Posted by: mikenicholsblog | October 6, 2016

I’m convinced

Weariness has long since set in on the American electorate regarding the upcoming election. Almost everyone you know has opinions and would like you to agree with them. There was a vice presidential debate Tuesday night that was entertaining, but likely changed very few already well-established viewpoints. Convincing others how to vote, or how to live is a tough business … so take a moment to examine the word convincing with me.

Convincing another person of anything can be an exercise in futility. Issues which are of incredible importance to me often barely hit the radar screen of others in my world. How could this be when my positions are so valid (at least in my mind)?! In reality, I am comfortable with diversity of thought and appreciate that many come from different life perspectives. But one area of life where I do struggle is in convincing others on issues of faith (which is where life really matters). Because I know God’s Word changes lives, and that applying His truth is the key to a joyful journey, I get discouraged that there is so little passion for a fully devoted life.

In examining a statement by Benjamin Franklin, I began to see more clearly the weakness in my thinking. “People are best convinced by reasons they themselves discover.” I cannot transfer my relationship with Christ to another, nor can you. It is possible for others to see a brand of Christianity in our lives that works, and God can certainly use us to influence others along the way.  But to think that others will be convinced just because they hear someone say words like “prayer works”, or “tithe and trust God to provide”, or “give thanks in everything” is a bit naïve. All the statements are true, but only when a person is personally convinced will they see real change.

Benjamin Franklin told us that individuals are convinced by reasons they personally discover, and life has taught me that I am not the great convincer. So how do we deal with the word convince on critical of issues such as salvation, eternity, and living a life of faith? I passionately want anyone without Christ to accept the Savior. I also want all Christ-followers to enjoy what is available in this life of faith. But I am weak at convincing. For me, the answer is in acknowledging that I have not been created or called to be the great convincer.  My purpose is to reflect my Savior and live a life that points others to Him and His Word. God is the only One who can draw someone to Himself and change a life. But those who have ears that are listening and eyes that are open to His Word will be convinced of the need to change.

If you’re a fully-devoted follower…keep growing in the Word and see God’s blessing!
If you’re in Christ, but hurting…by faith, go to the Word and just trust it!
If you’re in Christ, but drifting…commit by faith to try the Word with a new zeal!
If you’re searching for answers…seek Him through His Word!

Reading, accepting and applying the Word will cause anyone to be convinced on how to live. Look at what Hebrews 4:12 tell us about His Word …  

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (NLT)

Is there an area of your life that needs some convincing?  And I don’t mean politically. The alive and powerful Word is the place to go for convincing and change. In my earlier years, I spent too much time as a spiritual convincer, and failed. I have now accepted that my role is to simply point others to the place where they can discover what the true Convincer has for them.

But don’t believe me, go to the Word and be convinced!

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