Tuesday, August 19, 2014
As I was preparing my subject matter for an upcoming Bible study, I was reminded of a situation all Christians, and especially ministers, face from time to time. In this Chapter is the story of a certain teacher of the law who approached Jesus with a question: Luke 10:25 says, On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” It is quite clear that, in this case, the question was a good one but the motive was not. This lawyer came to Christ with a loaded question. He was not really seeking eternal life; he thought he already had that due to his knowledge of the scriptures and his good works. No, in his case, he was intent on trapping Jesus into saying something that would seem to go against what the Law of God teaches. If it happened to Jesus, it will happen to us. Because we profess to be the children of God, people will come to us seeking our opinion, mostly regarding the present day issues of life. But just as in this case, the questions that are asked will not always come from a person with the right motives. Often, the one asking the question either wants to trap us or else wants to justify their position.
Just to give you an example, here is a question, or something similar, I’ve been asked several times: “Can a Christian go night clubbing and still make it to Heaven?” Did the person asking the question really want to know the answer or are they hoping you will say it won’t keep them out of Heaven because that is what he or she is doing? Here’s another: A man has a big argument with his wife when, according to him, she pushes him to the limit. Not being able to control his rage, he punches her and breaks her nose. For some time after that, his conscience really bothers him, so he seeks the opinion of some Christian. He shares his version of the affair and asks something like: “Do you see how I had no other recourse? He is not as interested in hearing the opinion as in hoping the other will say: “I think I would have reacted the same way”, when the truth is that something like that can never be justified.
If you are a Christian who is dealing with issues that trouble your soul and mind, you need to bring them to the Lord, but do it honestly and with a sincere heart. James 1:5 NLT says: “If you need wisdom -- if you want to know what God wants you to do -- ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.” The bottom line is this: If you are a genuine child of God, His Holy Spirit lives within you. Among many other things, He leads, guides, teaches, and corrects. It is He who will let you know when you are walking in the right path and when you are not. This is quite different and much more reliable than being led by your conscience. Unlike your conscience, the Lord will never steer you wrong.
Memory verse for the week: (Isaiah 55:6) “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.”
PS: This coming Friday night, the movie in church will be “God’s Not Dead.” Though admission is free, concessions will be sold before, during, and after the movie. I hope to see you then.