Friday, July 24, 2015

What Do You Believe? Are You Ready to Defend It? - July 24, 2015

1 Peter 3:13-17(New International Version)
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”[Isaiah 8:12]

15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

For centuries the Christian faith has withstood scrutiny, criticism, heresy, slander and every attempt to destory it. Other faiths and religions have tried to fill the vacuum that is in people's hearts, but no other can measure up as the faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. No other belief can stand up to the fact that God the Son has done the work necessary for us to be reconciled to Him for eternity.

The other belief systems are weak humanistic attempts to have us earn our way to God, or they choose to ignore Him and replace God with fantastic tales and other gods. Even people's feeble attempt to replace God with the material trappings of this fallen world, fail to bring ultimate peace to all those who seek after it. Only belief in the salvation of mankind through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ can free the human heart from the weight, guilt and shame of sin fill the heartfelt vacuum and bring true lasting peace.

As you consider what you believe, I would pray that your belief would be in the God that has reached down in His love to those He has made. I would pray that you would surrender yourself to Jesus Christ and commit to following Him in humility and obedience. And when you do, you need to be ready to defend your belief in Him, by doing the study necessary to know what is real and what is a counterfeit.

The wonderful thing is that when you do commit your life to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit of God takes up residence in your heart to  reveal the truth and confirm your belief. In doing so, God's love comes full circle in drawing you to Him, revealing Himself, and helping you to understand the nature of His love. Only then can you be ready to take a stand for your belief in Jesus no matter the outcome for doing so.

The Apostle Pauls Trial by Bodarevsky , Nikolai Kornilovich ( 1850 1921 ) , Russia , . Regional Art Museum , Uzhgorod , oil on canvas

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