Daily Lent Devotional #34 (4/11/2011)

Today’s Topic:  “Speaking God’s Truth Boldly”

Today’s Scripture:  Matthew 10: 16-20

16 “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.

17 “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

The first part of our Vision Statement at NBFMC is “We Embrace All People”.  What we mean by that is that we will strive to express God’s love to all that come within our walls and that we meet in the community.  People need to feel valued and cared for.  We must earn the right to be heard by them, and that is accomplished through “embracing”.

However, there is a time to speak.  We embrace all people, but we have a moral obligation to not affirm or endorse sinful lifestyle choices that they may be engaging in.  The tacky phrase of “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin” is very outdated…but also very true. 🙂  We constantly strive to separate the decisions and behaviors of a person; apart from their value and worth to God as a human being.  This can be very difficult at times, leading some to view Christians as “intolerant” or “judgmental”.  It is hoped that our acts of love and mercy would outweigh these negative opinions, but that is up to others to decide for themselves.  We must faithfully uphold the truth.

Below, there is a quote from Henri Nouwen that has been called “The Preacher’s Prayer”.  Even for those Christians not in professional ministry, this quote is a very timely reminder to share the truth of God boldly.

Also, linked in my Vodpod on this page is the song “Until The Whole World Hears” by Casting Crowns which affirms the Christian’s mission of sharing the truth of the Gospel.

Dear Lord…

You have sent me into this world to preach your word. So often the problems of the world seem so complex and intricate that your word strikes me as embarrassingly simple. Many times I feel tongue-tied in the company of people who are dealing with the world’s social and economic problems.

But you, O Lord, said, ‘Be clever as serpents and innocent as doves.’ Let me retain innocence and simplicity in the midst of this complex world. I realize that I have to be informed, that I have to study the many aspects of the problems facing the world, and that I have to try to understand as well as possible the dynamics of contemporary society. But what really counts is that all this information, knowledge and insight allow me to speak more clearly and unambiguously your truthful word. Do not allow evil powers to seduce me with the complexities of the world’s problems, but give me the strength to think clearly, speak freely, and act boldly in your service.

Give me the courage to show the dove in a world so full of serpents.



Pastor Josh

Published in: on April 11, 2011 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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