Both parties were respectful of the other’s stance, therefore this was a civil debate rather than a heated argument. However, I couldn’t help but think of 2 Timothy 2:23,24:
“Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.” (NIV)
Paul purposely and repeatedly cautioned Timothy against “un-instructive” questions that ultimately benefited no one. These type of arguments breed pointless feuds among Christians and ministers let alone with secularists. Don’t have anything to do with them. Other translations read: Reject them. Flee from them. Avoid them.
Before there is a backlash, allow me be plain: Asking questions is not foolish and stupid. We are encouraged to do so! However, whether the earth is 6,000 years old or 6,000,000,00 years old really doesn’t change my relationship with the LORD in the littlest bit.
In the end, our focus should be on Jesus. A good student imitates his/her teacher. Our teacher is Jesus. He did not have anything to do with foolish arguments, quarrels, or disputes. He was a beacon of meekness, mildness, and gentleness.
Our Faith grows from believing and practicing what God desires, not from guessing how old a rock is.
Everyone wants to be successful, right? There are a million self-help books out there about how to be successful and what to do to be a success. But what is success? And is there a “secret” to it?
I don’t think it’s a secret at all. God gave Joshua the key to being successful way back in Joshua 1:7-9.
“Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” (Joshua 1:7,8 NASB)
Meditate on God’s word and do what it says.
Simple. Too simple for some. But that doesn’t make it any less true.
Follow this simple step and you WILL find success. That’s a God Promise. It may not be what the world considers “success.” But it will be success in God’s eyes. And really who would you rather please?
As an artist, I’ve looked at many blank canvases. When you’re staring at a completely new canvas, you can’t help but see all the possibilities that it could become.
I have painted a particular canvas multiple times before. Layer upon layer. I can’t seem to get it the way I want! It’s almost always easier to just start over. It’s easier to paint the canvas white and begin again.
Only Christ can take your canvas and make it white again. Only Christ can make it new and start afresh.
Only you can let Him.
Allow Him to take your scribbles and turn them into His masterpiece (Eph. 2:10). We look at our lives and see what a mess we’ve made. Christ can’t help but see all the possibilities that it could become.
Have you ever imagined a “sit down” with God? Just you and God. Maybe over coffee or something. You know, casual. You could ask Him all your questions and just sit and enjoy His company?
It might go down like this:
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. “If you consent and obey, You will eat the best of the land; “But if you refuse and rebel, You will be devoured by the sword.” Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken. (Isaiah 1:18-20 NASB)
This is God laying it out pure and simple. In fact, it doesn’t get any more simple. It doesn’t get any more beautiful.
First He says “Let us.” I love that! God says “Let us reason this out. I don’t want you to be confused! I want you to get it!”
Though our sins stain us, if we but obey, they’ll be as pure as snow. Stained! Once something is stained, it’s ruined. You usually throw it out. But God can remove the stain. And not only that, he can make it better than before! Whiter and purer than it ever could be on its own!
By the way, that “sit down” you are imagining? It can happen any time you want. All you gotta do is call on His name. He’s ready for you. He’s wanting to clear all the confusion you may have. He wants you to get it.
He desires a sit down with you even more than you desire one with Him. Let that sink in for a minute.
I ordered a pizza. The pizza delivery guy did something weird. He put a big red bow on my pizza. But that’s not it, He also attached balloons to it. Then he kept on and on about how much I was going to enjoy this pizza and how this pizza was better than the pizza from the shop across town.
Not really. What he actually did was deliver the pizza. No song and dance.
We are called to deliver the Good News of Jesus (Matt. 28:19,20). We don’t need to dress it up. We don’t need to put a bow on it. The message is powerful enough on its own.
Have you ever knocked on your friend’s door and stood there and waited? Well, if he didn’t answer the door you would leave, right? He’s either not home, didn’t hear you, or busy. Or maybe he did hear you, but he’s acting like he didn’t. Maybe he’s ignoring you on purpose! Whatever the reason, you wouldn’t just stand there and keep knocking. Eventually you would leave.
Thank God The LORD is not like that!
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20 NASB)
Jesus stands and knocks.
Even when you didn’t hear Him, He stands and knocks. Even when you are busy, He stands and knocks. Even when you are ignoring Him and pretending that you are not home, He stands and knocks.
He’s persistent like that. He won’t give up. He won’t stop reaching out to you. He won’t stop coming over to visit.
Do you believe in aliens? I guess it depends on who’s asking. If it’s Ridley Scott, then no. If it’s the Apostle Peter, then yes. Because… dun, dun, DUNNN! YOU are the alien.
1 Peter 2:11, Peter says “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.” (NASB)
Why does Peter call the various churches, “elect resident aliens?” Or strangers? Or sojourners? Or pilgrims? Because they were not in the homeland. They were scattered throughout the land. They were longing for their true home.
Today, we are not in our homeland either. Wait! I live in ‘Merica! Yes, Yes. Settle down. I am talking about your REAL home. Your home is not this physical land. You knew that, right? Your real home is with your Father. Your Father is in Heaven. Our REAL home is Heaven, people!
We are a long ways from home, for sure!
What do we do until we get home? I’m glad you asked. Read on to verse 12: “Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
Keep your behavior excellent.. uh-oh. Peter is telling us to step it up! Represent Christ like you are supposed to! It may lead to someone accepting Christ. It may lead to someone glorifying God. And that is our main objective while we are away from home anyways: Glorifying God!
We may not look like E.T. (at least I hope no one out there looks like E.T.!) but we are aliens nonetheless. We are sojourners and strangers and pilgrims in a strange land. Not for long though, buddy!
Soon we will be with our Father. Soon we will be home.
May God’s Love be with you