prayer thoughts from Scotty Smith, Everyday Prayers

Zech 8.20-23

Zechariah’s vision describes something very attractive going on in the lives of your people––you’re church, Your bride. He envisions the presence of God having a magnetic appeal to people from all kinds of backgrounds. May this be true of my family and our church family. Give us your wisdom and give us your piece, but please, make the gospel beautiful unbelievable through us.

Loving Jesus, that you are jealous of my love is as humbling as it is astonishing. What greater complement could you possibly give me? That you missed my affection test the limits of my imagination.

Father, I am in constant need of your re-parenting. I need to know you better and better as Abba, Father, the most caring, engaged, and loving parent ever. I need you to continue to free me from the illusion that my earthly parents could have ever been enough. For the wounds and holes in my childhood, bring the gospel to bear with healing an liberating power. Free me from believing I need any other parent but you in order to become a whole and healthy person.

The church has done a poor job in teaching our young people

It’s no understatement that the church has done a poor job in teaching our young people that reason and faith are not opposites, and that atheists are far from being on the side of reason…Many kids, however, who grow up huddled in a Christian environment find themselves in the university setting completely unequipped to defend the rationality of the Christian faith against the secular humanist worldview so prevalent on college campuses.

~ Chuck Colson

God has used evidence and reason

The charge is made that no one ever comes to Christ through apologetics. If this implies that the Holy Spirit never uses apologetic evidence to bring people to Christ, this is clearly false.

C.S. Lewis noted that ‘nearly everyone I know who has embraced Christianity in adult life has been influenced by what seemed to him to be at least a probable argument for Theism’. Lewis is an example of an atheist who came to Christ under the influence of apologetics. The skeptic

Frank Morrison was converted while attempting to write a book refuting the evidence for the resurrection of Christ. Augustine tells in his confessions how he was led toward Christianity by hearing a Christian debate an unbeliever.

Harvard Law School professor Simon Greenleaf was led to accept the authenticity of the Gospels by applying the rules of legal evidence to the New Testament.

God has used evidence and reason in some way to reach virtually all adults who come to Christ.

~ Norman Geisler

We have to educate believers

One lesson we must learn from [Bart Ehrman’s] Misquoting Jesus is that those in ministry need to close the gap between the church and the academy. We have to educate believers. Instead of trying to isolate laypeople from critical scholarship, we need to insulate them. They need to be ready for the barrage, because it is coming. The intentional dumbing down of the church for the sake of filling more pews will ultimately lead to defection from Christ. Ehrman is to be thanked for giving us a wake-up call.

– Dr. Daniel B. Wallace

Gary Habermas: Contemporary Muslim Apologetics and the Resurrection of Christ

Even If

even if

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

Relate: I admit I have a bias. I have uprooted my life and moved into the Middle East in a very large part because of what is happening in Syria and the refugee crisis Bashar Assad spawned and ISIS exacerbated. My heart, my prayers, and my thoughts are constantly running in that direction and I have to admit that when I see some of the bias, bigotry, and nationalism coming out of the west masquerading as Christianity it simply breaks my heart. When I see one after another supposedly Christian governor or politician cave to the political winds and say, “Not here, not now” I am almost embarrassed to call myself American.

I hear the arguments. To a degree, I empathize with the feeling even though most are misguided, based on partial information or false facts, or just plain wrong. People want to stay safe. People want to stay comfortable, and there is a fear that allowing in a “torrent” of refugees will shatter that security. What if terrorists sneak in among those refugees? It will cost us way too much to support them. They should be taken in by neighboring countries/Muslim countries/somebody else… anybody else. Why are we allowing in Syrian Muslims but not Syrian Christians? Etc. I have dealt with some of these false fears (here) other places and will be dealing with others in the near future.

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