TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I have a reputation in my family for filling cups to the brim. It’s just for fun and I don’t do it all the time… Just when I want to annoy or aggravate my son, mom, or husband. Sometimes I’ll smile at them while I’m filling their cups—whether I intend to go to the brim or not—and they will immediately respond with, “Don’t!” It makes me laugh. Silly, I know… And now, my husband thinks he’s being cute to do the same thing with my coffee when he refills it for me in the morning. The joke’s on him though… after years of carrying to-the-brim cups to my family in order to aggravate them, I’ve gotten quite good at not spilling.
God likes to fill things to the rim too. And let them overflow.
We’ll get to this in a minute, but I want to put a disclaimer here. I don’t like writing about blessings because I always worry that I’ll give an impression of prosperity. So we’re on the same page, blessings and prosperity are two different things. Blessings are defined as “God’s favor and protection” while prosperity is “wealth; the state of being prosperous.” God’s blessings aren’t about material wealth. And it’s not always about satisfying personal comforts.
So with that out there now, let’s go to 1 Peter 3:9. It says, “Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” Peter went on to quote from Psalm 34:12-16a. Let’s focus on verses 13 and 14… “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”
None of us want to hear that because we are such hypocritical creatures. We feel justice should always be served piping hot and to the brim! Until we’re due for some justice ourselves and then we want mercy. We don’t want to repay evil with kindness. We don’t want to be nice to those who are rude. Intentional or not, we want to see others get what we think they deserve.
Thank goodness Jesus looks on us with far more compassion than we look on others…
Peter’s admonition to bless others and seek peace is an act of deliberate choice. We have to rebel against our natural instincts in order to do it. But it’s when we show grace, kindness, mercy, and love that we experience God’s blessings!
In Luke 6:38, Jesus said, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
If we want God’s blessings, we have to be generous blessers. He promises to return to us what we give to others. So if we are generous in blessing those around us with grace, kindness, mercy, and love, we will be blessed in return.
It’s not easy. Goodness it’s not easy. But the payoff leaves us with blessings that go to the rim and cups that overflow (Psalm 23:5).
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for the ways He modeled blessings. Thank Him for the examples He gave of responding in grace, kindness, mercy, and love. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you overcome your natural reaction to respond accordingly to those who are mean and rude. Ask Him to help you be a blessing to others, deserving or not, so that you can enjoy the blessings from God.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Download a free Bible-In-A-Year Reading Plan when you subscribe! Join an online prayer group at www.facebook.com/groups/onlineandonourkneesprayergroup. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.