended party what the offender owes them?  In the plan of salvation we see that *Jesus was treated the way we deserve to be treated so we may be treated the way Jesus deserves to be treated. Has it dawned on us that Jesus was also treated the way our enemy deserves to be treated so that we can now treat our enemy the way Jesus deserves to be treated? When we do that, we can expect God to pay us back what our enemy owes us, and just go on treating our enemy the way we would treat Jesus.

 

* Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. “With His stripes we are healed.” – Desire of Ages, p. 25

You may find more studies and devotionals at In Light of The Cross.