DATE WRITTEN: Tuesday, 2020-11-03
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS
BIBLE REFERENCE: 1 Peter 3:13-17
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
BIBLE TEXT: 13 If you are always trying to do good, no one can really harm you. 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. 17 It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong. Yes, it is better if that is what God wants.
OBSERVATION: Ever look across the room and wonder why your coworker has a smirk on their face? I remember hearing my wife ask my daughter, why exactly are you being so nice to me today, are you wanting something? However, in our Scripture today we are warned to not hide the source of our hope, but instead be prepared to share openly, if we are asked about the hope that lies within us. Have you prepared yourself for that? Let’s seek God’s direction on what we might say in response to such a question.
APPLICATION: In as much as our Christian testimony is concerned, I believe that many of us have built up a defense for not sharing our faith. Perhaps fear of additional questions; not imposing our faith on someone else; don’t know enough Scripture to boldly respond; afraid of offending the person who questioned; etc. It’s interesting how Satan builds fear into us to block our desire to share the good news of Jesus Christ! Please try to meditate on exactly what the Scripture says. ‘Be ready to give an account for the hope that lies inside of you’. Suppose that you had received a call saying that you won the sweepstakes. Although you may not have received the check yet, others can easily tell from the glee on your face, and the peace of mind in knowing you could quit work, as evidenced in almost every word you speak. Then someone raises the courage to ask you what prompted the change in your outlook. Would you hesitate telling them? No you may not have all of the answers yet, and you haven’t shown your proof of purchase that supposedly helped you win, but this whole thing has given you a new outlook on life. So moving on to the subject of your faith. A friend introduced you to the good news of Jesus Christ and convinced you that they had been praying for your salvation. Over the past 3 months since that transformation in your life, you have felt so loved by the Creator of the world, so cared for by the Savior of the world, and so directed in every aspect of life by the Holy Spirit, that you find yourself constantly humming the tune to ‘Why Me Lord’. But then a very close friend of yours, who also noticed the change in your life, asks you why? What is it that fills your life with joy each and every day? I need some of that. Will you open your mouth and allow the Holy Spirit to supply the right words, or will you start looking for excuses on how you might wiggle out of this Q&A? May I suggest that you always look for ways to share the Good News, instead of looking for a way to escape such a privilege? Notice how the Scripture tells us that it is better to suffer (if it comes to that) for doing good, than to suffer for doing wrong. You have two ways of looking at that friend who asked you the question: 1). When they kneel alongside of you in heaven, because you shared the joy of Christ that filled your soul; or 2). Look them in the eye outside the gates of heaven and answer them on why you never told them the good news of Jesus Christ. Consider which of those will make your day, and allow that to drive your decision to quickly, humbly and boldly respond positively about your faith. For those who will read this devotional and have not accepted Jesus as Lord yet, I pray that you will never encounter a bashful Christian. May we all be ready to give an account, or an explanation, for the joy that fills our heart. For there is no greater joy than to live in great expectation of being taken home to glory where we will be with Jesus eternally.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord Jesus for those who prayed for me and shared Your love with me while still a sinner. Thank You also for that precious day when I surrendered my life wholly and solely over to You. The joy of knowing You as Lord has been a road filled with joy and expectation for the day when I shall see You face to face. That kind of joy is not suited for keeping bottled up inside, so please fill me with boldness to share my joy, my faith, and the love that I feel from my Savior who loves me, with everyone that I come into contact with – especially those who may ask about the impact on my life. Lord, use me as Your vessel to share the Good News with all who need it. Heaven is real, and it is plenty big enough for all that accept You as Lord. Glorify Yourself today in and through Your messengers who read this devotional and take it to heart. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while you be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!