Apologetics Tip #1: Love The Lord Your God

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“Love the Lord your God
with all your heart,
and with all your soul,
and with all your mind,
and with all your strength”
Mark 12:30 (ESV)

Anyone who wants a fight can find one. There are plenty of eager arguers out there. Many of these combatants, no matter how mean-spirited or foolhardy they may be, call themselves “Apologists.” As a result, apologetics gets labeled as negative, critical, or divisive. Now to be fair, even if all apologists were gracious, loving, little doves in their defense of truth we’d probably still have people slandering us as mean and narrow. That’s no excuse, however, for being tactless brutes. People may call us whatever they want, but we owe it to God to defy our own bad press. Instead, any and every aspiring apologist should remember that in that famous apologetics passage, 1 Peter 3:15-16, it introduces the task of apologetics by saying, “But in your heart, set apart Christ as Lord.” And, the first and greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). Our apologetics has to be framed within utter devotion to the Lord. This point may seem elementary, but it’s easy to let our apologetics slip from defending Christ to defending ourselves, our status, or our reputation. Be careful to direct your deepest devotion to Christ. Love God first and foremost. Feast on His truths in daily quiet time. Pray like there’s no tomorrow. Engage in regular Christian fellowship and worship at a local church. And invest in a healthy growing relationship with Christ as the fuel, the fire, the foundation for your public apologetics ministry. Put another way, let your love of Christ be so strong that you cannot help but defend Him wherever he may be slandered.

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