“Participants in the kingdom of the world trust the power of the sword to control behavior; participants of the kingdom of God trust the power of self-sacrificial love to transform hearts.The kingdom of the world is concerned with preserving law and order by force; the kingdom of God is concerned with establishing the rule of God through love.The kingdom of the world is characterized by judgment; the kingdom of God is characterized by outrageous, even scandalous, grace.”
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Bless [show kindness, desire good, go beyond mere nonretaliation]…
…those who persecute you [those who treat you badly, insult your faith and values, make it difficult or dangerous to follow Christ…just to name a few]…
…bless and do not curse [in person, on social media, behind backs…you know, everywhere]
9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.