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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Daily Devotional: Defending God

Tuesday May 23, 2017 by Tim Gustafson               
Read: Luke 9:51–56 | Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 19–21; John 8:1–27
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

The anti-God bumper stickers covering the car seized the attention of a university professor. As a former atheist himself, the professor thought perhaps the owner wanted to make believers angry. “The anger helps the atheist to justify his atheism,” he explained. Then he warned, “All too often, the atheist gets exactly what he is looking for.”

In recalling his own journey to faith, this professor noted the concern of a Christian friend who invited him to consider the truth of Christ. His friend’s “sense of urgency was conveyed without a trace of anger.” He never forgot the genuine respect and grace he received that day. 

Believers in Jesus often take offense when others reject Him. But how does He feel about that rejection? Jesus constantly faced threats and hatred, yet He never took doubt about His deity personally. Once, when a village refused Him hospitality, James and John wanted instant retaliation. “Lord,” they asked, “do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” (Luke 9:54). Jesus didn’t want that, and He “turned and rebuked them” (v. 55). After all, “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). 

It may surprise us to consider that God doesn’t need us to defend Him. He wants us to represent Him! That takes time, work, restraint, and love.

Lord, when we are confronted with hate, help us not to be haters but to respond as Your Son did: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

The best way to defend Jesus is to live like Him.

INSIGHT:
Luke 9:51 says, “Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem.” Christ was deliberately going to Jerusalem to face even more opposition because of His commitment to die on the cross for our redemption. When James and John rightly perceived opposition to their Master, they wrongly responded with an attitude of vindictive punishment. Most likely they were thinking of Elijah calling down fire from heaven (2 Kings 1:10–12) and the fire that fell in judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19). Yet they missed the point that Jesus’s truth claims are submitted for human consideration without coercion or duress.
As one theologian wisely said: “God is a Gentleman and will not violate our own free will.” The time of judgment that is most certainly coming has its own set time in God’s calendar. Before it arrives, each human being who hears the gospel has the freedom to believe it or reject it. God is “patient with [us],” the apostle Peter wrote, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

How might you show grace and faithfulness in letting your gospel light shine today regardless of the response?

Mark Your Calendar:

Today:  K Graduation @10 am; Exams; Early Dismissal at 11:30 am
May 24:  Teacher Workday; no school for students
May 25:  Awards Assembly; Dismiss at 10:30 am; Graduation @7 pm

Exam Schedule for Tuesday May 23:

7:55 Homeroom Bell
8:00 Tardy Bell
8:05 End of Homeroom, move to exam room
8:10 – 9:40 4th Period Exam
9:40 – 9:55 Break
10 – 11:30 5th Period Exam
11:30 Dismissal

May Birthdays:

A Happy Birthday today to Marlena M.!!  A Happy May 27 Birthday to Kameron H.!!  A Happy May 29 Birthday to Carter A. & Hannah F.!!  A Happy May 31 Birthday to Abbi S.!!

June Birthdays:

A Happy June 6 Birthday to Tyler G.!! A Happy June 8 Birthday to Jordan S.!!  A Happy June 10 Birthday to Morgan D. & Noah F.!!  Happy June 11 Birthday to Madelyn H. & Ryan M.!! A Happy June 22 Birthday to Brent C.!! A Happy June 23 Birthday to Zumar S.!!  A Happy June 26 Birthday to Kelly F.!! A Happy June 30 Birthday to Royce C.!!     

July Birthdays:

A Happy July 2 Birthday to Andrew B.!!  A Happy July 7 Birthday to Molly L. & Noah R.!!  A Happy July 9 Birthday to Daniel E.!!  A Happy July 12 Birthday to Elly A. & David S.!!  A Happy July 16 Birthday to Alaina C. & Logan F.!!  A Happy July 19 Birthday to Caleb S.!!  A Happy July 20 Birthday to Wavel A.!! A Happy July 27 Birthday to Bri G.!!  A Happy July 28 Birthday to Caleb C.!!  A Happy July 30 Birthday to Jonathan A. & Michael A.!!    

Meeting Period:

Monday: Exams/PK Graduation @10 am
Tuesday:  Exams/K Graduation @10 am
Wednesday:  Teacher Workday
Thursday: Awards Assembly/ Graduation @ 7 pm
Friday: 

Announcements:

Any student interested in signing up for a fall sport for the 2017-18 school year; there will be sign-up sheets in the front office.

Yearbooks are on sale now until the end of the year for $35; after May 25 the price will increase to $40.  Yearbooks will be delivered in August.

The gym will be closed in the afternoon starting May 11th through 26th.

Teachers:

There is a sign-up sheet in the front office for the end-of-the-year luncheon.  Please remember to bring your secret pal a gift.