Islam is “Strong” & Christianity is “Weak”

Thursdays are usually geared towards answering theological questions I receive in my role as a pastor.  However, today I wanted to share a piece that takes a brief look at one of the fundamental differences between Islam and Christianity.  May it be a helpful tool for discussion and an encouragement to your soul.
—Pastor Phillip


Islam is a religion of strength.  Christianity is a religion of weakness… and that’s a good thing.

Allah shows his deity by overwhelming force,  while Yahweh shows His by self-sacrificing love.

Both call their followers to act in the same way as their god.

Yet, while the world magnifies strength as the surest path to victory, strength will always eventually fail.  Force will eventually reach the end of its capability, and if it is on strength that salvation and victory depend, it is sure to fail as soon as the well of strength runs dry.

But, if victory is gained through weakness, then it is eternally available and always close at hand.

The beauty of Christianity is that if salvation comes through surrender, then deliverance can be had in any circumstance by any person who will lay down their claim to capability and embrace the sufficiency of the cross of Christ and the love of the Christ of the cross.

That means that as a follow of Christ, you don’t have to be strong all the time because Jesus will be strong for you.

May you surrender to Him today.

– – – – –

(NOTE: Islam also teaches the importance of surrender to the will of Allah, but the most fundamental difference between the two faiths is in the action and character not of their disciples, but of their deities.)

When You Trust God, His Grace Gives You Strength

Think about this for a moment: When you and I doubt God’s grace, we fall into the same trap that the serpent prepared for our first parents in the garden.

It means we are listening to the sly voice of the deceiver when he says…

“God doesn’t really love you.
He doesn’t really have your best interest in mind.
He won’t really come through on His promises to you, won’t really provide for you.”

If you believe this, you will begin to draw away from God and His presence and draw closer to whatever “forbidden fruit” you feel will step in to provide whatever you think the Father is withholding from you.

Yet, for each one of us, on the days that we do this, we die a little more inside.

How much greater it is for us to turn our eyes away from the pale fruit of lifeless, forbidden things, and instead feast our eyes and our souls and our spirits on the goodness of God in Christ and the glory of the wonder of the cross!

How much stronger in heart we are when we let the Spirit nurture and provide for us, rather than seeking sustenance elsewhere in things that will never satisfy!

May you close your ears to the lies of the serpent and open your eyes to the grace of God.  That’s the place you will find strength as you trust that whatever His methods and timing for working in your life, they are ultimately and always for His glory and your joy.

Always.

Victorious Vulnerability

What if “standing strong” was your greatest weakness?

For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn–fighting without and fear within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.”  -2 Corinthians 7:5-7

How encouraging to know that even a great man of God like the Apostle Paul had struggles and seasons of fear.  How validating to know that opposition is normal in the Christian life and that fear comes after the best of us.

Here’s what Paul knows, though, and what can become a huge key to our freedom. God uses our admission of vulnerability as a doorway through which He sends people to let us know we’re not alone.

The religious spirit takes a “just me and Jesus” attitude, partly out of pride, and partly out of the fear of being judged for not having it all together.

“I’m just trusting God” can sometimes be merely the Christian way of saying “I can handle it, so leave me alone.”

How good is our Father, then, that He would continue to send people to break down our walls of self-imposed isolation and step in to our hurt so we can walk out of it together!

Christian community doesn’t promise all the answers and understanding.  It gives us the freedom of knowing we don’t have to struggle alone.

Be Strengthened

A prayer for you today…

May you be given power today, power from the Creator who spoke the stars into being.
Let Him speak into your life.

May you be given strength today, strength from the God who holds the universe together.
Let Him hold up your heart.

May you have endurance and patience with others, and may you be filled with joy as you remember how much endurance and patience God has with you.

May you give thanks to the Father today as you remember how the blood of Jesus makes you worthy to be called God’s Child.

May you rejoice today that Jesus delivered you from the darkness of sin and brought you into the light of forgiveness.  Receive His forgiveness.

May you remember that since you didn’t deserve any of these gifts, you can’t un-deserve them any more, either, and nothing can take them away.

–(amen)–

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:11-14)

Psalm 57: Harnessed to Glory

PSALM 57

1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. 2 I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!

4 My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts– the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords.

5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Read morePsalm 57: Harnessed to Glory

GET YOUR LAUNCH LIST BONUSES NOW!

Let's do this together.

WHAT TYPE OF ORGANIZATION IS THIS FOR? (Primarily)