ODB: Defending God

May 23, 2017


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

 

READ: Luke 9:51–56 

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. 

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.

— Tim Gustafson

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)

Source: Our Daily Bread