Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 23, 2014

"but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;" I Peter 3:15

How do you respond to one who is skeptical of your faith?

That is the final question to be addressed in the four week series following up the "God's Not Dead" movie.

Keep in mind there are generally two categories of skeptics - religious skeptics and non-religious skeptics. Each have their unique challenges in confronting their skepticism.

Religious skeptics can be challenging because they are often self- righteous or self-satisfied about what they believe. Trying to communicate your faith with them is like trying to explain thirst to a fish. They are so absorbed with their "water" they miss the point of it.

On the other hand, non-religious skeptics can be so enamored with their intellect, their education and scientific theories that they lose their objectivity in searching for truth. They trust their "pat answers: more than they value new ideas.

So, how do you make a convincing argument with skeptics of those mindsets?

We have given you some good ammunition you could use in an argument but sometimes your argument is not as important as the your attitude.

As a Christian it is always our goal to win people's hearts, not judt winning arguments. How many times have you won an argument but lost ground in a relationship? 

The Apostle reminded the young pastor, Timothy, "The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith." I Timothy 1:5

In our chosen text for this devotional, Peter reminds you to make your defense "with gentleness and reverence".

Stop and remember for a moment, when you came to faith in Christ was it because of a compelling argument someone made with you OR was it because of the quality of the love they showed toward you? If you were won more by an attitude than by an argument, how should you then approach others?

A powerful Biblical illustration of how to approach people who are far from God is the father in Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son. Luke 15:20 records, "So he (the son) got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him and ran and embraced him and kissed him."

When you defend your faith, do it first with that same loving compassionate attitude demonstrated by the father. Make sure you are filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, and self-control when discussing your faith.

You don't like a know-it-all and neither do I. Don't try to impress others with how much you know but first show them how much you care!

"with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of the truth."  II Timothy 2:25