Verse: 1 Peter 3:15
but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect
This is one of my all time favorite verses. There’s so many important messages packed into one little verse for us. Let’s break it down by the commands within it.
In your hearts, honor Christ as holy. Just before this, the previous verse says not to fear or be frightened, but to set your heart on the Lord and his holiness. What a beautiful contrast to fear. We do not have to be afraid of the world because when we set our sights on our Savior, we know that we serve the One who has already overcome the world.
The next command is to always be prepared/ready to give the reason for our hope. What a command! This is the particular part of the verse that makes it one of my favorites. Listen to the beautiful wording of this command again. We are to always be ready to give the reason for the hope that we have in our soul. Think of your testimony, of all of the ways He has redeemed brokenness in your life, so now you have a hope for the future. That doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. But, it does mean that God didn’t leave you where He found you. He is in the work of repairing broken souls, or sanctifying your soul, of drawing you near and showing you real love, and redeeming us so that we can set our sights on the eternal hope of our Savior. This work is the reason for our hope. We are to be ready to share how He has worked in our lives with everyone He places in our paths.
But friend, don’t miss this part. He includes it for a reason. We are to give this testimony with GENTLENESS and RESPECT. This is how we sow the seeds, how we fish for people. We will not win people to Christ by talking about them and by using harsh words. The only way to witness to others is to approach with humility and gentleness. That doesn’t mean that we water down Truth, but that we present the Truth in love.
What an important reminder. What an important reflection. Set your heart on the Lord. Be ready to give the reason for the hope you have. Be gentle and respectful. It feels like we’re at an important time in our world for such a clear reminder.
Lord, thank you for bringing us this clear command to remind our hearts of this truth today. Jesus, show me how to be still for a moment and reflect on my reasons for hope. Help me to remember all of the work you’ve done in my life to being restoration, life, and hope. Bring me an opportunity to give the reason for my hope to someone this week. Holy Spirit, use me. Show me how to speak with gentleness and respect. Guide my words and steps in order to show Your light to the world. Amen
Author: Becca Artymenko
Thank you, Becca. Reasoning with gentleness and respect honors God and the other person, preventing words and attitudes I can’t take back, and gives an opportunity to really understand the other person as well as being understood.