Text: 1 Peter 3:13-17
Theme: We should share our hope with others in a bold yet respectful way.
Key verses: “…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…than to suffer for doing wrong!” (v. 15-17).
What God said to me: Son, in this world you will have tribulation. If you live for me and stand up for me in front of others, you will be misunderstood, unappreciated and ridiculed. That is inevitable. You are not better than your Master. If I suffered, so will you. However, be sure it’s not because you egged it on and somehow brought it on yourself. The idea of doing “good” is somewhat relative in your modern society. For example, one person sees holding a door open for a lady as a good and thoughtful thing, while another interprets it as offensive. But don’t forget that I placed in every person a sense of what is right and wrong and good and evil. Anyone if they are honest about it can tell whether someone is trying to do good or not. That is what Peter meant here. Seek to do things that others should see as good and fitting for a Christian. They may not like or appreciate your good deeds, but they would be hard-pressed to deny that your actions fall on the side of helpful and good. Take for instance Pastor Lynn being arrested this past week for preaching on a street corner in Canada. He did nothing but share about my love with those passing by. He was careful to be gracious and respond with respect to those who mocked him and tried to intimidate him. He by all accounts epitomized what Peter was exhorting Christians everywhere to do. Perhaps one day the people who belittled him will look back and feel shame for their actions. Perhaps they will remember his goodness and message and turn to me. That is what you need to pray for your dissenters and naysayers. (If you don’t have them now; hold on, you will.)
What I said to God: Thank you Lord for speaking to me today. I hope I never take for granted Your mercy and grace shown on me that You would care for me and take time to commune with me as friend with friend. That is so incredible. Forgive me when I take such privilege for granted. I can’t get an audience with kings or presidents, but I can meet with the King of kings and Lord of lords anytime day or night. Wow what love! Please help me boldly stand for you and proclaim Your love and Your Word to people around me who need to know the Truth, the Life and the Way. I know this is an area where I’ve always been weak and made excuses. Yet, how can I accept that as who I am? I am Your child. I have Your light in me. You said we are to let our light so shine before others that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. By Your grace and power, I will be both bold and respectful and strive to keep my conscience clear by only doing what is good and being good in Your sight.