Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways - July 26, 2005

July 26


Read Proverbs 23:1


In Today's Reading:


Moral, ethical, and spiritual teachings; the excellence of wisdom


It seems normal to stand up for our rights — to fight back against those who treat us unjustly or to get even by inflicting suffering upon those who mistreat us. But, it is a serious sin to be delighted when an enemy suffers and seems to reap what we think he deserves. It is even more serious to harbor a secret hatred and a desire to bring about his downfall: Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him (Proverbs 24:17-18).


Attitudes of bitterness, revenge, hatred, or ill will toward anyone are self-destructive and they are indications that we are not living nearly as close to Christ as we might think. Let us not love in word, neither in tongue (talk); but in deed (action) and in truth (I John 3:18) We are not to regard anyone as an enemy, since we were all created in the image of God and Christ died to save all of us without an exception. Let us pray that those whom we might consider "enemies" may become disciples of Christ and our brothers and sisters in Him.


No one is justified in taking revenge; we are definitely not qualified to be judge, jury, or executioner. We dare not assume the position of God. Paul was led to write: Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord (Romans 12:19; compare Deuteronomy 32:35; Hebrews 10:30). If we are unjustly treated, we should pray for our offender. All thoughts of revenge are temptations of Satan; but the indwelling Holy Spirit will enable the Christian to reject them and be merciful and forgiving rather than hateful toward a wrongdoer. Our Lord would have us pray: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).


God is able to make all things work together for good (Romans 8:28). Our reaction to the unkind behavior of our offenders reveals whether we are controlled by the Holy Spirit or by our old sinful nature (see Romans 8:1-9). One of the many good things that Jesus promised us, is: Blessed are the meek (humble, submissive to the will of God): for they shall inherit the earth. . . . Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:5,10).


Christ Revealed:


As the One who rewards those who repay evil with good (Proverbs 25: 21-22). If your enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink (Romans 12:20). Jesus said: Love your enemies (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27,35).


Word Studies:


23:20 riotous = gluttonous; 24:26 kiss his lips = a fair answer is as pleasant as a kiss on the lips; 25:9 discover not a secret to each other = do not betray another man's confidence; 26:24 dissembleth = harbors deceit.


Prayer Needs:


Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Rick Hash · Staff: Ilene Wallace · Country: Guinea-Bissau (1 million) on the western coast of Africa · Major languages: Portuguese and Criolo · Religious freedom · 51% animist; 42% Muslim; 6% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for those in authority over you (I Timothy 2:1-2).


Optional Reading: Hebrews 3


Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Thessalonians 4:17

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