Sermons

Summary: Revenge is MINE, says God. When you lash out and take revenge on someone you are hurting them and yourself and usurping God's authority over the situation

Conquering the Giants

Message two of four

REVENGE

April 15, 2012

Michael Wiley

Romans 12:9-19

Introduction:

“Welcome to the Hamptons, a glittering world of incredible wealth and privilege, where smiles hide secrets - and nothing is colder than revenge. It's easy to see why the Hamptons are so exclusive. But no matter how guarded they are, they can't keep the truth out forever.” (http://abc.go.com/watch/revenge/SH55126554)

That’s the opening comment on the website for the new ABC drama, “Revenge.”

It’s the story of a young girl who returns to the Hamptons to exact – you guessed it – revenge on all the people who wronged her father when she was growing up there.

I haven’t watched the show personally, but I do understand it’s appeal. It is in our nature to “Go Get Em” “Get Em Back,” and “Give People What’s Coming toThem.”

TRANSITION

Today, we are in our second message in the series, “Conquering the Giants.” Last week we knowck out FEAR. This week we will look at REVENGE.

Why do I call Revenge a Giant? Because the attitude of Revenge can consume you. A Giant in your life will control you, beat you down, stand in front of you so you cannot grow in your spiritual walk. We’re doing this series because we want to be free of the Giants in our lives. We want to stand up and stand against those Giants as little David did, slinging stones one-by-one to knock em out!

Listen: Revenge eats your soul, consumes your mind and Revenge usurps the power and authority of God and makes you God! What? Really? How does Revenge make me god? That’s where we’re going, but first let’s answer this question:

Why do we get hung up on revenge?

I have a good friend who lives up in NY now. Jon is a Private Investigator. Jon’s primary job for over ten years now is to follow and film people who have workmen’s comp claims. Large companies hire investigators to follow people they are paying workmen’s comp to. So, if in your claim, you said you could no longer, bend over, or lift over five pounds because of your injury, Jon is going to try and film you bending over or lifting over…

One day he was following a guy that was off work do to injury on the job of a large electric company. He filmed him cutting wood with a chainsaw in his back yard, racking his yard, playing with his dog, he then followed him to the electric company. The guy had to drop off some paperwork or something. As the guy was leaving the building, Jon filmed the guy running his car key down the side of four of the electric company’s trucks.

Why would this guy do that? Because something down deep inside of him said, “You will feel better if you key their trucks!”

Psychologists say the number one reason people exact revenge is so they will feel better. BUT, studies show that Revenge does not make you feel better.

WHY? Because in order to exact revenge on someone, you have to stoop to their level to do it.

The Bible Guides Us Here

Turn with me to Romans 12, we are going to start with verse nine. If there ever was a job description in the Bible of a Christian, this is it.

9 “Let love be genuine.”

Verse nine is the foundation of what Paul is saying here. In other words, if your love IS genuine then everything else Paul is about to say will naturally follow.

What does follow is a list of things that should describe a Christian.

In verse 17-19 Paul says, 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

How does Revenge make you god? There it is. Paul is quoting form the OT Mosaic law, reminding them that the Lord God will take vengeance. The Word says that Vengeance belongs to the Lord. When you take vengeance on someone, you are usurping God’s authority and making yourself god!

You may be thinking, “What about an eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth?” Doesn’t the Bible say I can hurt them if they hurt me? NO! That teaching is for the judicial system, teaching them to punish people justly and fairly.

We have all been hurt, and at one point we have all wanted to get revenge. It might have been a friend who stabbed you in the back, or it might have been an ex boyfriend or ex girlfriend who cheated on you. We all can identify with it. When we are wronged, often our first reaction is to get even. It's a natural desire to want someone to hurt like they made you hurt.

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