WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 11, 2022
TOPIC: DO PEOPLE HONOUR OR DISHONOUR CHRIST BECAUSE OF YOU?
BY T. O. BANSO
“And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed” (2 Peter 2:2 New King James Version).
Jesus said His followers should let their light so shine before men, that they might see their good works and glorify their Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). Is the name of the Lord being glorified or being profaned because of you? Is Christ or the gospel ministry being honoured or slandered because of you? Do people speak evil of Christianity because of the kind of life you live or your practices as a minister?
The Apostle Peter said there were false prophets in Israel, just as there would be false teachers among the believers of his day, and by extension, among believers today (2 Peter 2:1). The false teachers would secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them and bring on themselves swift destruction. In other words, they would turn against Jesus Christ, who died to redeem them and bring swift ruin on themselves.
Peter said, “And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed” (2 Peter 2:2 New King James Version). In other words, those who will be seduced or led astray by the destructive ways or evil doctrines of the false teachers will bring the way of truth or Christianity into disrepute. Unbelievers will slander the way of truth because of the ungodly lifestyle of the disciples of these false teachers whom the unbelievers will assume are Christians and regard their behaviour as what Christianity stands for.
Referring to the Jews in Romans 2:24, Paul said it was written, “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you” (New King James Version). Don’t let the name of the Lord be blasphemed because of you. Don’t let anyone discredit the Gospel because of your lifestyle or ministry. Let Christ be honoured because of you, not dishonoured.
False teachers today bring dishonor to the name of the Lord from those who mistake them for the true ministers of the Gospel. Be true to God, your calling, and the people you minister to. Don’t let your ministry make people speak evil of Jesus Christ or Christianity. Bring glory, not dishonour, to Christ by your messages and practices. Don’t become a false teacher, whose lives are characterized by greed, immorality, and clever lies to collect money from their listeners and followers.
Paul says, by their false teachings, false teachers turn whole families away from the truth because of money (Titus 1:11). Let your focus be on the people’s hearts, not the people’s pockets. Preach for Godly impact, not for money or fame.
Paul told the Thessalonian Christians, “For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness–God is witness” (1 Thessalonians 2:5 New King James Version). Does that describe you as a minister of God? Do you care for God’s people entrusted to you, watching over them willingly, not grudgingly? Do you serve the Lord for dishonest gain or eagerly? (1 Peter 5:2). You’re not to be greedy for money or covetous (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7). Non-compliance with this instruction and others for ministers in the Bible has contributed a lot to the criticisms ministers of God often receive.
In 1 Samuel 12:3, Samuel asked the Israelites if he had defrauded anyone. They said he had not. Paul also said he had cheated no one (2 Corinthians 7:2). Strive to lead the people and minister to them with integrity so that you’ll also be bold to say you defrauded or cheated no one. Let your ministry bring honour to God and the Gospel ministry.
Don’t support false prophets thereby encouraging them to continue in their evil way. God has condemned them a long time ago. It is biblical to support ministers financially (1 Corinthians 9:1-14; Galatians 6:6; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Philippians 4:15-19). But it is wrong to support a ministry or minister that is not bringing honour to Christ or is making people slander Christ.
After David said he had sinned against the LORD, the Prophet Nathan told him that the LORD also had put away his sin and he would not die (2 Samuel 12:13). David had sinned by committing adultery and murder. However, Nathan said because, by this deed, he had given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child who was born to him would surely die (verse 14). David’s sins gave a great opportunity to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme or despise. Don’t give occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme or speak against Christ and Christianity.
If you’re a victim of false teachers and prophets or you’ve seen any, please avoid slandering the way of truth – Christianity. The way is still true! Differentiate between the errors of some people and the way of truth. Their errors do not mean the way of truth is the way of deceit.
You may not be an apostle, a prophet, an evangelist, or a pastor and teacher. But whatever you are, as a follower of Christ, let your life make people glorify God, not blaspheme or dishonour Him. “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation” (1 Peter 2:12 New King James Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to live my life and fulfill the ministry you’ve entrusted to me in such a way that nobody will slander Christ, Christianity, or the Gospel ministry because of me. I pray that all the false teachers and their disciples who are making unbelievers blaspheme Christianity and Christ would repent.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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