Some people seem to think that we have to turn our brains off before we do anything religious, but that is not what God wants of us. As John Piper said “the brain God gave you is intended to throw fuel on the fire of your affections for God. It’s really good at it if you let it.” . Exploring the world and theology are related if your mind is open. One is the study of God, the other is the study of what God created. If you can interpret the facts with an open mind, they both blend together quite beautifully.
When I exercise my mind I get excited. The more I know about him, and his creation, the closer, and more in awe of his majesty I am.
It is like exercise of the body at first, and difficult to do at first, if you haven’t done it in awhile, but with prayer God will get you through it.
This also has the benefit of catching those who believe that Christians are unintelligent off guard. I remember one time that I was talking to a group of people on X-box. Somehow the subject of Christians being stupid came up, and that was my chance to shine. For 45 minutes these teenagers who wanted to play a racing game shut up and listened to me talk about God! They had never heard anything like I was saying. God was certainly with me that day to enable me to draw teenage boys away from a game, to hear about God.
If I had not been a book reader, I don’t think that conversation would have been possible.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.
The Apologetics Study Bible
The lies about the Bible are getting so common nowadays, that they are like flies around a picnic on a hot Southern day. The foods are your favorite, and you are enjoying sharing them with friends. All too soon the flies start coming around, you are enjoying the food and companionship of long lost friends so much, that at first you don’t mind swatting a few flies away, but it seems like every time that you swat a fly, a couple more come to takes it’s place. Pretty soon you are so busy swatting flies, that you don’t have any time to eat for yourself. You may even start to check the food for tell-tale spots. Before long you are tempted to pack up your food, and go home to eat in peace.
Christian case making is a lot like that. The Bread of Life is so fantastic that you want to share it with the world. You know that some of the meal is an acquired taste so you spend a lot of time learning how to make the message as palatable as possible (while remaining within the guidelines of the Bible), but then the lies come. dispelling the lies can be difficult, but you love The Bread of Life so much that you don’t mind. It often seems like every time you dispel one lie, two more take it’s place. Sometimes you are successful in dispelling the lies, other times they appear to spot the food that you have prepared, and you grow tired.
It’s okay to go home and take a nap, but DO NOT STOP making the Christian case.
When you have had a chance to rest a little, it is time for you to do some things, to make your next time witnessing experience more successful .
Write down the names of the people that you had issues with, and put them on your long term prayer list, and pray for them.
Write down the issues they had with your message, meditate on how it could have gone better.
Spend some time in worship so that you can refuel your spirit.
Find a Christian friend that has been into Christian case making for longer than you, so that you can have a shoulder to cry on, a prayer partner, and an adviser.
Keep reading your Bible.
You may be interested in: The Lee Strobel 3-Disc Film Collection: The Case for Christ / The Case for Faith / The Case for a Creator The books were an awesome collection that paved the road for a lot of Christian case makers.
2 Timothy 4:1-2 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
Many people think that Matthew 7:1 forbids judging, and they use it as an excuse to just sit by and endorse sin by keeping our mouths shut, but if you have read the definitions of the highlighted words above you know that the Bible tells us that there are situations that we can correct, express disapproval, criticize sharply, and warn people away from sin. All of those things are kinds of judging. So Matthew 7:1 can’t mean what people think it means. If you read down to Matthew 7:5 you will discover that it is referring to hypocritical judgement.
This isn’t an excuse to be mean and nasty, if you reread 2 Timothy 4:1-2 you will see that it ends with the phrase “with complete patience and teaching”. While there are forms of judging we can and should do, we should not do it with the purpose of making the person feel below you, we are to teach them with patience. Sometimes we may have to speak sharply like when some drunk person wants to drive a car filled with kids, but that kind of judging should be limited to situations that demand action that minute. If you are judging because you care, and not out of hate, it is a legitimate thing to do. Just remember that God is love, and wants you to behave with love too.
BEHEADING OF THE APOSTLE PAUL
29 June 67, a Roman soldier beheaded the apostle Paul in Rome.* Preaching the Gospel of Christ Jesus, Paul did as much as any man to found the churches of the western Roman Empire. He was aware of his own influence. Writing to the Corinthian church, he summed up his own contribution to Christianity by saying, “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.”
via It Happened Today | Christian History Institute.
God’s grace does not come to people who morally outperform others, but to those who admit their failure to perform and who acknowledge their need for a Savior.
The Reason for God (p. 17).Keller, Timothy (2008-02-14). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Don’t look for people who tell you what you want to hear, look for people who tell you what you need to hear.