MISSION: CALLED TO SPEAK UP
I Peter 3:13-18
Now, who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. Remember, it is better to suffer for doing good, if that is what God wants, than to suffer for doing wrong!
Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.
Peter is encouraging us to "worship Christ as Lord of your life" and to always "be ready to explain" your hope as a believer. What a simple, practical, yet profound way to live. I know that when I am worshipping Christ as Lord of my life, I am filled with a sense of gratitude. Gratitude is the posture that allows me to be ready to explain or to share with someone, who might ask, about my faith. The former leads to the latter. By contrast, when I am living out of selfishness and self-centeredness, thinking that I am God, I am totally unprepared to offer the food of the Gospel to someone who is hungry to hear it.
Equally practical and profound are the charges to be gentle and respectful and to keep our conscience clear. When I am thinking of others before myself, I am in a much healthier place, spiritually and emotionally. When my conscience is clear, I am at peace with God, myself, and others. This kind of peace can withstand the various trials and sufferings that come our way.
1. Have you ever had the opportunity to share your hope as a believer? Describe.
2. Why do you think we are sometimes hesitant about sharing our faith?