Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt

Read Romans 12

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” 

Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12: 19-21

More thoughts for meditation

I think Jesus’ call to love our enemies and Paul’s teaching about it are given as some moral commandment to perfect your personal righteousness. The teaching is meant to stop the cycle of violence. Walter Wink discusses that, “Divine judgment is intended not to destroy but to awaken people to the devastating truth about their lives.” I hope and pray that the people in power can do just that — wake up! I pray we can wake up, too. I would like to end this week with a Prayer from Howard Thurman’s book Meditations of the Heart. 

Chapter V, Reading 6. Overcome Evil. 

I seek the strength to overcome evil.
I seek the strength to overcome the tendency to evil in my own heart.
I recognize to do the unkind thing when the mood of retaliation or revenge rides high and in my spirit.
I recognize the tendency to make of other’s amines of my own ends;
I recognize the tendency to yield to fear and cowardice when Fearlessness and courage seem to fit easily into the pattern of my security.
I seek the strength to overcome the tendency to evil in my own heart.

I seek the strength to overcome the evil that is present all about me. 
I recognize the evil in much of the organized life about me;
I recognize the evil in the will to power groups, institutions, and individuals.
I recognize the terrible havoc of hate and bitterness which makes for fear and panic in common life. 
I seek the strength to overcome the evil that is present all about me. 

I seek the strength to overcome evil; I must not become overcome by evil. 
I seek the purification of my own heart, and the purging of my own motives. 
I seek the strength to withstand the logic of bitterness, the terrible divisiveness of hate, the demonic triumph of the conquest of others. 

What I seek for myself I desire with all my heart for friend and foe alike. 

I seek the strength to overcome evil.

Suggestions for action

  • Read today verse excerpts several times. Close your eyes, rest in them. Listen to the Spirit. See what arises up in you. Pay attention and move in the ways you feel moved to move.
  • Rest in Christ’s embrace. Sit and meditate on our need for strength. Pick a line from the above prayer and turn it into a breath prayer and allow Jesus to give you the needed strength to over come the evil that lurks in you and around you. I like the line “I seek the strength to overcome evil; I must not become overcome by evil.”
  • One way as a nation we don’t leave room for God’s wrath or divine judgement is with the use of our military. If we are looking for evil systems, the U.S. military system may be one of the worst. Listen to an episode from one of my favorite Podcasts: Deconstructed, and after listening, pray for the redemption of our country and the world.