Ever been in a situation where people are asking you something in hopes that they can trap you by hearing you speak the truth? Ever been in a situation where speaking the truth is confrontational? Ever been put in the place where if you speak the truth that you will be put in a more difficult situation?
WHAT DID YOU DO?
Do you seek wisdom to answer it properly? Did you seek strength and courage to answer it truthfully?
Let’s see what our role model does…
15The Pharisees went off and made a plan to trap Jesus with questions. 16Then they sent to him some of their disciples and some members of Herod’s party. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you tell the truth. You teach the truth about God’s will for people, without worrying about what others think, because you pay no attention to anyone’s status. 17Tell us, then, what do you think? Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?” 18Jesus, however, was aware of their evil plan, and so he said, “You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19Show me the coin for paying the tax!”They brought him the coin, 20and he asked them, “Whose face and name are these?” 21“The Emperor’s,” they answered.So Jesus said to them, “Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God.” 22When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away. — from Matthew 22 (GNT)
So let’s seek wisdom to understand the intent of the question being asked! Let’s make sure that we can answer it truthfully so that in and through it our Father in Heaven can be glorified! Let’s speak bold and courageously trusting in the Holy Spirit to give us the words we need to speak. We have the promise that we aren’t supposed to worry, He will provide us with the words and the wisdom to answer the charges.We don’t need to be afraid! And even if we suffer for doing good, God will bless us!
Ever been in a situation where the story or the facts are so convoluted and drawn out that it almost seemed like they missed the point? Ever found yourself where they tell you a story and then ask you so what do you think? Ever noticed that the assumptions that are being proposed or made seem a bit out of sync with reality? Check out how Jesus responds when faced with such a situation…
23That same day some Sadducees came to Jesus and claimed that people will not rise from death. 24“Teacher,” they said, “Moses said that if a man who has no children dies, his brother must marry the widow so that they can have children who will be considered the dead man’s children. 25Now, there were seven brothers who used to live here. The oldest got married and died without having children, so he left his widow to his brother. 26The same thing happened to the second brother, to the third, and finally to all seven. 27Last of all, the woman died. 28Now, on the day when the dead rise to life, whose wife will she be? All of them had married her.” 29Jesus answered them, “How wrong you are! It is because you don’t know the Scriptures or God’s power. 30For when the dead rise to life, they will be like the angels in heaven and will not marry. 31Now, as for the dead rising to life: haven’t you ever read what God has told you? He said, 32‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is the God of the living, not of the dead.” 33When the crowds heard this, they were amazed at his teaching. — from Matthew 22 (GNT)
We need to be able to focus on the truth! We need to be able to see beyond the distractions! We need to be able to hear the intent! We need to be able to realize what the real question is that is being asked! We need to be able to give an answer for real question, not necessarily the question that seems to be on the surface!
Don’t allow the misrepresentation keep you from the truth! Don’t allow the wrong assumptions answer the wrong question! Listen to what the Holy Spirit is prompting you and allow His wisdom to guide your response, not your emotions, not your humor, not your sarcasm, but the truth! The truth will set us free!
We can trust in God! He is faithful! God will be true even though or when we aren’t. God’s ways are higher and better than our ways, so we may not understand the full picture of what we are going through, but there is a purpose and a plan to help develop something in our character so that we can become more like Christ through it! So when we have to give a reason for the hope that is within us, let’s make sure we are prepared so that we are able to win the case! Let’s not grow weary in doing what’s right and what’s good!
So no more excuses! No more lies! We’ve all missed the mark! None of us are perfect and without sin! By trying to be good enough, we won’t meet the bar! On the flip side that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to meet the bar provided by Jesus since He gave us a bar to meet that should help raise the average rather than everyone just trying to be average which will in turn lower the average even more! Be it in the area of anger, adultery, divorce, vows, revenge, enemies, He speaks a better option! We need a savior, which is why Jesus came! He didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save that which is lost! God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but find everlasting life!
So how do we get put right with God? In Romans, we read the following…
21But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. 22God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: 23everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. 24But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. 25-26God offered him, so that by his blood he should become the means by which people’s sins are forgiven through their faith in him. God did this in order to demonstrate that he is righteous. In the past he was patient and overlooked people’s sins; but in the present time he deals with their sins, in order to demonstrate his righteousness. In this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus. 27What, then, can we boast about? Nothing! And what is the reason for this? Is it that we obey the Law? No, but that we believe. 28For we conclude that a person is put right with God only through faith, and not by doing what the Law commands. 29Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles also? Of course he is. 30God is one, and he will put the Jews right with himself on the basis of their faith, and will put the Gentiles right through their faith. 31Does this mean that by this faith we do away with the Law? No, not at all; instead, we uphold the Law. — from Romans 3 (GNT)
So as God forgives us, we need to be ambassadors of forgiveness! We need to forgive others for as we forgive others, God will forgive us! We need to be sharing forgiveness! We need to be modeling forgiveness! For it brings truth and freedom that people are seeking every day of their lives!
1Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins! 2Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin! 3I recognize my faults; I am always conscious of my sins. 4I have sinned against you—only against you—and done what you consider evil. So you are right in judging me; you are justified in condemning me. 5I have been evil from the day I was born; from the time I was conceived, I have been sinful. 6Sincerity and truth are what you require; fill my mind with your wisdom. 7Remove my sin, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 8Let me hear the sounds of joy and gladness;
and though you have crushed me and broken me, I will be happy once again. 9Close your eyes to my sins and wipe out all my evil. 10Create a pure heart in me, O God,
and put a new and loyal spirit in me. 11Do not banish me from your presence; do not take your holy spirit away from me. 12Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13Then I will teach sinners your commands, and they will turn back to you. 14Spare my life, O God, and save me, and I will gladly proclaim your righteousness. 15Help me to speak, Lord, and I will praise you. 16You do not want sacrifices, or I would offer them; you are not pleased with burnt offerings. 17My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God; you will not reject a humble and repentant heart. 18O God, be kind to Zion and help her; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. 19Then you will be pleased with proper sacrifices and with our burnt offerings; and bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.
–from Psalm 51 (GNT)
So this is the day that the Lord has made, let’s rejoice and be glad in it!