Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Convincing - January 26th, 2009

It has been forever since my last post. Sorry. The day after Obama’s inauguration I was reading the Proverb of the day to Eliana and I was amazed by the significance of the first verse of the 21st Proverb (the Proverb for each president’s first full day in office). Pr.21:1 says, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” I think this verse was strategically placed exactly where it was by God Himself, to remind us that our hope is in Him, not the political process itself - He can change hearts! Anyway, moving on, tonight is the Open Forum between our students, the Secular Humanist Intellectual Thinking Society students (yes, that is their name) and the Philosophy Club. As I prayed for this forum this morning some great verses came to mind. Acts 28:23 describes Paul’s evangelistic efforts saying, “…From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.” Acts 18:4 similarly states that, “Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.” So many Christians have bought into the lie that we don’t persuade or convince anyone of the Truth of the gospel and that we shouldn’t try. I believe it was Sproul who said that there are 3 parts to belief - being exposed to new information, being convinced that information is true and finally, taking ownership in that new information. We do the 1st 2 in the power of the Holy Spirit and ultimately God is responsible for the 3rd aspect of belief, bringing people to a point of decision. With that in mind though, I can reason with others, trying to convince them of the Truth of God’s Word. 2 Tim.4:2 says, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” And again, Paul voiced that same conviction in 2 Cor.5:11, saying, “Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men.” So why do we try to persuade men? Going back to Acts 28, Paul continued from verse 23 to verse 28 where he described His motivation in persuading men, saying, “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!” People desperately need Jesus, the harvest is ripe (Mt.9:37), He is already drawing every person to Himself (Jn.12:32-33) and “they will listen.” That being true, I joyfully participate in trying to convince men, trusting results to Him. I can’t believe the lies that they won’t listen and that I can’t convince them. I simply do my part, being obedient to share and defend the gospel; God then does His part. That’s our goal tonight, in this Open Forum. God bless us, speak through us and ultimately do what only You can - change hearts!

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