“Bless those who persecute you.” The Common English Bible translation says, “those who harass you.” In our day-to-day lives we might recognize feeling harassed. Blessing others while being harassed by them is not easy, and the apostle Paul knew it. He wrote more than one letter to faith communities that...
Here I am, God who blesses. You have my attention because I trust you. I cannot imagine how good can overcome evil. Help me imagine what you know is possible. And use me to help it become reality. Amen.
Moses has fled Egypt and is living in the desert, where God calls him to return and free the Israelites. Moses resists, but God does not relent. In many of the Psalms, the psalmist reviews God’s record of faithfulness. Psalm 105 is no different and highlights the calling of Moses. In Romans, Paul addresses practical ethical concerns. How should we treat those who treat us poorly? We should never repay evil for evil, but instead should bless those who harm us. This goes against our natural instincts, yet the gospel is countercultural and calls us to a higher standard. In Matthew, Peter has just had a tremendous moment in declaring his faith in Christ. Now he stumbles in failing to understand that Jesus’ path to glory will pass through suffering.
Read Exodus 3:1-15. What sacred encounter might have been your burning bush? How did you know God’s presence was with you in the encounter?Read Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b. How does obedience to God shape your life? Recall an instance where your obedience to God’s call or teachings made a difference.Read Romans 12:9-21. When has working toward a common goal helped you better love your family, friends, or community?Read Matthew 16:21-28. When have you had to trust God and accept that you “have no idea how God works”? How did your trust help you through the situation?
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