Day 11 – When What You Think and Feel Don’t Matter

Your Next 40 Days - Day 11

Read

2 Timothy 4:2-5

Reflect

Ever try to return something to a store, only to discover you have missed the return deadline? You can complain and disagree, but you missed it.

I walk away thinking “I wish their return policy was different”, “their refund policy should be different” (okay, sometimes I even think other things…).

But what I think or believe is kind of irrelevant at that point, isn’t it? All I’ve got is a toaster I don’t need or an ill-fitting shirt. I’m stuck.

Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

There are more than a few things in life I don’t like: rain on my vacation, disease, speeding tickets, car repairs, malfunctioning computers, famine, or broken relationships.

Sometimes when it comes to what we believe about eternity, it’s easy to think “Well I don’t agree with hell, or that Jesus is the only way to heaven, so I just won’t believe in it.”

But does not liking something mean that it’s not true?

If you lived your life that way (disbelieving things you don’t like or agree with) would things generally go better or worse for you?

So here’s a tough question we’re all wrestling with:

Why would eternity be any different?

It’s not a fun question to ask, but it just might save your life.

Respond

Belong – Because you can belong before you believe.
If you apply a different standard of logic to eternity than you do to everyday life, any idea why you do that? How helpful do you think will that be in the end?

Believe – Because those who belong often start to believe.
How has your acceptance of things you might not like helped you grow as a person?

Become – Because everyone who believes can become someone new.
Which friend(s) comes to mind when you read today’s devotion? Is there any way you can help them (better) prepare for eternity?

Dear God, thanks for providing us with advance information about eternity – even information we might not like to hear. Help it to lead us into truth and into life.  Amen.

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4 Comments

  1. Mike says, April 11, 2013 at 9:11 am

    Wow. What a fantastic reading today. I have been challenging myself to be more “outsider” focused and braver in reaching out to others with the Good News. This hit home with me.
    The culture of today seems fixated on inventing their own spirituality. They reject the truth and seek the myths. The truth was clearly presented to us in Jesus. Thanks for the devotional and for asking the tough questions.

    • Carey Nieuwhof says, April 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      Mike…so glad it spoke to you. That line of thinking has always been very persuasive to me and instrumental in my own faith life.

      And you’re right Christopher, being prepared is a great approach in this!

  2. Christopher says, April 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

    PREACH!!
    I have seen more of this kind of thinking than I care to dwell on of late. My children are having a VERY difficult time with this…
    Dear Jesus, help us to recognize truth and act rightly upon it, even if it’s difficult to swallow.

    Yeah, that’s a bold prayer. And one that will likely impact my life before it impacts someone else. I need to be careful what I ask for.

  3. Christopher says, April 11, 2013 at 9:58 am

    “I need to be ‘careful’ what I ask for.” Perhaps ‘prepared for’ is a better turn of phrase in this context… 🙂

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