“Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” – Ephesians 4:14
Question of the Day: “Does what I believe actually make sense?”
We are examining John Wesley’s Quadrilateral this week. This is a method for examining our belief systems and testing them against some dependable benchmarks. So far we have considered as our benchmarks,
1. Is it supported by scripture?
2. Is it consistent with my personal experience with God?
Today, we come to REASON. “Does it make sense?”
This one of the things I admire most about John Wesley. He encouraged people to be thinkers. Don’t just take what someone else says for the truth. Think about it, examine it for yourself. Pray and ask God to reveal to you His truth in the matter. I like that approach.
If we are not careful, we can be led in the wrong direction by others. Our society is filled with people, media, advertising agencies and the like that can make anything sound good and reasonable. And many times, what we are assaulted with by the culture has nothing to do with godly values or principles.
The Israelites were very much like us in that respect. At one time in their history, the chosen people of God decided it was a good thing to sacrifice their babies on altars. THAT’S CRAZY! But because it was an accepted practice in their culture, eventually they became integrated into this awful practice and countless children died in the name of religion.
“‘For Israel has forsaken me and turned this valley into a place of wickedness. The people burn incense to foreign gods—idols never before acknowledged by this generation, by their ancestors, or by the kings of Judah. And they have filled this place with the blood of innocent children. They have built pagan shrines to Baal, and there they burn their sons as sacrifices to Baal. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!” – Jeremiah 19:4-5
I know this is an extreme example. But we make decisions each day that, sometimes in hindsight, we can look back on as a severe lack of good judgment. I have a more contemporary example. Some years ago, way before Liberty Crossings, I had a friend. This friend determined that God was calling her to be a missionary. The only issue was, she was quite sure God was telling her to divorce her husband and leave her young children to do so.
Well, being a missionary is great, in theory. But I think there are a lot more questions to be asked if you think God is telling you to abandon your family responsibilities to do it. That is just my opinion.
Let us be thinkers and therefore, authentic in our relationships with God and our witness to the world.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made by Your divine hands. You knit me together, cell by cell, to accomplish Your purposes in this generation. Thank you for my ability to reason and to think critically. Help me to use it to Your glory. Help me to analyze my attitudes and beliefs. Point out anything that is wrong or misled. Help me to be a thinker, and not a blind follower.
I praise You, for You can stand up to any scrutiny, any questions – and You don’t mind my asking. Help me to live a life worthy of being called Your disciple, and help me to be a bold and persuasive witness for Your kingdom.
In the name of Jesus I pray,