Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Bless

by Liz Griffin

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

What an interesting concept it is to bless someone or something! But I don’t think it can be understood outside of a biblical understanding and a personal experience of God. It’s one of those spiritual weapons we have to use against the powers of evil. What does it really mean to choose to bless someone? It’s asking God to protect and to do something good in a person’s life. It’s loving that person and wanting the best for him or her. It’s praying for that person. Or if it’s an inanimate object that we’re blessing it’s praying this thing will be used in God’s purposes for good. It’s also thanking God for that object.

The apostle Peter advises the readers of his letter what to do when they suffer from persecution. ‘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).

It’s the most unnatural thing in the world to do this; to not harm someone who has done evil to you but to do good to them. He goes on to make it clear that we are to keep our tongue from evil and lies. ‘For Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit’ (1 Peter 3:10).

Even if we suffer under the hands of evil people we will be blessed. Peter knows it because he heard Jesus teach it. Peter encourages us that God sees what’s happening and He brings us a blessing, (if we don’t sin in our reaction to suffering).

It’s certainly not easy to do this and we need to have the power of the Holy Spirit to respond to evil with the unconditional love of God. But our aim as Christians is to grow more and more like Jesus who loved sinners even though He hated their sin.

One of my heroes is a man called Henry Gerecke who was asked to be a pastor to fifteen Nazi war criminals who were awaiting trial in Nuremberg. Before visiting them for the first time he spent the night in prayer asking God to give him a message for them. He wrote in his diary ‘From this moment, God gave me the grace, after the example of Jesus to hate sin, but to love the sinner. These men must hear something of the Saviour who suffered and died also on the cross for them’. Henry Gerecke led five out of the fifteen Nazi war criminals to the Lord Jesus as Saviour over a six month period of time.

Do you want to walk under God’s favour and approval, knowing you’re in His will for your life? Do you want to be in a place of safety and protection, a place of blessing? Then learn to pray blessings on others, even your enemies.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, help me to make the choice to bless others and not curse them with my words and actions. Help me to remember the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but spiritual. I want to demolish the enemy’s strongholds of evil with prayers of blessing, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Liz Griffin lived for 20 years as an expatriate in South Africa, Bahrain and Japan, as her husband Paul worked for an international oil company. Paul and Liz became involved with Ellel Ministries in 1991 as part of the ministry team and joined the full-time team at Ellel Grange in 1995. Paul and Liz teach and minister to those seeking healing in their lives and together have written two books, 'Anger - How Do You Handle It' and 'Hope and Healing For The Abused'.

 

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