Living in fear or living in love

th-83And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  (Hebrews 11:6)

I talked to a man last night who earnestly loves God. He prays regularly. When he sins, he asks God for forgiveness. He even calls God, the Mercy-Giver. He believes everything he has found out so far about Jesus (and he’s found out a lot — more than many others have who claim to follow Christ). He has adopted as the purpose of his life that which Jesus said embodied all of the law: to love the Lord his God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love his neighbor as himself. He knows that Jesus is going to return some day to judge the world so he humbles himself and weighs his choices in light of that fact. He is seeking to live at peace with everyone around him, including his enemies, whom he is seeking to love because Jesus told him too. He even believes that Jesus is the Messiah and He has reconciled us to God. If this man were my neighbor, I would want to walk and talk with him; I believe he would undoubtedly make me a better follower of Christ.

There’s only one problem: he’s Muslim.

Oh dear, what do I do now? Do I suddenly assume he’s got it all wrong? Is he an imposter? Is he evil? Is he going to lead me astray? Do I stay away from him now? Is he talking about a different Jesus than I am? Is he talking about a different God? What have I gotten myself into now? Is he going to try to convert me? Is he going to try to tell me I am wrong? Is he going to try and take over the world? Am I an infidel? Do we suddenly have nothing in common? Do I have to shut my door to this man because he has the potential to be radicalized and kill me to honor his religion?

If you choose to live in fear, you will believe thing like that. If you choose to live in love, then perfect love casts out all fear. “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13:6-7). Therefore, I rejoice in the truth along with my newfound Muslim friend. It’s not up to me to figure out whether or not he has the right Jesus. Everything he’s told me about Jesus so far is right on with the Jesus I know, right down to His every word. God will be his judge, not me.

Find out what you agree on, and trust God for the rest. We don’t walk alone; the Holy Spirit walks with us, and He will guide us into all truth. Our job is not to make converts, but to make disciples, and we do that by walking and talking and bearing witness to what we know about Christ. God takes it from there.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:17-19)

May the Lord add His blessing to the reading of His word.

To meet the man I’m talking about, click here for last night’s BlogTalkRadio show.

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9 Responses to Living in fear or living in love

  1. John 8:23-24: He said to them, “You are from below; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He you will die in your sins.”

    John 20:31: But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.

    Acts 2:38: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    Hebrews 9:22: Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

    1 John 4:15: Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.

  2. Gary says:

    I sent you a Reply to your Reply of my Comments of yesterdays “Catch”. My reply to today’s “Catch” would be that before I realized the Love that Jesus has for me, I know what ever love I had was meaningless. Because he came into my heart, His Love became real to me. I have come to realize the truth in me needing to die daily to my old self, so that the Love of God is worked in and out from me. I am certain you have realized this truth for your self. Am I judging you, or do I see what believe I see?

  3. Mark Seguin says:

    Another good Catch Pastor John – and had the change to listen to yesterday’s Blog Talk Radio interview and I too will walk a-way thinking / believing luv to sitt down and just chat a-way w/ our new found Muslim friend & the Doctor too.

    Absolutely luv how he answered your question about Jesus dying on the cross and born again Christianity – that’s worship… I about stood up and shouted Amen & Praise God – I think that is the VERY message Muckmood (sp?) my physical therapist (PT) has been trying to explain with poor English to me… I am sooo excited about seeing him this coming Friday, the 26th…

    PS and yesterday while he was here after talking to him, my PT about I was excited listening to the blogtalk becauz of the topic he recommend to search on YouTube: Zakir Naik and I’ll tell him about BridgestoCommonGround.org 🙂

  4. DB says:

    Yoda: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

    Paul: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

    John: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

  5. Safi Kaskas says:

    I came to your show John thinking that you are a stranger, but left the show knowing that I have a brother

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