The lesson for my life group today was from Acts 5 and the subject was persecuation. I hardly feel we really know what persecution is in our country although I know we face it. Unfortunately, it seems that Christians in America are facing persecutions of some types more and more -- maybe injustice is a better word. It does not compare to the stories I heard while in India, however. I've yet to be threatened to be thrown in jail or, well, other horrible things that I just feel like I won't mention for now.
Anyway, I did a word search on searchgodsword.org this morning for every time the word persecute is used in the NT. In the NASB, it's only 10 times. I don't know why, but I was surprised by that. First mention is in Matthew 5:11but 2nd is Matthew 5:44 "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." But, I really got stuck on Romans 12. Yeah, the whole chapter. It does contain the word persecute but what a great, great chapter. I think I'm going to spend some time camped out there over the next few days, maybe weeks. It's that good.
Verse 18 is getting to me today, though. "If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone." (HCSB, emphasis mine) Something happened today that absolutely unhinged me. Drove me to my knees, quite frankly. I had to literally lay it on the alter this morning. Because, my part is to live at peace. So, if I don't get the last word in or make my feelings known or other things that are completely not fitting for the follower of Jesus then that's ok. My part is to live at peace. God's part is to take care of the rest. (and, besides, verse 19 lets me know that I gotta leave room for God's wrath. If He sees fit to send down some wrath, then that will be ok, too. ok, just kidding...sort of)
If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone.
Live your part!
Serving the King,