For His People of Valor

1 Peter 3

 

A boy wanted to be a doctor. As a child his parents gave him a toy doctor kit and he would hold the plastic stethoscope to the chest of stuffed animals and give pretend shots to anyone who would allow him to put the plastic syringe to their arm.  As he grew he would watch television shows about doctors; he knew the names and back stories of every major character in his favorite shows.  He would  drive around the hospital and sometimes even go inside.

He bought himself a pair of scrubs, a white lab coat, and a real stethoscope, and he would wear them around town. His chest would swell each time someone called him Doctor. He decided it was not important to go to real medical school, after all, he does look like a doctor already and why go through all the hassle of study when all he needed was the outfit; or so he thought.

One day there was a terrible accident. Upon seeing the young man they urged him to help.

“Doctor, do something!” The crowd pleaded. “Or they will die.”

Of course he didn’t know what to do. He fumbled around and tried his best to re-enact the scenes he seen hundreds of times on his favorite television shows, he yelled “Stat!” and “screamed for someone to hand him a “thing-a-ma-jig.” He didn’t know how to check a pulse, stop the bleeding, or bandage a wound. He tried to fake it, but faking it did not save any lives that day.

Perhaps he should have went to medical school? Maybe he should have applied himself to studies instead of appearance that merely brought him a false sense of security?

Thankfully, this is just a fictitious story. Yet, this scene is played out everyday within the Body of Christ.

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Too many Christians are getting the Word from short blips and memes, or watching t.v. sermons, or worse going to a church where scripture is never mentioned, but my, my, my, what a great time they had, huh. They may own a Bible, but do they read it? They may pick it up occasionally, but do they study it?

If you are a Christian and I ask you where is your Bible and when was the last time you read it, what would you answer?

If someone asked you what do you believe and why do you believe, would you have a confident answer? And if your answer went against the grain of the person asking you, would you be bold enough to still give your answer without wavering? If you were speaking to someone who is well versed in their unbelief, (an atheist, for example) do you have enough of His Word in you to contend for the faith?

This is not meant to condemn anyone, rather I hope if this speaks to you it will encourage you to rise up and take your place.

But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness [though it is not certain that you will], you are still blessed [happy, to be admired and favored by God]. Do not be afraid of their intimidating threats, nor be troubled or disturbed [by their opposition].  But in your hearts set Christ apart [as holy—acknowledging Him, giving Him first place in your lives] as Lord. Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:14-15

The more time you spend in His Word, in fellowship with Him, then the more you will know Him and become like Him.

As followers, imitators, of Christ, we have been given a commission:

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

You have no need to fear! Study His Word, submit yourself to Christ, and when the opportunity comes (and it will) He will give you the words to say. He will bring back to your remembrance all He has taught you. But you can’t remember what you have not taken the time to hear and to know.

My friend, we are in the days where evil is called good and good is called evil, many are falling from the faith, false prophets are on the stage, the wolves are dining on the ignorance of lazy believers, people are seeking to have their ears tickled and there are many out there who will accomodate their carnal desires. Christians are being persecuted around the world, and even here in the USA our Christian faith is being attacked. We must be vigilant!

Difficult Times Will Come!

But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear].  For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane,  [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good,  traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God,  holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith]. Avoid such people and keep far away from them. 2 Timothy 3:1-5  

Do these verses from 2 Timothy sound like it fresh out of the mainstream media, Hollywood, your FaceBook newsfeed, or the world outside your front door?

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What is apologetics? It is not apologizing for your faith, nor is it defending God, because He does not need us to defend Him, It is the discipline of giving the reason for your hope, applying scripture, it is combating unbelief.

(Click on the following links for more:   John 14:11, John 20:24-31, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11,   Philippians 1:17,  Psalm 14:1, 2 Corinthians 10:5)

Remember, we are not wrestling against flesh and blood, it is not against people, but against spiritual forces of wickedness.  You are well equip, so you need not be afraid or timid.

There are many resources out there to help you. The Bible should ALWAYS be your first resource. Enroll in a course on apologetics. I have found some really good ministries out there. Check out:

Apologia Church, they also have some good teaching videos on YouTube.

Living Waters Ministry, and Ray Comfort has an excellent YouTube channel, as well.

Frances Chan has a heart for God and people. He is sure to inspire you!

People matter! Souls matter! 

So, the next time you have the opportunity, open up your mouth and let Him out!  We are the light of the world, the salt of the earth.

Stay connected to the Body of Christ, stay in fellowship with your local body of believers. We are not meant to be alone. We are many parts, but one body, we need each other.

Stay in the Word.

Stay close to Him.

Pray, commune with God, through Jesus.

Be filled with His Holy Spirit.

Open your front door and get out there!

And one more reminder… the offense will come, and when it does, lay down your pride, your ego, yourself, and do not be offended, nor lash out, stay in His peace, walk in love, be gentle, yet firm, and may you firmly grasp the knowledge of His love for you.

I close with thisBlessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort,  who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 

Be Free & Stay Free

 

 

Apologetics, Not Apologies

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I am not intimidated, nor ashamed, to share my faith in Jesus Christ. While it is foolishness to the perishing, the man who is wise in his own eyes, it is life to those of us who have put our trust in Jesus.

There are some who are afraid to share there faith, but fear has no place in the rejuvenated heart of a believer.

The attack on Christianity has been turned up a few degrees. We are being flanked from all sides, politics, schools, and Hollywood, but even more so on the personal front, in our homes, relationships, and churches. We are at a crossroad where we must choose a side. There is no place for lukewarm Christians. It is time to get off the fence.

Some may justify their silence by saying, “Faith is a personal matter.”

Our faith in Jesus Christ was never meant to be kept a secret. If it were to be hush-hush then Jesus would have never told us to go into all the world and make disciples. We are not illegitimate children or mistresses. We belong to God, through Jesus, we are His children, His Bride.

No person volunteers to have their chest cut open for heart surgery unless they understood they needed surgery to live. Only then would they submit to a surgeons knife for a life saving operation. But, how would this person know they needed a new heart unless a doctor told them?

But how will people call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher (messenger)? Romans 10:14

I do not get offended when someone attacks my faith. I do not fear their rejection; I fear for their soul.

We can not force anyone to accept Christ, salvation is a free gift and a person must choose. It is Holy Spirit who calls us to Him, it is our responsibility to open our mouth. We are not God’s lawyers, we are His witness to His saving grace.

Always be ready to give a [logical] defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope and confident assurance [elicited by faith] that is within you, yet [do it] with gentleness and respect.  1 Peter 3:15-16 

Let us get out of our comfort zones and throw away our excuses and purpose to live our faith out loud and to walk worthy of the calling.

Stay in the Word and in prayer. You do not have to be afraid of what you should say, His Spirit will bring it all back to remembrance to you, but you can’t remember what you have not  known. So read your Bible daily, meditate on His Word day and night.

When they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be worried about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say;  for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”  Luke 12:11-12

The world is getting darker and now is our opportunity to shine bright.

Be Free & Stay Free