DATE: May 24, 2019
TEXT: Romans 12:19 (ESV) - Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[a] to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Today, as I drove to the store, I had a fellow cut into my lane of traffic. He didn’t look and I’m pretty sure he didn't’ know I was there.
I was mad and I was just about ready to lay on the horn when I remembered a story an old preacher told me when I first started in the ministry.
The pastor told me about a farmer in his congregation who had frequently been pestered by a carload of young folks… young folks who delighted in sneaking over his orchard fence and playing havoc with his apples without asking permission.
Eventually the farmer caught the youngsters red-handed and full mouthed.
Quickly swallowing a chunk of Golden Delicious, one of the apple thieves sheepishly smiled and said, “We hope you don’t mind that we took a few of your apples.”
“No, not at all,” said the farmer who was also smiling. He continued, “…and I hope you don’t mind that I took some of the air out of your tires.”
Honestly, that story changed my life.
That farmer did more than take some air out of a few tires. He has taken some of the air out of me. Every time I’m ready to get back at somebody for a real or imagined hurt they’ve done to me, the face of that farmer shows up in my mind.
He shows up and I have to smile and calm down. That’s probably good… after all, revenge seldom helps the people I’m angry at, and it insults the memory, example, and wishes of my Savior.
You see, Jesus Who gave Himself to save us never paid people back for the evil they did to Him. On the contrary He tried to bring them closer, call them to repentance and offer them forgiveness. I don’t know why I said, “Them” in that sentence. What I really meant is He brings me, and you closer as He calls us to repentance and forgiveness.
And, if I read today’s Scripture correctly we’re supposed to avoid revenge and leave the score evening to the Lord.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, how blessed we are to have a Savior Who forgives our poor choices and our bad attitudes. Now may I, one of Your forgiven children share that forgiveness with others. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html