In todays reading of 1 Peter 3, Peter gave godly advice to husbands and wives with guidance on suffering for righteousness sake. He gave wise instruction on how to grow in grace and live a godly life.. and he encouraged them as he encourages us.. to live in harmony with our Christian brothers and sisters.
But, there is one more piece of godly wisdom that Peter wants to share to all who know Jesus. No matter where we live or what our life-circumstances may be, as God’s children, we should be ready to answer anyone who asks us about our faith in Christ and our trust in God.
This brings me to a very personal experience I had…
In 1992, I had graduated from Bible College and lived in a small apartment, while I was teaching preschool and leading a before/after school program. This was my first experience of complete independence. I was visiting Churches in my new town and deciding what would be a good “fit” for me. After visiting one particular church, I received a phone call. I still recall the sinking feeling I had while on the phone with the caller. My stomach still falls and my cheeks turn red just thinking about the conversation and my answer to the question she asked me. Because of this, I am not sure I have ever shared this incident with anyone. But, the verse we read in 1 Peter 3 puts that phone call in perspective and reminds me of a HUGE lesson I learned that day so many years ago…
ALWAYS BE PREPARED
TO GIVE AN ANSWER
WHO ASKS YOU!
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”
The kind lady asked me a few preliminary questions about my beliefs and then asked me, “Well, Stephanie, can I ask you why you think you will go to Heaven when you die?” I do not even remember thinking, I responded quickly with, “I will go to Heaven because I am a good person, I go to Church, and I always try to do the right thing.” (Did I mention I had already graduated from Bible College?!?!?!) I think I literally felt shame as I heard her respond to me. She said, “Stephanie, I am sure you are a good person and do good things, but, that is NOT going to get you into Heaven. You get to go to Heaven because Jesus Christ died on the cross FOR YOU and has forgiven you of your sins. Not because of anything you have done or can do.” I still can picture myself on the corded phone sitting in the little corner of my apartment listening to this lady. I agreed with her and then ended the phone call quickly as I was too embarrassed for this lady to know anything else about me. I felt so much shame right then and there! I know that my answer did not change anything God felt for me on that day (Thank You Jesus for Your Grace and Mercy on me)!! And, I still know that I would have gone to Heaven, because in my heart of hearts I knew what the lady said was true. But, guess what???? I was NOT prepared with an answer! Nobody had flat out asked me that question before! We think we will answer the right way, but will we when we are put on the spot???
I am much better sharing my experiences with people and how God has worked in my life. I can share an event and the Hope that I had in Christ and how the answers came (usually never as I expected). But, am I ready with direct answers to questions others may have about my Hope in Jesus? I learned from this phone conversation over 20 years ago, that I must prepare myself daily to be ready with an answer. To be ready, I must ask God for daily wisdom. I also, must daily fill myself with His Word, so that I know and can recall Jesus’ Love and Hope that He wants me to share with others. God wants to use us daily to share our Hope that we have in HIM. Are you ready with your answer?