Bible Reference: 1 Peter 3:14-16
Translation: Easy-To-Read Version (ERV)
Bible Text: 14 But you may suffer for doing right. If that happens, you have God’s blessing. “Don’t be afraid of the people who make you suffer; don’t be worried.”[a]15 But keep the Lord Christ holy in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have.16 But answer them in a gentle way with respect. Keep your conscience clear. Then people will see the good way you live as followers of Christ, and those who say bad things about you will be ashamed of what they said.
OBSERVATION: Peter wanted to be sure that followers of Jesus Christ be prepared for the questions that folk will ask of us, especially when they see us acting and speaking differently to the majority of individuals they will come into contact with. In other words, if someone special resides inside of us, then His character will be revealed through us. Nothing to be ashamed of, and it should be nothing for us to brag about, but when we are asked ‘why?’, we should always be prepared to answer them about the hope that is ours, who know Jesus as Lord and Savior!
APPLICATION: Over and over I’ve seen friends whip out their wallet, or their phone, to show a photo of the latest thing that brought joy to their life – perhaps a baby boy, or a granddaughter, or a son-in-law! I have a coworker who always responds to a greeting with the words “I love my job”. He has a response that make me smile, and makes me proud of him everytime we greet each other. I wonder how willing, or prepared, or quick, Christians might be to respond truthfully about the root cause of happiness; joy; expectation or hope that is being expressed through them? I would challenge those of us who know Jesus as Lord to ensure that each day we have a fresh encounter with our God. Talk with Him – through prayer; Listen to Him – through His Word; Be guided by Him – as we ask for His direction in all decisions known and unknown that we will face today; and Praise Him – through expressing gratitude and honor for all that He has done for us. Please be careful to recognize Jesus as the healer, deliverer, guide and everlasting Father that He is. It will be so easy to follow the way of the world and attribute your ‘blessings’ to luck, or medical staff, or good friends, or the knowledge of man, and while these are awesome in their own way, our faith and our hope lies in the One to whom we belong. Friends, let’s be willing and ready to give an answer to anyone about the hope that we have. In fact, let’s be careful to give the same answer to our friends as we would give to God about our hope!
PRAYER: Merciful Father and all powerful God, thank You for choosing to work in my life. Oh though so unworthy, still I’m a child of the King! Lord, help me to not only sing that song to myself, but freely and willingly share that with others that may ask about the hope that I have. Oh that You might be glorified in and through all saints that allow You access, and ask for Your help today oh Lord, AMEN!