I finished reading the Old Testament this week.
Each time I work my way through the books of the Law, the historical books, the Psalms, and the prophets … I am overwhelmed with gratitude that the Lord of the universe wants us to know Him. Really KNOW Him!
And now, I’m settling in and sitting at the feet of Jesus.
The more I read the Bible – the more I want to read the Bible!
That’s why I wanted to talk about a comment exchange I had with another reader of David Rupert’s article – GQ Says the Bible is Overrated. Here’s What They Got Right.
I don’t comment as often as I’d like on posts because, well, I read hundreds of blogs posts each week. But this one…
As I read through the comments, I felt impressed to add my thoughts.
So, I wrote…
If the Bible is just another book then the author of the GQ article has a point. BUT – if the Bible is the inspired Word of God and used by the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts and minds of those who read and hear it, then it is the one book everyone should read. I began reading through it every year … ten years ago. This year, I’m reading it with all the Life Application Bible Notes. Every day I am overwhelmed with the message of God’s love for people who continually fail Him. It makes me want to know Him better, trust Him more, and love Him above all else. That is one life-changing book!
Later in the day, I received an email with this reply from another reader…
It’s not what you believe, its what you do that matters. that being said, most devout Christians are also some of the biggest jerks I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting.
But she has a point.
So, I added this…
I’m so sorry you’ve had such negative experiences with Christians. Me too! We’re all flawed. Christians too! And as much as I want to live a life that honors God, I fail often. I need to say, I’m sorry to people and ask God for His forgiveness as well. I challenge you to read the Bible with an open mind. Don’t make your decisions about Jesus based on imperfect people. Our tendency to be jerks on occasion is the very reason we need Him. One more thing … some of the Christians I know are extremely kind and selfless. I really hope you get to meet some people like them, too!
What’s the point? Why am I sharing this with you?
Because dear friend, people are watching and listening.
I’m sure you’ve seen the quote:
“Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some person ever reads.” ~ William J. Toms
How to Be a Living Bible Without Embarrassing Jesus
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Ephesians 4:1–3
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 5:1–2
When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:1–2
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Philippians 2:3,5
I know there are many more verses but I’ll hold there as I’m feeling convicted; maybe you are too. If you’re like me, you know how often you’ve blown opportunities, and fallen short of loving like Jesus would have you love. I’m guilty of embarrassing Jesus!
And I’ll be honest with you, sometimes fear of falling short keeps me from saying anything at all because I don’t want to mess up.
But that’s not the answer either!
What is the answer?
Lead with love!
Before you say anything remember that everyone is someone who is precious to God and dearly loved by Him! Loved so much that…
Though He was God,
He did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, He gave up His divine privileges;
He took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When He appeared in human form,
He humbled Himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Then tell people how much Jesus, who died for them, loves them. Point them to Bible that is able to tell them all about the God who loves them, and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting on what is right and wrong.
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 1 John 4:7–8
I don’t love the way God wants me to; so, I’m praying and asking God to help me do better.
I’m asking Him to help me…
- remember how much He has forgiven in me.
- stay humble … knowing I don’t have all the answers.
- listen with compassion.
- think and pray before I speak.
- stop and think before I leave a snarky comment online.
- talk more about Jesus than “right” and “wrong.”
- stop condemning “big” sins while excusing “little” ones.
I’m guessing you could add to this list.
I want people to look at my life and see the spiritual blessings of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
When you and I focus on trying to convince someone of the error of their ideas and/or actions without loving them we fail to show them love.
With God’s help, we can do this. We can glorify God by loving like Jesus.
Father, please help us! In Jesus’ name and for His sake. Amen!
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