Month: January 2021

photo of parental rating on a TV

Neutralize Acid

No guilt, no shame

I was listening to an old sermon about personal witnessing. At one point in the sermon, the preacher said he asked people, “What do you do with your guilt?” That was a compelling question ten years ago, but not today. We live in a society that, for the most part, carries no guilt and feels no shame.

Many people of our nation have become like the Israelites during the life of the prophet Jeremiah. God had been punishing the country, but the Israelites refused to turn back to God. Here’s what God had Jeremiah declare to his nation:

Therefore the showers have been withheld, And there has been no spring rain. Yet you had a prostitute’s forehead; You refused to be ashamed.

Jeremiah 3:3 (NASB)

A prostitute’s forehead

By saying that they had a prostitute’s forehead, God said they had become as comfortable and callused with sin as a prostitute. This verse from Jeremiah hit home to me when I picked a detective show to watch on TV. I was so shocked by the rating that I took a picture of it (sorry for the low quality). So, the rating czars decided that a show containing violence, sex, and drug use was ok for fourteen-year-old kids. Wow. 😞

As Christians, for the people in our lives, especially the kids, we need to be the container of sin’s antidote, Jesus. We need to be like baking soda on battery posts.

Baking soda on battery posts

A car’s battery contains sulfuric acid, and over time it will creep up and corrode the electrical connections between a car and its battery, effectively making the car useless. But, if we sprinkle some baking soda, which is alkaline, on the battery’s connections the acid is neutralized; it keeps the battery connected to the car. That’s our mission. Through prayer and conversation, we need to neutralize this world’s acid that continually tries to corrode everyone’s lives.

Clean and tight

As believers, we need to keep our connection to Heaven’s battery (Jesus) clean and tight. We can, for we have this promise of Christ’s love for us:

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? … 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Romans 8:35,37

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messy office

Why is Christianity Messy?

Have you ever noticed that from the birth of Jesus until now, Christianity is messy? By messy, I mean messy. The book of John, probably my favorite book in the Bible, opens in chapter one, verse one, with, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Don’t try to convince me that you read that once and nailed it. No way!

As we study the New Testament, we find bad people, like a tax collector becoming a humble philanthropist and an apostle of Jesus betraying Him for money. Then we have a very loose-living Samaritan woman talking with Jesus, and when He says He is the Messiah, she doesn’t argue with him; she goes and tells her community to come and meet this person. But when Jesus tells the religious leaders of His fellow Jews, they plot to kill Him! And this back and forth continues.

On and on

While Christ’s apostles were still living, false doctrines arose and were taught. It took the Church over three hundred years to make an official declaration that Jesus is divine, and God is a triune God. Mind you, the Apostle John wrote this in the first chapter of his first book! On and on, this messiness continued. Bad decisions and bad behavior flowed from the Church while churches sprung up where none were expected. At one point, during WWII, the “church” simultaneously hated the Jews, loved the Jews, and was indifferent towards the Jews. 

Go to Jesus

In our present world, we find deep, well-grounded Christians with effective local churches in Africa and Asia while inept, heretical local churches dominate Western countries. So, by now, you understand my question, so let’s move on to a meaningful answer. That means, let’s go to Jesus.

Matthew 13:24-30: He [Jesus] put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds [tares] among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”

False Wheat

Tares or darnel usually grows in the same production zones as wheat and was a serious weed of cultivation until modern sorting machinery enabled darnel seeds to be separated efficiently from seed wheat. The similarity between these two plants is so great that in some regions, darnel is referred to as “false wheat”. It bears a close resemblance to wheat until the ear appears. 

Wikipedia

Christianity is messy because we are sons and daughters of Adam, sinners to our core. And satan has been trying to destroy God and all His work his whole life. Therefore, only God knows who belongs to Him. The fruit of God and the fruit of the enemy grow together, the wheat and the tares. It’s messy. Bad people get saved and serve God, and “good” people plot evil and serve satan. But there will be a day when Adam’s history comes to an abrupt stop; the wheat and the tares will be separated. God’s fruit will be with Him forever, and satan and his fruit will be eternally punished. Until then, it’s just going to be messy.

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God of Every Blessing

I don’t take us into the Old Testament as often as I should. So, today, let’s consider this proverb from God.

Blessings are on the head of the righteous, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. Proverbs 10:6

God of every blessing

As I participated in a Lectio 365 devotional, the speaker prayed, “God of every blessing…” This small phrase is so apparent that we rarely speak it. We seldom encourage one another with this Truth, but as we see in Proverbs 10:6 that we do serve the God of every blessing. People can do good things for other people, but a blessing only comes from God. I don’t know about you, but I find great comfort and strength in this phrase.

If we are Christians, then Jesus is alive in us (Ephesians 3:17). And it is Jesus that has made the path of righteousness (Philippians 1:11). The path we are on. And this path of righteousness and salvation are the same. Now Jesus said, “But small is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:14). Jesus spoke as the One who blazed this trail.

Jesus built the path of salvation

Jesus came to Earth as God incarnate (John 1:14). As he grew, He experienced being a baby (Luke 2:7), having a career of a craftsman (Matthew 13:55) and then His ministry of reconciliation (John 2:1-11). Then Jesus brought salvation into existence through His death, burial, and resurrection. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) Jesus paved the way.

Throughout Christ’s life, in each moment of His life, He was building the path of salvation. It wasn’t there before. Before, people could only have their sins covered over with the blood of animals. Jews repeated this throughout their lives. But Christ’s sacrifice was perfect, and thus He did it once for all eternity (Hebrews 10:1-18).

Creation of the small gate and narrow path

The narrow path of salvation didn’t exist until Jesus returned to heaven and presented His blood as the perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 9:24-28). Then the small gate and narrow path were complete and ready for all who believe. For those of us that have been obedient to the call of God, we are “in Jesus” (2 Corinthians 5:17). And it is the righteousness of Jesus that God sees when He looks at us (2 Corinthians 5:21).

We find in Scripture God’s promise “… that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Going back to our text for today, “Blessings are on the head of the righteous…” Blessings are from God alone. We are the receivers of His blessings. Blessings are for the righteous, for those of us in Christ Jesus. Praise God. He is the God of every blessing. Amen!!

Photo by Keith Hardy on Unsplash


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pregnant mother with young boy

Nature verses Nature

No, I don’t have a typo in the title of this post. Hang with me and it will soon make sense. Before we received God’s grace of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9), we were smarmy, twisted sinners, just like our friends. The apostle Paul wrote:

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. – Ephesians 2:13 (emphasis added)

Nature verses Nature

I would like us to consider the phrase “by nature children of wrath” in this passage. Behind our English translation is something quite interesting. The Bible commonly uses the word “nature” to lead us to one of two conditions: humanity’s nature is sin, or humanity’s nature became sin, hence, nature verses nature. As used here by the apostle Paul, his context is humanity’s nature became sin.

Adam was created sinless, made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). The people that inhabit this world do not possess the nature God intended (Romans 5:12). We humans are mutants, and not in a good way; we carry some of the nature of the sinless Adam, but we are malformed by the nature of sin within us all (Romans 3:23).

Regeneration takes us back

The Gospel of Jesus is the good news that we can be reconciled back to God by regeneration (2 Corinthians 5:17), by being reborn so that our nature becomes that which God intended from the beginning. Our flesh is still under judgment. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), so death awaits each of us. But our spirit has been made alive in Jesus. We are no longer under condemnation (Romans 8:1). Our new birth has given us the nature that God intended from the beginning (Ephesians 4:24).

Do we still sin? Yes. Are we perfect in love, perfect in obedience, perfectly holy? No. But we are now on the path of righteousness. The renewing of our minds is transforming us (Romans 12:2). We are changing, moment by moment. God is working in us, drawing us ever closer to that which the apostle Paul prayed:

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Paul can pray this because it is the will of God for you and me. That’s exciting! God’s will is for us to fulfill the “original” nature of humanity, a sinless nature created in the image of God. Humanity’s nature became sin, but in Jesus Christ we can be reborn, born into the nature God intended for us. Perfect? Not yet, but in Jesus we’re on our way!

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two young girls dressed up as princesses

The Story of a Princess Bride

There’s a marvelous movie titled, “The Princess Bride.” No doubt you’ve watched it or heard of it. Well, I’d like to share with you another story of a princess bride.

Foolish husband

She was a wife, married to a godless, obstinate, foolish man. She could never understand him. He nearly always snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. He played the part of an important person. He was rich, but he had built his business ruthlessly. He demanded respect, but most held hate in their hearts for him. As for her, her heart was a secret garden, and the walls were very high. The only respect she garnered was from herself, for she was judged for the cruelty of her husband.

It seemed that she was destined to spend her life cleaning up one mess after another made by her husband. Didn’t he ever wonder why no one had murdered him? It wasn’t from his shrewdness; it was from her bargaining acumen. Still, on those rare occasions when he was home, he treated her no better than a slave; as each night fell, she never knew her fate. Nevertheless, she didn’t waver. She worshiped God, she placed her life in His hands, and she remained faithful.

Things change

One day, a day that changed everything, her husband went too far. He disrespected a man that no one should cross. Even as her husband did this, he didn’t recognize his foolish mistake. In fact, he belittled this dangerous man and thought himself the top dog. He fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia’.

News quickly came to her that her husband had really messed up. Once more, she saw disaster looming at her door, it was such a chore. She rushed to intervene with the hope that she might save her husband, their household, and herself from certain death.

She had a plan

She had a plan, but she dared not tell it to her husband, for he would certainly beat her and then die in an idiotic attempt to kill this dangerous man. She gathered valuables that she knew this dangerous man wanted and, using her husband’s hired hands, she sped to show generosity to the dangerous man. She did not know that the dangerous man had already set his heart on killing her husband and his household. Someone thought he heard the dangerous man say, “We are men of action. Lies do not become us.”

As soon as she reached the dangerous man, she physically threw herself at his feet and begged him to count the grievous actions of her husband against her. “Consider his wrongs to have been done by me,” she said. The tension at that moment was so palpable a chef’s knife could have cut it.

The dangerous man said to her, “Thank you so much for bringing up such a painful subject. While you’re at it, why don’t you give me a nice paper cut and pour lemon juice on it.” Then an amazing change took place. She began to speak a prophecy over that dangerous man.

Princess Bride

God’s prophecy spoke of His plans for him, plans to raise him up to be a mighty man of God and leader. the dangerous man’s anger abated, and he safely sent her home. But when she arrived back home, she found her husband drunk out of his mind, so she bided her time.

The next morning when her husband finally came out of his drunken haze, she told him what had happened. He shouted, “Inconceivable!” Then he became dumb-struck and was mostly dead, like a stone; he died alone. When the dangerous man heard the news that she was a widow, he sent for her. She said, “As you wish,” and she became his wife.

Though Samuel anointed him to be the king, he had not yet been crowned king, so his bride was a princess, a princess bride. David kissed her. Since the invention of the kiss, there have been five kisses that have been rated the most passionate, the purest. This one left them all behind.

God never forsakes us

You can read God’s Word for a more accurate account of David and Abigale in 1 Samuel 25:1–44. The point I want to make is this: God does not forsake those that belong to Him. There are many verses in the Old Testament that speak of God’s faithfulness to individuals with the promise to never leave them. These individuals include:

• Jacob (Genesis 28:15)
• Joshua (Deuteronomy 31:8)
• Solomon (1 Chronicles 28:20)
• The poor and needy (Isaiah 41:17)

I really wanted to include the quotation from Inigo Montoya, “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” However, I couldn’t find a good place for that line. In all sincerity, let’s trust God for He has said that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

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six shooter gun

Quick Draw McGraw

Quick Draw McGraw is a fictional anthropomorphic horse and the protagonist and title character of The Quick Draw McGraw Show. He’s a white horse, wearing a red cowboy hat, a red holster belt, and a light blue bandana. He was voiced by Daws Butler. All 45 of his cartoons that originally aired between 1959 and 1961 were written by Michael Maltese, known best for his work at the Warner Bros. cartoon studio. The cartoon was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1960.

Wikipedia

There’s no “Bank of Jesus”

Growing up, Quick Draw McGraw was a favorite of mine. He was a good guy horse. His “skill” was how fast he could draw his gun against the bad guys. How a horse’s hoof handled a firearm is one of the mysteries of the cartoon world.

Ol’ Quick Draw came to mind today as I was praying. Yep, some of my prayers take strange turns. Anyway, Quick Draw came to mind because I prayed in the name of Jesus. The Holy Spirit pulled me up short.

Was I praying the will of Jesus my Lord, or was I pulling His name out like Apple Pay on my iPhone; a quick swipe and the transaction is done. Ol’ Quick Draw would have been proud of me, but perhaps God was not.

The gift of Jesus’ Name

Jesus gave us the gift of His name. He said:

In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 

John 16:23

Notice that we are to ask the Father in the name of Jesus; Jesus has access to the Father, and if we are in Jesus, we can ask the Father directly. A human analogy would be like me buying a grande latte and paying with a bank card instead of calling my banker and asking her to contact the coffee shop to vouch for my payment. This gift from Jesus is astonishing.

When you or I whip out a bank card or smartphone to pay for something, do we stop and consider our banker? Our bank? No. But when we do a “Quick Draw” with the name of Jesus, we need to stop, take a breath, and consider what we’re asking and what Christ’s reaction will be when we close our prayer with an “in Jesus name. Amen.”

Practicing reverence

Being a quick draw with God’s Word is commendable; being a quick draw with the name of Jesus, not so much. Let’s practice reverence in all things that touch God, and all things touch God.

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closet doors

God Sides With You

I read a great statement that my niece posted from her church, Woodland Heights Christian Church, in Crawfordsville, Indiana. They said, “God sides with you against your sin; not against you because of your sin.” This comment harkens back to the promise God made to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 29:11:

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We may be weary

With the enemy and the world fighting against us, it’s easy to feel burned out or isolated while doing God’s will. If we give an inch to this emotion, it is easy for us to slip out of God’s will; to sin. When we become weak, we become easily led astray by thoughts contrary to God’s will. 

We may feel desperate for a return to some past experience when “life was simple.” We may wish for old friendships. Or, we may be so frazzled that we long for a quiet bubble of rest from God. One thing is sure, just as our immune system becomes weaker when we are down or exhausted, so do our spiritual “deflector shields” (nod to Star Trek) collapse from exhaustion, repetition, and alienation. 

Our help

Jesus is aware of our spiritual health, which is likely why he said, “See that no one leads you astray.” ( Mark 13:5) When we need help, remember, the Holy Spirit is The Helper (John 14:16).

The cure for spiritual weakness is time alone with Jesus. We may think, “I need to talk with so-and-so.” or “I need to step back from some of my commitments.” You may be correct but first go to your “prayer closet,” lock the door, and talk with Jesus.

You may say, “Why? It never works for me!” Well, there is a well-established approach. This approach has been recommended by great Christian leaders such as Charles SpurgeonD.L. Moody, and Franklin Graham. 

Guidance

What I’m about to write should not be taken as a formula or recipe but as guidance from people mightily used by God.

Before we can “hear from heaven,” we have to unclutter our minds; rabbit trails are the antidote to prayer! To clean a cluttered mind, we start with confession. We need to tell Jesus everything – this is transferring our burdens to Him and becoming “clean vessels” for the Holy Spirit. 

Then it’s good to thank God. Our thankfulness is a declaration of faith, acknowledging our trust in Him. Our gratitude can easily transition to praise. We may not be able to carry a tune in a bucket, but it’s uplifting to sing to God. God doesn’t judge us on the quality of our voices. “God inhabits the praises of His people.” (Psalm 22:3)

Hearing from God

Now, with uncluttered minds, forgiven souls, thankful hearts, and God’s presence, we’ve prepared ourselves to hear from Jesus. Jesus is the Word (John 1:14), so it’s good to open God’s Word to a personally familiar and meaningful passage. It might be John, chapter one, or the “Beatitudes” in Matthew, chapter five, or perhaps it is Psalms 32

Before we begin reading, we can ask the Holy Spirit to open our hearts to receive the living Word of God; then we read, pondering each word, each phrase, asking the Holy Spirit to makes these words alive in us. 

Refreshment

As we read, we also quietly listen. Soon we will become aware of the presence of God, and He will open His Word to us; His Word will feed us. His abiding presence is medicine to us. Being in His presence heals us, strengthens us; He refreshes, renews, and rejuvenates us. We can linger with Him.

God sides with you

When we come out of our prayer closets, we will be spiritually refreshed. Having a regular time for meeting with Jesus is better than going to a gym! There’s some value in regular exercise, but so much more value from a consistent prayer time. (1 Timothy 4:8)

So when we sin, let’s remember this post. Do not forget that “God sides with you against your sin; not against you because of your sin.”

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Faith Says “Thank You”

But the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame.

Isaiah 50:7 (emphasis added)

Have you ever prayed a simple prayer and God suddenly, indisputably acts with profound power and clear intent? A few times in my life I’ve experienced this, but only few. Mostly, there are those times when we “go to war.” We go to our prayer closets, shut the world out, set our faces like flint, and pray.

Going to war

Our war is not against God nor against people (Ephesians 6:12); God forbid. Our war is against the enemy of our souls. And our prayers are petitions for God’s good and perfect will to be done. Old timers called this praying through. We pray until we have a witness within us from the Holy Spirit that God has heard, and His will shall not be constrained. When that happen, our response should be “thank you.”

Faith that is true faith, when it comes to the end of a prayer it says, “Thank you.” and we should walk in faith. Why? Because faith believes, faith accepts God’s answer, so we give thanks to God for the perfection of His response.

Our faith joins to God’s faithfulness

God is faithful. When we act in faith, God allows our faith to be joined to His faithful. There’s a fascinating prayer of Jesus in Matthew 11:25.

At that time Jesus declared,I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;

Jesus, being in perfect harmony with the Father, still said, “thank you, Father.” That’s faith’s response. So, too, we find the apostle Paul telling us, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2) Notice that we are to be watchful in it (prayer) with thanksgiving. We can’t give thanks to God if we don’t pay attention or if we don’t trust in His will.

Faith says “thank you”

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) Faith says “thank you” no matter what God’s decision.

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My Time and My Culture

For some reason which escapes me, I’ve been on a “begotten” roll in these recent posts. It is not intentional, but it just turns out that way. So it is today.

my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you!

Galatians 4:19

Jesus is birthed in people

The apostle Paul uses a compelling analogy of Paul being “in the anguish of childbirth.” Those words paint a vivid picture for us. And what is Paul birthing? It’s Jesus being formed in the Galatians. A German monk used this analogy, but he turned it around to point to himself. He wrote: 

“We are all meant to be mothers of God. What good is it to me if this eternal birth of the divine Son takes place unceasingly, but does not take place within myself? And, what good is it to me if Mary is full of grace if I am not also full of grace? What good is it to me for the Creator to give birth to his Son if I do not also give birth to him in my time and my culture? This, then, is the fullness of time: When the Son of Man is begotten in us.”

Meister Eckhart, 1260-1328, German Dominican monk

Arriving with a purpose

Childbirth is painful. I’ve seen it. Extended childbirth cannot be comprehended except by another mother that has experienced it. Yet here, in Galatians 4:19, Paul intones the idea of extended pain by writing, “until Christ is formed in you!”

When the Word of God comes into us, it arrives with a purpose. It arrives in the fulness of time; a will that extends beyond us. We hear, receive, die, germinate, and birth Jesus, by God’s Living Word. His birth is in us, for our time and our culture.

God made a place for us for the good of others

None of these events are produced by us, nor do we contribute to their efficacy. Still, in God’s beautifully crafted will, He has made a place for us. For each Christian, He has ordained a purpose; He has set aside a people; He has established a time. So here we are. Jesus lives in and through us. Are we isolating Jesus, or are we tearing down our walls, letting God’s Son out of us and into our time, into our culture? That is the preeminent question for every Christian right now.

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Contend not Coerce

When one of my sons lived in Dillingham, Alaska, I had several opportunities to visit him, my daughter-in-law, and my grandson.  Persuade Not Coerce

The Yup’ik people

Dillingham is on Nushagak Bay at the mouth of the Nushagak River, an inlet of Bristol Bay, an arm of the Bering Sea in Alaska. Dillingham sits in a staggeringly beautiful setting, though the village itself is a typical, spartan Alaskan community. 

The predominant indigenous people around Dillingham are the Yup’ik people (pronounced “yoop-eek.”) who have lived in Alaska and the Russian Far East for millennia. On one of my trips to Dillingham, I had the privilege to talk at length with a Yup’ik native; I don’t recall her name, so we’ll call her Ahnah (A wise woman). That conversation was eye-opening for me.   

The failure of coercion

The Yup’ik have suffered much, both by intent and by accident, from Americans. More than 70% of their people have died from flu and other “American” diseases during the last thirty years. America struggled with COVID-19 last year, but the Yup’ik have suffered from wave after wave of disastrous epidemics.   

In addition to disease, the Yup’ik lived through a time when our government thought it wise to remove children from their tribes and raise them to be Americans. Our government thought they could persuade indigenous people to cast off thousands of years of culture within one generation. This foolish act of coercion didn’t work, but this leads us to our devotional for today.  

Coercion is not a ministry

As Christians, coercion is not a ministry. We are to contend for the faith but contending is not coercion. Stephen is the first Christian martyr. Here’s Stephen’s approach:  

Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen…rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. – Acts 6:8-10  

The difference between Godly persuasion and bullying is something we quickly lose sight of during our debates with others. However, once the fire dies down, and we have time to reflect upon our demeanor, choice of words, and intentions, we attempted to coerce the non-believer into accepting Jesus. 

Contend for the faith

To be a Biblical apologist, we focus on proof rather than persuasion. To contend for the faith, we use proof and persuasion within the Holy Spirit’s boundaries. We know when we have wandered off into human debate.   

Paul “…reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.” (Acts 18:4) and “And Agrippa said to Paul, ‘In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian?'” (Acts 26:28) and “Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience.” (2 Corinthians 5:11)  

So, you may ask, why is this simple topic worth posting? We live in a fiercely divided nation. As citizens of God’s kingdom, we are emissaries of the Gospel of Jesus. That must always be our focus. We must represent Jesus to our crumbling nation. In our actions, we must leave room for the Holy Spirit to act. We must not behave as our government did and try to coerce a nation to do things “our way.”  

Proofs and persuasive debates

We bring the message of Good News. We contend for the faith by providing proofs and offering persuasive debates, but it is up to the Holy Spirit to convict and lead people to salvation in Jesus Christ. We can’t do that, and we shouldn’t cross that boundary. We should contend not coerce. 

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