40 Days of Joy - Help Develop Unity - Day 24

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice."  Philippians 4:4

Begin your time with God in prayer:

Praise God for who He is. Confess any sin so that nothing blocks your fellowship with Him. Ask God to use the Spirit and the Word to transform your life. Yield your will to God’s will.

Let God’s Word penetrate your head and your heart: 

In Matthew 5:9, we learn that we are called to be peacemakers. Unity in the body of Christ is everyone’s responsibility. We cannot make another person get right with God or reconcile a relationship; but, as far as it depends on us, we can be at peace with everyone. Romans has some very practical things to say about how we can be peacemakers.

Romans 12:17-21 - 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

When is it acceptable to pay back evil for evil (vs. 17)?

How often is our revenge justified (vs. 19)?

What are we to do instead of taking revenge (vs. 19)?

How are we encouraged to treat our enemies (vs. 20)?

With what do we overcome evil (vs. 21)?

Apply God’s Word to your life:

  • In what ways have you been overcome by evil in your relationships?
  • Accept your calling to be a peacemaker.
  • Take personal responsibility to be at peace in all of your relationships.
  • Release those who have wronged you to the hands of God and pray for them.
  • With whom do you need to overcome evil with good today? What first step will you take?

Father, Your ways are not our ways. Forgive me for all the times I have responded with evil and the desire for revenge. Help me to be a peacemaker and release those who have wronged me to You. Fill me with Your love today and help me to overcome evil with good. Amen.

Related verses to meditate on:

1 John 2:15-17 - Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Hebrews 12:15 - See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.

Galatians 6:1-2 - Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

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