Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Depending Hope

Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.  1 Peter 3:15

YOU NEVER KNOW when it will happen. You might be on an airplane, at the office water cooler, in the backyard talking to a neighbor, in church, or in your child's room putting him or her to bed. Something--your kindness, the other person's need, an event in the news, a family problem--may prompt the person to ask you about your faith. Are you ready? What will you say? How will you say it?

Questions about our faith may come in all kinds of varieties--intellectual, ethical, or personal--but at the bottom of them all, people want to know if our faith experience is rich and real and if it makes a difference in how we live.  They are also looking for hope. They long to know they are loved, forgiven and accepted by God, and they need somebody to tell them that yes, it;s true: God loves them, too.

When the question is asked, it's too late to prepare our hearts.  We must get ready to answer the question by "sanctifying" Christ in our hearts, putting Him first, above all other affections.  When our love for Him transcends everything else in our lives (and even if we're actively struggling to love Him more than anything else) we're ready.  Our words will reflect our hearts, and authenticity is incredibly attractive to people.

We don't argue people into Kingdom, and we don't intimidate them into becoming God's beloved children. Peter reminds us that our demeanor should be "with meekness and fear," realizing the awesome and responsibility and privilege of communicating the light of the gospel to a darkened heart.

Are you ready?

If someone asked you about your faith today, what would you say and how would you say it?

What are some specific things you can do to "sanctify" Christ in your heart so you're be ready?

"If knowing Jesus means a lot to you-- and you know Him, it does--then let me urge you to pray for God's guidance so that you might witness effectively, and for God's courage so that you will witness often."--ZIG ZIGLAR

full script source:  Daily Insight with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard

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