Do you have the guts not to fight back? Do you have the guts to retaliate Jesus’ way? …(The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 16]) – Did you have a Happy Jackie Robinson day on the 15th?


Ever considered what the Bible says about retaliation? Ever considered what being strong and courageous looks like? Ever considered not doing it the way of the world “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” but instead doing it God’s way “turn the other cheek”? How will you respond differently so that they know God is with you? How will you overflow hope and love in the midst of being attacked or threatened?

Today’s reading comes from Matthew 5…

The Sermon on the Mount

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes

And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Salt and Light

“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Anger

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.

Lust

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.

Divorce

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Oaths

“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Retaliation

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Love Your Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

–from Matthew 5

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the topic of Acts of Mercy comes from Matthew 5:39 and reveals the impact of this verse on Jackie Robinson making history.

But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.  –from Matthew 5:39

We see in today’s devotional how in 1947, overcoming incredible obstacles, Jackie Robinson became the first black baseball player in the major leagues. Not only did he do incredible things on the field on first and then on second base, at the plate with a .311 lifetime batting average, he also was the man who broke the color barrier by appearing in the 1947 World Series.

Today’s devotional also points to the general manager Branch Rickey who was known for making decisions based on the Bible and thought that Jackie Robinson was the man to help desegregate baseball. We see how Branch approached Jackie to set expectations when he said “I’m looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back.” He was looking for more than just someone who could play ball but someone with the right character and attitude. He wanted “a person with the inner-strength and self-restraint who could withstand intense hostility and aggression without being reactive. He needed an athlete who wouldn’t perceive ‘not fighting back’ as a sign of weakness or lack of courage.” We see in today’s devotional how what he was asking aligns Jesus’ Words when he quoted to him part of the sermon on the mound to show it wasn’t a sign of weakness but of strength in Matthew 5:39 KJV – “but whosoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

We see the impact this made on all of baseball as every year on April 15th baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson day to commemorate his retirement anniversary with everyone player wearing his number 42. In 1997 Major League Baseball retired Robinson’s #42 across all teams. Jackie Robinson was a hall of fame player. Jackie’s story has made into a movie back in 2013 too which shows and tells this remarkable story.

Apr 16 - Matthew 5_39 - Bibles Impact on Acts of Mercy - Jackie Robinson day on April 15th

So will you have the guts to retaliate like Jesus instructs us when you are faced with challenges and struggles today? Will you be all that Jesus wants you to be? Will you resist the attacks and lies of the devil? Will you let love overcome evil? Will you fight hate with love? How will you respond and live out your today?


Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and give it up into Your hands. I know the plans You have for me Lord and they are good, they are not to harm me but they are to prosper me. I know God that Your ways are not my natural ways but that Your ways are better than my ways and higher than my ways and so I ask that You would have Your Spirit lead and guide me today, encourage and correct me, help me to be the person You created me to be. Lord, this is the day that You have made, so I will rejoice and be glad in it. Today is a Monday and because it is Your day today is Happy Monday! I choose no matter what happens to let today be Happy Today not because of circumstances, not because of challenges or victories, not because of problems or solutions, but because this is the day that You have made and so I will rejoice and be glad in it! Today is all I have! Yesterday is gone! Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed! So let’s live today out to the fullest with a Happy Today! I ask all this so that in and through it all, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

Ever been tricked? Ever been fooled?


Ever been in a conversation and the other person wasn’t being honest with you? Ever been in a situation where everyone body wasn’t playing by the same rules and ethics? Ever been in a situation where people aren’t telling you the truth in order to get their way? Ever been tricked? Ever been fooled? Ever been that person? Was it worth the gain? If you could do it all over again, would you reconsider how you went about it? How did it play out for the other people? Do you realize God can use any situation, even if it was purposed for bad and turn it around and use it for good in His perfect plan and timing?

Today’s reading begins on such a topic when Jacob pretends to be Esau to his dad.

Jacob Tricks Isaac

1Now it was when Isaac grew old and his eyes were too dim to see, that he called Esau his elder son, and said to him, “My son.” “Here I am,” he said to him.
2“Look, I’m old,” he said. “I don’t know the day of my death.
3So now, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt me some game.
4Then prepare me a delicious meal that I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, so that my soul may bless you before I die.”
5Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac was speaking to Esau his son. So while Esau went to the field to hunt game to bring in,
6Rebekah said to Jacob her son, “Look, I heard your father speaking to your brother Esau saying,
7‘Bring me some game and prepare me a delicious meal that I may eat and bless you in Adonai’s presence before my death.’
8So now, my son, listen to my voice, to what I am commanding you.
9Go now to the flock and bring me two good young goats from there, so that I may prepare them as a delicious meal for your father—that he’ll love.
10Then you’ll bring it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before his death.”
11But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, but I’m a smooth man.
12Perhaps my father will touch me, and he’ll take me for a mocker, and I’ll bring upon myself a curse and not a blessing.”
13Then his mother said to him, “Let your curse fall on me, my son. Just listen to me, and go, get them for me.”
14So he went and got them, and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared a delicious meal that his father would love.
15Rebekah also took her elder son Esau’s favorite clothes that were with her in the house, and she put them on her younger son Jacob,
16along with the skins of the young goats on his hands and on the hairless part of his neck.
17She put the delicious meal and the bread that she had prepared in the hand of Jacob her son.
18Then he came to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “I’m here. Who are you, my son?”
19Then Jacob said to his father, “I’m your firstborn, Esau. I’ve done just what you said to me. Sit up, please, and eat some of my wild game so that your soul may bless me.”
20Then Isaac said to his son, “How in the world were you able to find it so quickly, my son?” He said, “Because Adonai your God made it happen for me.”
21Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Please come closer so I can feel you my son—whether or not you really are my son Esau.”
22So Jacob came closer to his father Isaac, and he felt him. Then he said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice but the hands are Esau’s hands.”
23He did not recognize him because his hands were like the hairy hands of his brother Esau. So he blessed him.
24But he said, “Are you really my son Esau?” So he said, “I am.”
25Then he said, “Bring it to me and I’ll eat some of my son’s wild game, so that my soul may bless you.” So he brought it to him and he ate, and he brought him wine and he drank.
26Then his father Isaac said to him, “Please come closer and kiss me my son.”
27So he came closer and kissed him. When he smelled the smell of his clothes, he blessed him and said, “Behold, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that Adonai has blessed.
28May God give you— from the dew of the sky and from the fatness of the land— an abundance of grain and new wine.
29May peoples serve you and may nations bow down to you. Be master over your brothers. May your mother’s sons bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and may those who bless you be blessed.”
30No sooner had Isaac finished blessing Jacob and Jacob had just gone out from his father Isaac’s presence, than Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
31Then he also prepared a delicious meal and brought it to his father, and he said to his father, “Let my father get up and eat of his son’s wild game that your soul may bless me.”
32His father Isaac said, “Who are you?” And he said, “I am your son, your first-born, Esau.”
33Then Isaac trembled with intense trembling and said, “Who was it then that hunted wild game and brought it to me? I ate it all just before you came and I blessed him—and yes, he will be blessed.”
34When Esau heard his father’s words, he shouted with an intensely bitter groan. Then he said to his father, “Bless me, me too, my father!”
35Then he said, “Your brother came deceitfully and took your blessing.”
36He said, “Is this why he was named Jacob—since he’s tricked me twice already? My birthright he’s taken. Look! Now he’s taken my blessing!” Then he said, “Haven’t you saved a blessing for me?”
37Isaac answered and said to Esau, “Behold, I’ve made him master over you, and all your brothers I’ve given to him as servants. I’ve provided him with grain and new wine. What then can I do for you, my son?”
38Esau said to his father, “Do you just have one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
39Then Isaac his father said to him, “Behold, away from the land’s fatness shall your dwelling be, away from the dew of the sky above.
40By your sword shall you live, and your brother shall you serve. But when you tear yourself loose, you will tear his yoke off your neck.”
41So Esau bore a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, “Let the time for mourning my father draw near, so that I can kill my brother Jacob!”
42Now to Rebekah was reported the words of Esau her elder son. So she sent and called for Jacob her younger son, and said to him, “Look, your brother Esau is consoling himself about you with the thought of killing you.
43So now my son, listen to my voice. Get up—flee to Laban my brother in Haran!
44Then stay with him a few days, until your brother’s rage subsides,
45until your brother’s rage turns away from you and he forgets what you’ve done to him. Then I’ll send for you and get you back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
46Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I’m disgusted with my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth like these women, from the daughters of the land what is life to me?”
–from Genesis 27

Have you ever heard was goes around comes around? Ever noticed that what you give tends to be what you get? Ever considered that if you are manipulative that you will get manipulated too? It does matter how you live your life! Live it in alignment to God’s will and God’s way! God can intersect your journey and speak hope and life and truth in the midst of your trials, troubles, and fear.

Jacob Sent to Laban

1So Isaac called for Jacob, blessed him, commanded him and said to him, “Don’t take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.
2Get up, go to Paddan-aram, to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, and take for yourself a wife from there, from the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother.
3Now may El Shaddai bless you, and make you fruitful and multiply you so that you will become an assembly of peoples.
4And may he give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your seed with you that you may take possession of the land of your sojourn, which God gave to Abraham.”
5Then Isaac sent Jacob away and he went toward Paddan-aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.
6Now Esau saw that Isaac blessed Jacob when he sent him to Paddan-aram to take for himself a wife from there, when he blessed him and commanded him saying, “Don’t take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”
7Jacob listened to his father Isaac and to his mother and went toward Paddan-aram.
8Then Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan were contemptible in his father Isaac’s eyes.
9So Esau went to Ishmael and took Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, Nebaioth’s sister for his wife, besides his other wives.
Jacob’s Ladder From Heaven
10Then Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran.
11He happened upon a certain place and spent the night there, for the sun had set. So he took one of the stones from the place and put it by his head and lay down in that place.
12He dreamed: All of a sudden, there was a stairway set up on the earth and its top reaching to the heavens—and behold, angels of God going up and down on it!
13Surprisingly, Adonai was standing on top of it and He said, “I am Adonai, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your seed.
14Your seed will be as the dust of the land, and you will burst forth to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed—and in your seed.
15Behold, I am with you, and I will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land, for I will not forsake you until I have done what I promised you.”
16Jacob woke up from his sleep and said, “Undoubtedly, Adonai is in this place—and I was unaware.”
17So he was afraid and said, “How fearsome this place is! This is none other than the House of God—this must be the gate of heaven!”
18Early in the morning Jacob got up and took the stone, which he had placed by his head, and set it up as a memorial stone and poured oil on top of it.
19He called the name of that place Beth-El (though originally the city’s name was Luz).
20Then Jacob made a vow saying, “If God will be with me and watch over me on this way that I am going, and provide me food to eat and clothes to wear,
21and I return in shalom to my father’s house, then Adonai will be my God.
22So this stone which I set up as a memorial stone will become God’s House, and of everything You provide me I will definitely give a tenth of it to You.”
–from Genesis 28

Are you needing a divine encounter to turn your life around? Are you in need of a wakeup call to help you get back on track? Are you aware of where to turn in order to get back on track and turn your life around? It’s to God! Ask Jesus into your heart! Ask Him for wisdom and direction! Respond in obedience to His voice and His Word! And allow Him to work in and through your life that you will be new and transformed going forward!

When God does the supernatural in your life, will you share it with others? Will you testify of His great love and His great power and the truth that He has revealed in and through your life? Today’s reading continues down this avenue as Peter comes to tell the others back in Jerusalem what God has done in the life of Cornelius and his household, a family of non-Jews! God’s plan has always been for all of us! It’s just a matter if all of us will turn to Him! Let’s checkout how Peter explains to the others what God was able to do in and through him and what God taught Peter through the vision, dreams, and experience.

Peter’s Report to Jerusalem

1Now the emissaries and brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
2But when Peter went up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision took issue with him,
3saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them!”
4So Peter began explaining to them point by point, saying,
5“I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision—something like a great sheet coming down, being lowered from heaven by its four corners, and it came right to me.
6I looked inside, considering it carefully, and saw four-footed creatures of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the air.
7I also heard a voice saying, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’
8“But I said, ‘Certainly not, Lord! For never has anything unholy or unclean entered my mouth.’
9But a voice from heaven answered a second time, ‘What God has made clean, you must not consider unholy.’
10This happened three times, and then everything was pulled up to heaven.
11“At that very moment, three men arrived at the house where we were, sent to me from Caesarea.
12The Ruach told me to go with them without hesitating. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house.
13He reported to us how he had seen an angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon called Peter.
14He will speak words to you by which you will be saved—you and all your household.’
15“As I began to speak, the Ruach ha-Kodesh fell on them, just as on us at the beginning.
16And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John immersed with water, but you will be immersed in the Ruach ha-Kodesh.’
17Therefore if God gave them the same gift as also to us after we put our trust in the Lord Messiah Yeshua, who was I to stand in God’s way?”
18When they heard this they became quiet, and they glorified God, saying, “Then even to the Gentiles God has granted repentance leading to life!”

Discipling in Diaspora

19Now those scattered because of the persecution that happened in connection with Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Judeans.
20However, there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Yeshua.
21The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
22News about these things reached the ears of the community in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
23When he arrived and saw the grace of God, he was thrilled. He encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with heartfelt devotion.
24For Barnabas was a good man, full of the Ruach ha-Kodesh and faith. And a large number was added to the Lord.
25Then Barnabas left for Tarsus to look for Saul,
26and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met together with Messiah’s community and taught a large number. Now it was in Antioch that the disciples were first called “Christianoi.”
27Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.
28One of them, named Agabus, stood up and predicted through the Ruachthat there was going to be a great famine over all the world. (This took place during the reign of Claudius.)
29So the disciples decided to send relief to those brothers and sisters living in Judea, each according to his ability.
30This they did, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.
–from Acts 11

So have you heard the good news of Jesus? Has anyone spoken of all He has done and continues to do today? Has the news spread to your part of the world? Have you received it? What will it take for you to receive it? Is there anything keeping you receiving the greatest gift ever? The gift of Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!

Today’s reading concludes in Matthew where we learn from Jesus how and why people are blessed (Be attitudes is what it is sometimes called)…

Drash on the Mountain

1Now when Yeshua saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain. And after He sat down, His disciples came to Him.
2And He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.
8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.
12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great! For in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
–from Matthew 5

So let’s be salt and light to this world around us! There is so much darkness and sadness around the world and people are looking for a glimmer of hope! There is so much sorrow and pain that is looking for someone or something to spice things up! Let’s be it! Let’s share the joy of the Lord that is our strength that others may come to know the truth of God!

Called to Be Salt and Light

13“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt should lose its flavor, how shall it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
14“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on a lampstand so it gives light to all in the house.
16In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
–from Matthew 5

Jesus didn’t come abolish the law but to fulfill it! Let’s grab a hold of this truth today!

Filling the Law to the Fullest

17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.
18Amen, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or serif shall ever pass away from the Torah until all things come to pass.
19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and Torah scholars, you shall never enter the kingdom of heaven!
21“You have heard it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment.’
22But I tell you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be subject to judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca’ shall be subject to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be subject to fiery Gehenna.
23“Therefore if you are presenting your offering upon the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24leave your offering there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.
25“Make friends quickly with your opponent while you are with him on the way. Otherwise, your opponent may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the assistant, and you will be thrown into prison.
26Amen, I tell you, you will never get out of there until you have paid back the last penny!
27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28But I tell you that everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29And if your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away! It is better for you that one part of your body should be destroyed, than that your whole body be thrown into Gehenna.
30And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you that one part of your body should be destroyed, than that your whole body go into Gehenna.
31“It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
32But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
33“Again, you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall carry out your oaths to Adonai.’
34But I tell you, do not swear at all—not by heaven, for it is the throne of God;
35or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.
36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
37But let your word ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’—anything more than this is from the evil one.”
–from Matthew 5

So how will you respond to someone who has treated your wrong? Do good! How will you respond to someone who tried to manipulate or trick you? Do good! Don’t respond in anger but instead respond in love! Why let their behavior downgrade your own? By being nice to them and doing good things, you take the high road and it will be harder on them than retaliate because that is what they would expect and may even desire to help get rid of the pain or regret going on inside of themselves.

Overcoming Evil with Good

38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’
39But I tell you, do not resist an evildoer. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him also the other.
40And the one wanting to sue you and to take your shirt, let him also have your coat.
41Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.
42Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors do the same, don’t they?
47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than anyone else? Even the pagans do that, don’t they?
48Therefore be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
–from Matthew 5

 

 

Don’t become bitter! Don’t retaliate! Put your trust in God!


Don’t become bitter! Don’t retaliate! Put your trust in God! We need to hold onto the hope and trust that come from a relationship with God! We need to remember that the battle belongs to the Lord! Vengeance is mine says the Lord! So no matter what the other person is saying or doing, make sure it doesn’t drag you into doing something that you will end up regretting for the rest of your life!

David Flees from Saul

1David went to the priest Ahimelech in Nob. Ahimelech came out trembling to meet him and asked, “Why did you come here all by yourself?”
2“I am here on the king’s business,” David answered. “He told me not to let anyone know what he sent me to do. As for my men, I have told them to meet me at a certain place. 3Now, then, what supplies do you have? Give me five loaves of bread or anything else you have.” 4The priest said, “I don’t have any ordinary bread, only sacred bread; you can have it if your men haven’t had sexual relations recently.” 5“Of course they haven’t,” answered David. “My men always keep themselves ritually pure even when we go out on an ordinary mission; how much more this time when we are on a special mission!” 6So the priest gave David the sacred bread, because the only bread he had was the loaves offered to God, which had been removed from the sacred table and replaced by fresh bread.
( 7Saul’s chief herdsman, Doeg, who was from Edom, happened to be there that day, because he had to fulfill a religious obligation.) 8David said to Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or a sword you can give me? The king’s orders made me leave in such a hurry that I didn’t have time to get my sword or any other weapon.” 9Ahimelech answered, “I have the sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in Elah Valley; it is behind the ephod, wrapped in a cloth. If you want it, take it—it’s the only weapon here.”
“Give it to me,” David said. “There is not a better sword anywhere!” 10So David left, fleeing from Saul, and went to King Achish of Gath. 11The king’s officials said to Achish, “Isn’t this David, the king of his country? This is the man about whom the women sang, as they danced, ‘Saul has killed thousands, but David has killed tens of thousands.’”
12Their words made a deep impression on David, and he became very much afraid of King Achish. 13So whenever David was around them, he pretended to be insane and acted like a madman when they tried to restrain him; he would scribble on the city gates and let spit drool down his beard. 14So Achish said to his officials, “Look! The man is crazy! Why did you bring him to me? 15Don’t I have enough madmen already? Why bring another one to bother me with his crazy actions right here in my own house?”

–from 1 Samuel 21

You are not alone! Your response and actions may be the motivating factor needed to move God’s plan forward!

The Slaughter of the Priests

1David fled from the city of Gath and went to a cave near the town of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of the family heard that he was there, they joined him. 2People who were oppressed or in debt or dissatisfied went to him, about four hundred men in all, and he became their leader.
3David went on from there to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come and stay with you until I find out what God is going to do for me.” 4So David left his parents with the king of Moab, and they stayed there as long as David was hiding out in the cave. 5Then the prophet Gad came to David and said, “Don’t stay here; go at once to the land of Judah.” So David left and went to the forest of Hereth. 6One day Saul was in Gibeah, sitting under a tamarisk tree on a hill, with his spear in his hand, and all his officers were standing around him. He was told that David and his men had been located, 7and he said to his officers, “Listen, men of Benjamin! Do you think that David will give fields and vineyards to all of you, and make you officers in his army? 8Is that why you are plotting against me? Not one of you told me that my own son had made an alliance with David. No one is concerned about me or tells me that David, one of my own men, is right now looking for a chance to kill me, and that my son has encouraged him!” 9Doeg was standing there with Saul’s officers, and he said, “I saw David when he went to Ahimelech son of Ahitub in Nob. 10Ahimelech asked the Lord what David should do, and then he gave David some food and the sword of Goliath the Philistine.”
11So King Saul sent for the priest Ahimelech and all his relatives, who were also priests in Nob, and they came to him. 12Saul said to Ahimelech, “Listen, Ahimelech!” “At your service, sir,” he answered. 13Saul asked him, “Why are you and David plotting against me? Why did you give him some food and a sword, and consult God for him? Now he has turned against me and is waiting for a chance to kill me!” 14Ahimelech answered, “David is the most faithful officer you have! He is your own son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard, and highly respected by everyone in the royal court. 15Yes, I consulted God for him, and it wasn’t the first time. As for plotting against you, Your Majesty must not accuse me or anyone else in my family. I don’t know anything about this matter!”
16The king said, “Ahimelech, you and all your relatives must die.” 17Then he said to the guards standing near him, “Kill the Lord’s priests! They conspired with David and did not tell me that he had run away, even though they knew it all along.” But the guards refused to lift a hand to kill the Lord’s priests. 18So Saul said to Doeg, “You kill them!”—and Doeg killed them all. On that day he killed eighty-five priests who were qualified to carry the ephod. 19Saul also had all the other inhabitants of Nob, the city of priests, put to death: men and women, children and babies, cattle, donkeys, and sheep—they were all killed. 20But Abiathar, one of Ahimelech’s sons, escaped, and went and joined David. 21He told him how Saul had slaughtered the priests of the Lord. 22David said to him, “When I saw Doeg there that day, I knew that he would be sure to tell Saul. So I am responsible for the death of all your relatives. 23Stay with me and don’t be afraid. Saul wants to kill both you and me, but you will be safe with me.”

–from 1 Samuel 22

Don’t try to do it alone! Call out to God for wisdom! Ask Him what He would have you do! Don’t be ruled by fear, but rather allow God’s will to lead you and guide you!

David Saves the Town of Keilah

1David heard that the Philistines were attacking the town of Keilah and were stealing the newly harvested grain. 2So he asked the Lord, “Shall I go and attack the Philistines?” “Yes,” the Lord answered. “Attack them and save Keilah.” 3But David’s men said to him, “We have enough to be afraid of here in Judah; it will be much worse if we go to Keilah and attack the Philistine forces!” 4So David consulted the Lord again, and the Lord said to him, “Go and attack Keilah, because I will give you victory over the Philistines.” 5So David and his men went to Keilah and attacked the Philistines; they killed many of them and took their livestock. And so it was that David saved the town. 6When Abiathar son of Ahimelech escaped and joined David in Keilah, he took the ephod with him. 7Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah, and he said, “God has put him in my power. David has trapped himself by going into a walled town with fortified gates.” 8So Saul called his troops to war, to march against Keilah and besiege David and his men. 9When David heard that Saul was planning to attack him, he said to the priest Abiathar, “Bring the ephod here.” 10Then David said, “Lord, God of Israel, I have heard that Saul is planning to come to Keilah and destroy it on account of me, your servant. 11Will the citizens of Keilah hand me over to Saul? Will Saul really come, as I have heard? Lord, God of Israel, I beg you to answer me!” The Lord answered, “Saul will come.” 12“And will the citizens of Keilah hand my men and me over to Saul?” David asked again. “They will,” the Lord answered. 13So David and his men—about six hundred in all—left Keilah at once and kept on the move. When Saul heard that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up his plan.

David in the Hill Country

14David stayed in hiding in the hill country, in the wilderness near Ziph. Saul was always trying to find him, but God did not turn David over to him. 15David saw that Saul was out to kill him. David was at Horesh, in the wilderness near Ziph. 16Jonathan went to him there and encouraged him with assurances of God’s protection, 17saying to him, “Don’t be afraid. My father Saul won’t be able to harm you. He knows very well that you are the one who will be the king of Israel and that I will be next in rank to you.” 18The two of them made a sacred promise of friendship to each other. David stayed at Horesh, and Jonathan went home.
19Some people from Ziph went to Saul at Gibeah and said, “David is hiding out in our territory at Horesh on Mount Hachilah, in the southern part of the Judean wilderness. 20We know, Your Majesty, how much you want to capture him; so come to our territory, and we will make sure that you catch him.”
21Saul answered, “May the Lord bless you for being so kind to me! 22Go and make sure once more; find out for certain where he is and who has seen him there. I hear that he is very cunning. 23Find out exactly the places where he hides, and be sure to bring back a report to me right away. Then I will go with you, and if he is still in the region, I will hunt him down, even if I have to search the whole land of Judah.” 24So they left and returned to Ziph ahead of Saul. David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in a desolate valley in the southern part of the Judean wilderness. 25Saul and his men set out to look for David, but he heard about it and went to a rocky hill in the wilderness of Maon and stayed there. When Saul heard about this, he went after David. 26Saul and his men were on one side of the hill, separated from David and his men, who were on the other side. They were hurrying to get away from Saul and his men, who were closing in on them and were about to capture them. 27Just then a messenger arrived and said to Saul, “Come back at once! The Philistines are invading the country!” 28So Saul stopped pursuing David and went to fight the Philistines. That is why that place is called Separation Hill. 29David left and went to the region of Engedi, where he stayed in hiding.

–from 1 Samuel 23