This week’s our Children’s Pastor shared a great devotion with our church, so I thought I would share it on my blog:
The Oregon weather during the past number of weeks has gone from warm and sunny to cold enough for snow flurries! I have loved the extremes here, and it has really made me think about preparedness on a variety of levels: starting with the clothes I wear each day but then, more importantly, praying that God would prepare me in the way Scripture describes in 1 Peter.
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.”
I love this verse! Some of you that know me may be laughing because you’ve heard me say that about many different verses in Scripture! It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite—I now have a top 10 instead of top 5.
This verse is jam-packed with wisdom! Take a look at the order in this verse….
1) Revere Christ in your heart as Lord
2) Be prepared to talk to people about the hope that you have (JESUS)
3) Remember to talk to people with gentleness and respect
Jesus has to be respected and worshipped as Lord in your heart first and foremost. That is heavy-duty interior work because He isn’t just the Lord over one part of our life…He is THE LORD over all of our life. We can’t compartmentalize Him.
And when Jesus is the Lord of our life, joy springs forth. You can’t help but focus on Jesus and the hope that He brings. It’s an ongoing growth process that develops each of us into a more hopeful person in every aspect of our life.
As we talk about the hope that we have in Jesus, the Holy Spirit guides us in those conversations with gentleness and respect. Gentleness and respect flow from a heart that is yielded to Jesus and a desire to share the hope that we have. I appreciate that Scripture includes a reminder to us of the fact that there is a way to share our hope. That way is the way of Jesus. When He is Lord of our life and we have put all our hope in Him, we don’t have to strive to fit Him into conversations. He will actually guide us with what to say and when to say it. Sometimes we don’t say anything and it’s the kindness and the love that flows from Jesus through us that speaks the loudest.
Often we think of accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior as a one-time decision. This is totally true…and it’s also true that keeping Him central, as the highest authority in our life, is a choice that we make every day. It’s waking up and asking God, “What do you want to accomplish through me today?” It’s taking time mid-day to ask, “How am I doing, Lord?” It’s yielding all the results of the day to Him at night by telling Him, “I give you this day and all that was in it: Please use the successes and redeem the mistakes so that it may be pleasing to You and give You glory, Lord”.
In my walk with the Lord, these daily practices have been incredibly life-giving and have helped me to be better prepared for both exhilarating and devastating days, and also for the many days that fall somewhere in between these two extremes.