Christian

Sunday’s Memory Verse, 6/20/21

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Should We Argue With An Atheist?

Have you ever discussed the Gospel with an atheist? Has another blogger ever attacked you for praising Jesus?

I’ve been in a long conversation, with an avowed atheist. It all started when he commented on my post, “Why What You Believe Matters”. This person is very hostile toward Christians and he is hostile to the Gospel. He writes a blog that condemns Christianity and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In my naivity, I thought I could talk sense into this person.

I mentioned this to my 86 year-old father, and do you know what he said? “Don’t cast your pearls before swine.”

I hadn’t even thought of that! I was only thinking, “How can I help this person? This is so sad.” My heart ached for him.

Although I had heard Matthew 7:6 many times, I looked up the verse in my Bible and started trying to figure out what Jesus meant. After searching this out, I came to the conclusion that Jesus really was saying (in my own words), “This won’t help them. It will only hurt you.”

It was difficult for me to accept this teaching, even if Jesus did say it. I kept looking for a different interpretation. I thought I must be misunderstanding the verse. I kept thinking I needed to say more, pray more.

It took quite a bit of prayer and study to feel confident that I understood Matthew 7:6 correctly. The King James Version says,

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”

You have to admit, that’s rather harsh! What does Jesus mean? No matter which translation you read, it clearly says the same thing! I never had a problem with this verse before, but now that it applied to me personally, in real life, it wasn’t easy to accept. The NIV says,

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Matthew 7:6 NIV Read full chapter Matthew 7:6 in all English translations

Next, I decided to check commentary from Christian writers I trusted. Here’s what they said:

BibleRef.com To be called a dog or a pig was a great insult in Jesus’ culture. Still, He does not hesitate to compare those who reject Him as Israel’s Messiah to dogs and pigs. Crucially, though, His purpose is not to degrade anyone. The emphasis is not on other people, but on God’s people. This verse is a warning to Christians: don’t waste time or invite harassment from those who are obviously hostile.

GotQuestions.org In His sermon, Jesus uses dogs and pigs as representative of those who would ridicule, reject, and blaspheme the gospel once it is presented to them. We are not to expose the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who have no other purpose than to trample it and return to their own evil ways. Repeatedly sharing the gospel with someone who continually scoffs and ridicules Christ is like casting pearls before swine.

The command not to cast your pearls before swine does not mean we refrain from preaching the gospel. Jesus Himself ate with and taught sinners and tax collectors (Matthew 9:10). In essence, the instruction in Matthew 7:6 is the same that Jesus gave to His apostles when He said, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town” (Matthew 10:14). We are to share the gospel, but, when it becomes apparent that the gospel is not welcome, we are to move on. We are responsible to share the good news; we are not responsible for people’s response to the good news. Pigs don’t appreciate pearls, and some people don’t appreciate what Christ has done for them. Our job is not to force conversions or cram the gospel down people’s throats; there’s no sense in preaching the value of pearls to swine. Jesus’ instruction to His apostles on how to handle rejection was to simply go elsewhere. There are other people who need to hear the gospel, and they are ready to hear it.

John MacArthur: “When people not only reject the gospel, but insist on mocking and reviling it, we are not to waste God’s holy Word and the precious pearls of His truth in a futile and frustrating attempt to win them. We are to leave them to the Lord, trusting that somehow His Spirit can penetrate their hearts-as He apparently did with some of those who at first rejected the preaching of Paul and the other apostles-or leaving them to the just judgment of God.”

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It’s not just that you are wasting your time. It is harmful to you. Let’s look at the verse one more time.

“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

This is exactly what happened. I explained the love of God and the Good News of the Gospel. He denigrated the Bible, slandered Jesus, and called me names. Jesus clearly teaches us how to deal with it. I have cut off discussion with this person and in the future I will not engage with an openly hostile atheist.

If you have been through a similar experience, I hope this look at Matthew 7:6 will help you, as it did me. Have you encountered this in your ministry? What did you do? If you believe I have misinterpreted these words of Jesus, I welcome correction.

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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A Verse for Meditation, 6/17/21

“He who oppresses the poor reproaches, mocks, and insults his Maker, but he who is kind and merciful to the needy honors Him.” Proverbs 14:31 AMPC Read full chapter

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Quote of the Week, 6/16/21

“…the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by his letting us have our way in the end, but by his making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly pray what he taught his disciples to pray: Thy will be done.”

Elisabeth Elliot

Learn more about Elisabeth Elliot here.

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Tuesday’s Verse, 6/15/21

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
    the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
    are the children of one’s youth.” Psalm 127:3-4 ESV

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Sunday’s Memory Verse, 6/13/21

“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
    Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Psalm 138:8 ESV

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Why What You Believe Matters

What you believe will dramatically affect your life forever and those around you, too. As human beings, we like to go along with the crowd and just get along with everyone. We tend to believe what the people around us believe and that can be good, or bad.

Take, for example, a student who is surrounded by highly intelligent professors who are atheists. He might become an atheist, too. Why? Because intelligence is impressive and subconsciously he thinks that to believe in God would make him look less intelligent, so he doesn’t even search out the truth. Instead, he believes what is most comfortable.

In the same way, Christians might believe what those around them believe, even when it isn’t Biblically correct.

Why? Because religious beliefs that conform to cultural norms make life easier. In the Apostle Paul’s day, Judaism pressured Christians to conform to the law. Today, political correctness pressures us to conform to secular thought.

For example, some say, “I believe people of all faiths worship the same God.”

That sounds nice, and is very ecumenical, but it isn’t true. And truth is important because people’s eternity depends on it.

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Another example is abortion. Being pro-life is unpopular in many circles. (Just ask a politician.) To say, “I think it’s a woman’s choice” may get you off the hook. It’s the easy way out. But is it true? If we don’t do it, but we condone it, are we still innocent?

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. Psalm 139:13&15 NLT

There are preachers today who teach false doctrines and many people follow them. The Bible warns us over and over about it. (If you don’t believe me, search the Scriptures for yourself.) My intention is not to tell you what is false and what is true, but to highlight the need to carefully and prayerfully examine what we hear to see if it’s true.

The Apostle Paul chided the Church at Corinth:

“But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.  I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”   I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-6

Paul insinuates that these false teachers were trained speakers. (Probably very entertaining and popular!) Are we drawn to a preacher by his charisma and personality?

Loving the truth is vital to living a life that brings glory to God. Therefore the importance of studying God’s Word and knowing it well cannot be overstated. If we serve a “Jesus” that we have designed to fit our wants and needs, one who serves our purposes and selfish ambitions, that is idolatry. That is another “Jesus”, not the one who said, “Take up your cross and follow me.”

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11

If a “Jesus” was preached that appealed to human greed, would I blindly accept it?

If a “Jesus” was preached that appealed to my pride and self-interests, would I blindly accept it?

If a “Jesus” was preached that appealed to my fleshly desires, would I blindly accept it?

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:13-15

The more I study God’s Word, the more I understand that this life is but a whisper. It’s not about me, it’s about the Savior. My purpose is to bring glory to God. The message is simple. It’s not about new revelations and hidden symbolic meanings to make our life here on Earth free of trials and hardships. Jesus sumed up the message of God’s Word like this:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength (and) Love your neighbor as yourself.Mark 12:28-31

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you, today. Comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

All Scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted.

With Love,

Cindy

My Journey Unscripted

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian

Friday’s Verse, 6/11/21

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27 NIV

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

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Christian, women

Friday’s Verse, 6/11/21

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:11-12 NIV

With Love, Cindy

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Fajruddin Mudzakkir on Unsplash

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