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Friday, May 10, 2013

Guilty Until Proven Innocent Insights

Before reading these insights, I encourage you to do the study Guilty Until Proven Innocent. It contains the full text for all Scripture references. Thanks!

1. What is God’s attitude toward His Word? In light of God’s attitude, do you think you are taking God’s Word as seriously as you should? 

Luke 9:26: This is a powerful warning to trust God's Word, but also a wonderful insight into the reliability of God's Word. A number of sects and cults are built on the premise that the Word of God is flawed or incomplete, but the words of Scripture confirm its reliability, permanence and completeness (2 Timothy 3:15-17). 

2. Read the verses below (Jeremiah 6:10: 20:8-9; John 17:14). 

What effect does the Word of God have on some people? 
From Genesis to Revelation, God makes it clear that we are sinners in need of a Savior, fallen and accountable (Ephesians 4:22). This is not a popular message with a world that wants to believe men are basically good  or mere accidents of evolution who are free to make up our moral values apart from God (2 Peter 3:3-7). 

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Does this surprise you? 
We shouldn't be surprised that God's Word is offensive to others...it always has been and always will be. People are offended by the moral commands of Scripture because they know, down deep, that they are doing what is wrong in the eyes of God (See Romans 1:18-20; 2:12-16).

Is it possible to speak God’s Word carefully and lovingly and still offend others? 
Yes. Sometimes we share God's Word in unloving, self-righteous, or inappropriate ways, but even when we are led by the Spirit we will encounter opposition. See the passage below:

John 15:18-20:  18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 

Can you think of situations when sharing the Gospel or expressing your Biblical convictions would cause you to be rejected? 
I wrote a devotion about being rejected--and this situation wasn't even related to what we said--it was what we represented that bothered this couple: What's That Smell? 

Are you willing to suffer rejection because of God’s Word? 
I pray that I will never be ashamed of God's Word although there are times I am uncomfortable sharing truths I know God wants me to share. I pray for the attitude of Jeremiah who was unable to deny the "fire" of God's Word in his heart.

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