Forgiving: Take the Risk, Find the Joy – Cultivating a Heart of Grace
It’s about understanding our shortcomings and sinfulness before our loving and merciful God.
It’s about cultivating a heart and attitude of grace, mercy, and humility.
And it’s about striving to live out—through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit—the commands and principles found in today’s study passage.
Key Study Passage:
- Read this passage two or three times, and then write down or discuss the traits of a man who lives out these verses. Think about or describe someone you know who takes the commands of this passage seriously.
- Why is it so important to live in “harmony with each other” (v. 16)? (See John 13: 34-35.)
- According to the last part of verse 16 and the first part of 17, what helps promote harmony?
- Instead of seeking revenge, what are we commanded to do? (See vv. 19-20.)
- Write down or discuss a practical way to practice verse 21.
Spend Time in Prayer:
Turn three or four commands from today’sdevotional passage into prayers that would be appropriate for your current situation (i.e., prayers of thanksgiving, confession, specific requests for personal help/guidance).
14 Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!
17 Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.
19 Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,
“I will take revenge;
I will pay them back,”
says the Lord.
“If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
burning coals of shame on their heads.”
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, thank you for being a loving God who daily extends grace and mercy! Forgive me for those times I refuse to let go of anger and bitterness. Give me the grace and mercy needed to forgive those who’ve wronged me.