Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

4 March 2021

Proverbs 17:13

Evil will never leave the house
    of one who pays back evil for good.

Wickedness is troubling in any form. Even so, there are degrees even for evil to climb. It is condemning to do mischief. It is wrong to take advantage of the innocent. But to return evil for good; to harm someone who has done you good is it possible to sink lower?

The scam artist who takes money by posing to represent a charity or to be a person in need that is wicked. He takes advantage, not merely of someone innocent, but of someone doing good. But to go a step further, to take advantage of a person who knows you, who has only been kind to you, and then to use that very kindness to take advantage of him surely that is to sink to the lowest depths.

It certainly is an affront to God who will see that evil will not depart from his house. This is a statement of how greatly offended God is by such behavior.

And what is man’s position before God? He created man and blessed him; man in return turned against him. Even so, he continued to provide for man and by his grace give him many daily blessings. But man rebelled against him all the more, setting up false gods and giving to them the worship due God. Even so, God was patient. He sent prophets to reveal God and to teach what God wanted. But those prophets who themselves abused and murdered.

However much good God did, man returned it with evil. We are man. We are the guilty. But what have we received? Grace, mercy, the priceless gift of Gods Son, his very blood shed for us to pay for our guilt. Instead of evil never departing from our house, we have been given peace. And so, we who have moved from returning evil for good, let us move from returning evil for evil. Let us return good for evil that those who are wicked might be awakened to their sin and turn to God. It is no less than what God has done for us.

 

2 Corinthians 4

Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”[b] Since we have that same spirit of[c] faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.