February 16 “Defending the faith”

Defending the faith

Could you defend what you say you believe? Do you ever pretend you’re not a believer because it’s inconvenient or embarrassing? Have you ever said my faith is a “personal thing” when you had an opportunity to “give a reason for the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3.15)? Do you ever hold back when it would mean taking a stand or speaking up? I know I have.

Today’s Readings:
Leviticus 3 & 4
Psalm 23
Proverbs 9.1-6
Matthew 27.55-66

Leviticus 3 & 4

The messy business of sin

Before we talk about defending the faith we’ll discuss our Old Testament reading.

The primary theme in Leviticus is holiness. God is holy and He has commanded us to be holy just as He is (1 Pet. 1.14-16).

The need for holiness is attested to by the complicated systems of sacrifices and offerings. The animal sacrifices made temporary atonement for the sins of the priests and the people.

And what a “messy” and costly business the sacrificial system really was.

But then, I’m reminded that sin itself is “messy” business! Think of all the messes we make in our lives: our friendships, our marriages, our families, our finances, and every area of life. It’s not always “pretty” and our only remedy is Christ. When we see our complete failure to be holy and understand that He died as the perfect Sacrifice for all who believe and receive, we can exchange His righteousness for our sin.

But sometimes God has to allow our choices in life to bring about their natural consequences (Gal. 6.7-8) before we’re willing to see our need for Him.

Even as believers, he allows a certain amount of hardship in our lives. Not because He’s spiteful or unloving, but because He is our Father and we are His children. Like any good father, He trains and disciplines His children precisely because He loves us! Continue reading