The writers of are celebrating their fifteen year landmark by making their 365 daily devotional book, God Moments, available as a free digital download! A total of thirty-six GABC writers have faithfully captured “moments of God’s presence” in their lives to encourage your own spiritual journey. You can find God Moments on, iTunes, and

NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

No Apologies: Day 4

…But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
I Peter 3:15, 16

My friend who—as she saw it—barely restrained herself from accosting her fellow Bible study member is a most gracious and soft-spoken Southern lady. When I told my husband the story of her response, he agreed that at her most riled up, she is hardly offensive. But she knew her heart and she wanted to do better.

Whether we see a shortcoming in the area of gentleness or of respect, the problem is the same and it circles us back to keeping our focus on Christ. And as the passage shows us today, it is about so much more than words. It is the witness of our lives which provides the platform on which our words will stand or fall.

This summer I read a story that captures this so poignantly. It is also a deeply encouraging example as we read at the news coming from the Middle East, and wonder if anything good can come from all this:

The radical Muslims that are storming through towns and villages in several Middle Eastern countries allow one outcome: conversion to their brand of Islam or death, often by barbaric means. Moderate Muslims as well as Christians have seen their homes destroyed and family members killed or taken captive. The result is that in places like Iraq and Egypt, as Muslims flee for their lives, they seek shelter in churches and relief centers operated by Christian agencies. Here they have been given food and clothing and the love of Christ. Those who have so little in the way of food, shelter and safety, are both sharing and risking what they have with those who could be rightly considered their enemies.

The result of their self-sacrifice is that Muslims are turning to Christ. There is little coverage of this unseen spiritual revolution, and that is probably for the best. Only in eternity will the harvest that has come out of this time in this brutal, war-ravaged place be revealed. In response to their sacrifice, we might consider doing two things:

First, let the evening news from the Middle East serve as a reminder to pray -- right then and there -- for Christians in the Middle East.

Secondly, to think about their example the next time our unsaved neighbor’s dog or child violates the “sanctity” of the property line and breaks a window or tramples our shrubs. Before doing or saying anything, no matter how justified we may be, let us pray for the wisdom and grace to respond in a way that is worthy of our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters.

Nancy Shirah

No comments: