"But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15
n1 Peter 3:15...this was the Scripture reference that we taught the children in Vacation Bible School this summer at our church. I heard 1 Peter 3:15 each day, and I prayed about it and thought about it. As Christ followers, I believe all of us want others to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. However, many times we think we have to know this verse of the Bible or that verse of the Bible. Maybe we even feel like we don't know enough about faith to start sharing with others just yet. Maybe we feel like we need to be in church a little longer or take an extra class on faith sharing. WRONG! You can share Jesus from the first moment the Holy Spirit of God indwells your soul! Now don't get me wrong, I believe it is important...even essential...for the Christ follower to study the Word and know the Bible. I believe it is important for the Christ follower's faith to grow daily and to be plugged into a church family, even a small group family. And sure, you may even get a little more or a lot more comfortable in sharing Jesus with others over time. But listen to Peter again in 1 Peter 3:15. "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." In the moment you admit your sin to God and believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in your heart, you are a new creature. Your heart no longer calls sin its "lord" or "master." Now your heart calls Jesus "Lord" and "Master." Jesus becomes your Hope...hope for today and hope for tomorrow! You see things differently. You hear things differently. You say things differently. You do things differently. And people will notice. They may ask you questions like these: "Why do you look at them that way?" "Why are you listening to them?" "Why are you talking to them?" "Why are you doing that for them?" And then you can tell them about the Hope who lives inside of you. But remember to do it with "gentleness and respect." God didn't call you to win people for the Lord through forceful words or forceful actions. He called you to win them to the Lord through sacrificial love. Today you and I will have the chance...to share the Hope. I pray that Hope abounds!!!