Carey Lewis Devotions
Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
Matthew 16 (Part 7)
Reasonable Debates
O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?
Matthew 16:5-11 (NKJV)
But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels.
2 Timothy 2:23 (NASB)
To know God's Thoughts are higher than our thoughts is a Truth we must strive to remember.* Since our perspective is like a pin point compared to His panoramic vision; since our brains are like those of small children compared to the infinite Mind of Christ; since our wisdom is like stupidity compared to God's unscalable brilliance...

Since God says man-to-man debates don't help,** like mean children squabbling on a playground; since God forbids contention among kin, like bickering spouses on Divorce Court; since Christ showed non-retaliation, unlike old eye-for-an-eye vendettas; since He won every debate He entered, despite scholars thinking they could best Him...

Actors, models and talent for Christ: Consider godly debate guidelines:

1) Questioning God's sovereign Mind is more than the dumbest delusion. It's a dangerous ploy from Satan. However, a few Bible heroes did question the Lord respectfully, and He was willing to answer them.***

2) Questioning interpretations or meanings of various Verses is wise. Cast your net wide among scholars (and don't depend on just one person). Better: ask God Himself for wisdom. His Word promises He will give it.****

3) Debating or wrangling with skeptics, bigots or intellectual snobs (about anything including Christ) is a waste of time and energy. The devil promotes such encounters for the animosity they bring. Wise men avoid futile arguments.

4) Jesus the Man won every debate His Father prompted Him to enter. He out-reasoned Jewish Pharisees, Sadducees, leaders, lawyers and scribes. Because God's Holy Spirit led Him. He will also lead you when needed.*****

To Be Continued...

* Isaiah 55:8-9: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2055:8-9

* 8 Bible Verses on Our Awesome God: https://blog.faithlife.com/blog/2014/09/8-bible-verses-about-how-big-god-is/

** Previous AMTC Devotion: Skeptics, The Professional Kind: http://amtcdevotions.org/skeptics-part-10-the-professional-kind

*** For instance, Abraham 'debated' with God concerning the destruction of Sodom. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+18%3A16-32&version=NASB

*** Here are a few more God-man Bible debates: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/4-people-who-successfully-argued-god

**** 'If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him' (James 1:5).

**** My first and second (man-written) 'Go-To' sources for Verse and Scripture interpretations. They're not always right. Only God is. However, wise scholars of yesterday and today are offering their most educated and prayerful considerations.

#1: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/

#2: https://www.gotquestions.org

***** 'For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say' (Luke 12:12).


P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Matthew 16 series.


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