Defending God

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

The anti-God bumper stickers covering the car seized the attention of a university professor. As a former atheist himself, the professor thought perhaps the owner wanted to make believers angry. “The anger helps the atheist to justify his atheism,” he explained. Then he warned, “All too often, the atheist gets exactly what he is looking for.”

In recalling his own journey to faith, this professor noted the concern of a Christian friend who invited him to consider the truth of Christ. His friend’s “sense of urgency was conveyed without a trace of anger.” He never forgot the genuine respect and grace he received that day.

A gentle answer turns away wrath. Proverbs 15:1

Believers in Jesus often take offense when others reject Him. But how does He feel about that rejection? Jesus constantly faced threats and hatred, yet He never took doubt about His deity personally. Once, when a village refused Him hospitality, James and John wanted instant retaliation. “Lord,” they asked, “do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” (Luke 9:54). Jesus didn’t want that, and He “turned and rebuked them” (v. 55). After all, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17).

It may surprise us to consider that God doesn’t need us to defend Him. He wants us to represent Him! That takes time, work, restraint, and love.

Lord, when we are confronted with hate, help us not to be haters but to respond as Your Son did: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

The best way to defend Jesus is to live like Him.

INSIGHT:Luke 9:51 says, “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Christ was deliberately going to Jerusalem to face even more opposition because of His commitment to die on the cross for our redemption. When James and John rightly perceived opposition to their Master, they wrongly responded with an attitude of vindictive punishment. Most likely they were thinking of Elijah calling down fire from heaven (2 Kings 1:10–12) and the fire that fell in judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19). Yet they missed the point that Jesus’s truth claims are submitted for human consideration without coercion or duress.

As one theologian wisely said: “God is a Gentleman and will not violate our own free will.” The time of judgment that is most certainly coming has its own set time in God’s calendar. Before it arrives, each human being who hears the gospel has the freedom to believe it or reject it. God is “patient with [us],” the apostle Peter wrote, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

How might you show grace and faithfulness in letting your gospel light shine today regardless of the response?

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4 thoughts on “Defending God

  1. Hello again . I have great fear of offending God with my own understanding , or lack of understanding of what is the truth

    the scriptures that are not in context, nor are they answers to any one question., but reference for any self proclaimed knowledge one seems to be with.

    It’s not that anyone defends God, but it is Jesus that is defended and justified as to be believed in as man has chosen to believe, but it is not the teachings of Jesus that are defended, it’s the teachings of man. About what they were taught by man to be unquestionably unquestioned.

    I laugh at my self here. What did Jesus teach? Don’t want to confuse it with the letters from the disciples , but the bold red letters that were not. Answers but questions for the questions. .. I’ll be in touch

    Like

  2. Pingback: The Weekly Headlines – My Daily Musing

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