Daily Devotionals

Believe It or Not Week 4 Friday

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

When we look at other religions, it is helpful to understand their origin story. For example, the religion of Islam was started by a 25-year-old man named Muhammad who lived in Mecca. He worked for a wealthy older woman named Khadija as a member of a trade caravan. Later, he married his elderly wealthy boss and became very disenchanted with the religious landscape of Mecca after ten years of marriage. The Arab people worshiped many different idols, and he wanted to unite them under one common banner. 

Muhammad started to leave for extended periods, by himself, to look for answers in a wilderness cave. During one of his solo journeys, he claimed that the Angel Gabriel brought him a revelation from “god.” The angel commissioned him to be a prophet of “god.” The Angel Gabriel told him many things, but Muhammad could not write them down because he was illiterate. Muhammad went home and told his wife about his experience, and she encouraged him to pursue his new calling.

 Many people in Mecca did not like this prophet’s grand story, so they kicked him out of the city. Muhammad and his prophets moved to a city called Medina, where he declared himself the prophet of Allah (god). This date is remembered because it starts the Muslim calendar. 

 Later, Muhammad and his followers started to gain military power and conquered his hometown of Mecca. After that strategic victory, his army began to spread Islam quickly. However, Muhammad continued to have many visions throughout his life, including that he was the last prophet of Allah. Therefore, no one could succeed him, which caused a lot of arguments amongst his followers after his death. This is why we have two major sects, one being more radicalized.   

The basic beliefs are simple: 

1. There is no god but Allah.

2. They believe the only valid view of Jesus Christ is in the Koran (their religious book).

3. In the Koran, it says Jesus was the son of Mary and was a servant of God, but not God.

4. You become a Muslim by proclaiming that “there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.”

5. There is a definite bonus for men because they control everything, and women must submit to them, both now and in eternity. 

Jesus came with a different message. He had no army, He fulfilled thousands of prophetic scriptures, and after His death, He appeared to hundreds of people who carried His message. But the most convincing argument is that he claimed to be God in the flesh. In our passage above, Jesus says, “I and the Father are one.” Think about this statement. The implications are far-reaching in our belief in God. We cannot say anything about God the Father, God the Son, or God the Holy Spirit that is not true of all of them. God did not send part of Himself to die on the cross for humanity. He sent all of Himself. 

Moving Toward Action

There are a lot of confusing things about other religious beliefs. Islam makes many claims. Sometimes they claim that the god of Islam and the God of the Bible are the same. However, Jesus never called his followers to bring people to faith through war. Nor did He give one person preference over the other (Col. 3:1-11). Instead, He said, “So the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Matt. 20:16). He longs for all people to come to know His saving grace.

Take a moment and reflect on the differences between Islam and Christianity. Thank God for how He revealed Himself to many and came to earth to die on the cross.

Going Deeper

Philippians 2:5-11 (NLT)

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing

by taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death—

even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

and gave him the name that is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.