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More on How to Avoid Misusing the Bible

Be prepared to defend the Gospel

Written by Dan Lee on 06/11/2018

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: BibleWisdom


Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15

Just last week, we talked about ways to avoid misinterpreting the Bible. Today, we want to conclude this two-part devotional series by pointing out something just as important — using the knowledge we gain from studying His Word to better represent the Lord. 

A while ago when I was in school, my teacher would always put us in groups to research and prepare a presentation about a certain topic related to the class. I would prepare for days! My teacher was known for asking difficult questions just to make sure we all did our work. Sure enough, when question time came around, you bet I was prepared to answer all the questions! My peers, not so much. 

It’s the same when it comes to learning the Bible. You must always be prepared so you don’t look foolish. How can you defend the Word of God when you yourself may take out of context?

Let’s use the following verses as examples of how to better interpret the Bible. 

Take it step, by step 

Let’s break down one of the most popular verses quoted by people looking for assurance of a good life. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

You might look at this verse and think that God never intends anything bad to happen to you. 

However, when we read this whole chapter in Jeremiah, we find first that something bad has already happened to Israel — they had been defeated by the Babylonians and forcibly removed from their homeland. They were living in exile, slaves to a wicked foreign empire. 

Another prophet, Hananiah, had been telling the Israelites what they wanted to hear: that their captivity would last just two years. Jeremiah’s answer to him? “You are a false prophet, and you’re going to die.” And Hananiah did die (Jeremiah 28:12-17).

Then Jeremiah sent a letter from Jerusalem to the exiles in Babylon telling them the truth: They were going to be there for a while. A LONG while:

 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” (Jeremiah 29:10-14)

Yes, the Lord had a plan to restore Israel to their homeland, but it would take place in 70 years — after most of the listeners had died! Not only that, but the promise was conditioned on Israel praying and seeking God with all their heart (Jeremiah 29:12-13).

Your calling 

So what does Jeremiah 29:11 promise for today’s believers? It does not promise peace and prosperity now, but instead promises restoration in the future. For us, the ultimate restoration comes at the return of Jesus and the establishment of His kingdom.

We don’t know when the Lord will be coming back for His church. Until then, we encourage you to go deeper in your relationship with Him and be a living testimony of the truth He brings to the world. Fall in love with His truth and be ready to defend the hope that lives within you. (1 Peter 3:15)


Pray this week:

Lord, I ask you to give me the opportunity to use the wisdom I gain through your Word to share the truth with those around me. Amen. 


Are you prepared to defend your faith when brought difficult questions?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Jesus calls us to be different from the world while making a difference in the world

Jesus calls us to be different from the world, while making a difference in the world.

Written by Joy on 15/08/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
“(Jesus praying) My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one….As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.’” John 17:15,18

How can we make a difference in our culture today? Jesus says He is sending us into the world, as He himself was sent. What are we being sent to do? What was Jesus’ mission?

To Seek and Save the Lost (Luke 19:10)
Jesus came for one reason: to provide salvation through His death and resurrection. He did not come to give political freedom and rights, but spiritual freedom from sin. He came to give us spiritual victory over death and the treasure of Eternal Life with God, not to give financial success or health in this life. He did not come for only those religious people who follow the rules, but he was known for spending time with "sinners." “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13).

This means we too must go out looking for sinners (Ecclesiastes 7:20) who need to hear about the love and mercy of Jesus.

To Save, Not to Condemn (John 3:17)
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). When we boast, we make ourselves seem superior because of our morals. Unbelievers only see someone who is acting holy and judging them; caring only about rules and details. They don't see Jesus. Jesus commanded us to preach the Gospel, (Mark 16:15, Romans 1:16-17) not just to get sinners to change their moral behavior.

To Show God’s Love (John 3:16)
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:9, 11).

This is the only message that has the power to change our culture: Love. Our prophecy, teaching and good works are worthless without love (1 Corinthians 13). “True love Is patient, and kind, not boastful, proud or rude…not rejoicing in wrong-doing, but rejoicing in the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-6). Beware, of the world's definition of love: extreme tolerance. “Instead, we speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ…” (Ephesians 4:15)

Pray this week:
God, help me stay on your mission of love and salvation through Jesus Christ; help me to change my culture by changing lives through the Gospel. Give me chances to share your truth in love.

What kind of freedom does God wnat you to have?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member