An Inconvenient Truth

Daily Reading Plan: Luke 18:9-14
 
Two interesting examples of prayer – one illustrates how not to pray – one illustrates the attitude of the heart that God has a way of blessing.  In our “how not to pray” example, we find a prayer of comparison with others – expressing a false and arrogant form of gratitude that he is not like those “beneath” him.  The attitude of the heart that God seems to love is found in the one who humbly and sincerely acknowledges that only by God’s grace are we forgiven, only by God’s grace are we able to have purpose, only by God’s grace are we able to have the abundant life He promises us.  Let’s pray that prayer!

An Inconvenient Truth

What accounts for some people who embrace their faith in God while there are others who outright reject it? Atheists say that your faith is simply the result of a deep psychological need to help you cope with life. They say it’s a crutch to help you deal with your agonizing feelings of guilt, fear of dying, or need for a life of meaning and purpose. But while this explanation assumes that faith is nothing more than mere “wish projection,” it only assumes there is no God—it gives no evidence to prove it.

As a Christian, I admit that I have strong reasons for wanting my faith to be true for the same reasons argued by the atheists; but they should also admit that they have their own strong psychological reasons for wishing God out of existence. After all, if there really is a holy God, as the Bible describes, what hope do we really have? We all have every reason to fear God’s existence because we know that a just God will hold each of us accountable for the way we live. By denying He exists, we attempt to cover up our real fear of Him.

Denial of God, however, leads to a depraved life. The Apostle Paul describes the downward spiral for rejecting what we instinctively know to be true about God. It starts by our natural desire to suppress the knowledge about God that He has made plain to us. And because we didn’t glorify Him as God nor were thankful to Him, our minds were corrupted and our hearts were darkened. So, God gave us over to live according to our sinful desires (Read Romans 1:18-32). Ultimately, we were all without God and without hope at some point in our lives.

Scripture declares that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and that God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all (Romans 11:32). This mercy, however, is not given to all people, but to all who call upon the name of Jesus Christ for their salvation (see John 3:16-21, Romans 10:11-13).

Therefore, everyone who professes Christ as Lord has a solemn duty to spread the good news that God, who is holy, has provided a just way to reconcile Himself with repentant sinners through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. He lived the righteous life for you that you should have lived, and He suffered the death you deserved for your sins. By his mercy and grace, He will forgive all your sins, assure you of an eternal home with Him in heaven, and give your life the utmost purpose.

This truth is inconvenient and unsettling to those who hear it but want to continue to live as if God doesn’t exist. But the Bible asks, “how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” (Hebrews 2:3).
 
By Jim Connell
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