Devotional for Tuesday June 23rd

Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Think for yourself”
Our Bible verse for today: “…(be) ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with gentleness and respect …” 1 Peter 3:15-16 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Not all who bear Christ’s name also bear His image.”
Our discussion this month about the theme of “Think for yourself” centers on three primary reasons that we Christians sometimes do not think for ourselves (or at least do not think well and deeply). They are: Being content with simplistic or superficial thinking; giving-in to cultural pressures; and, being influenced by a cult of personality.  This morning I want to conclude our thinking about the impact cultural pressures have on us. Tomorrow we will move on to those cults of personality.
There can be no denying that ours is an angry society. Issues of politics, race, gender, sexuality, perceived economic disparities, and much more divide us into hostile camps defined by strong opinions and characterized by hot rhetoric. And Christians are not immune. All too often we’re part of one of the camps and we’re out there with them pointing fingers, shouting slogans, and fueling the anger. Or, we join them in endorsing policies, positions and beliefs that are unbiblical. When that happens, we’re allowing the culture to influence us in a negative way rather than us influencing the culture in a positive way.
This is a problem because as author Ken Gire writes, “Not all who bear Christ’s name bear His image. There is a difference between being a Christian and being conformed to the image of Christ.”
Sadly, when engaged in cultural issues, many Christians don’t sound much like Christ. Instead, they sound more like the people all around them in the angry shouting crowds. This shouldn’t be. Our goal is to be conformed to Christ not to culture, and to conduct ourselves in society in a manner that truly does reflect Christ.
As the followers of Christ we should be actively engaged in the important issues of our day, because that’s one of the ways we have a positive influence in the world. But we are to do it in the manner described by Peter in 1 Peter 3:15-16. We are to boldly and accurately share Biblical truth as it pertains to the situation at hand, but we’re to do it with gentleness and respect.
Unfortunately, it’s true that not all who bear Christ’s name also bear His image. My prayer is that more and more of us Christians will come to be known both by His name and by His manner.
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2020 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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