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Now for Then

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In I Peter 3:15, God instructs his people through the Apostle...

...But in your hearts, honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you...

As anxiety-inspiring as sharing your faith can be, God gives us the amazing privilege of pointing others to Jesus and the very same hope that shines from us, by His grace. But are you prepared now for then, for that moment when someone "asks"? Are you "always" prepared? Do you have reasons that you are prepared to share when a conversation starts?

Take time to carefully consider these questions and what you would say about the hope or peace or strength or love that the Holy Spirit makes apparent in your life. What would you tell an unbeliever about where it comes from and why it's there? How would you point someone to the Christ you are honoring in your heart?

In the COMMENT section below, please include what you would share. It could be a one sentence 'springboard' to a larger conversation. It could be three simple points like our ABCs of New Life. It could be a paragraph-long version of your own testimony. 

Whatever you share, don't write it and forget it. Be prepared with it. Always be prepared with it. And let's pray that, whatever we share below, God would allow us to share that reason, those reasons, with those who need to hear it/them most.

(to learn more, consider the message, "Get Defensive for Jesus")

 

13 Comments

At work I get a lot shocked reactions about how old my kids are and how long I've been married. I tell them it's with Gods grace and lot of forgiveness over the years. It's been a good way to lower defenses and talk about God and their past hurts and ways to respond with God as Hope.

Romans 8:18"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." This are the words that inspire me daily to fight the battle. Every struggle in our walking life has a reason either to make us stronger or to learn something from it. I have learned that he is a mercyful God and he will be with you, even on the worse days.

Freedom from sin and self and fear. Comfort in unfailing love. Peace in a world of strife and uncertainty. Hope in promises that will never fail.

I used to have a hard time feeling and believing in the love that God has/had in store for me. Often thinking of all the bad that I've endured over the years but through his Grace I have become the man I am today, the skills I have today are a reflection in His work within me. His work is ever changing in me and I am so gracious for someone that owes me nothing but instead provides me with everything I need because of His love for me. The very breath we breathe is because of his Grace!

Because I am blessed!

The person that I am, what you see in me, is Jesus. His own Spirit dwells in me because I have believed in Him and proclaim Him as Lord and Savior of my life. The person that I was, without Him, cared little for anyone else. I have been through a lot in my life, as most of us have. He is the One who will never leave, always loves me, never thinks bad thoughts toward me, always forgives me, always hears me and is the true lover of my soul. Not a person on this earth will ever love me the way He does! I stand before God the Father righteous because of my sweet Savior, Jesus Christ.

Look here, man; Christ gave me new life, and I ain't got Nothin' to fear.

What you see IN me is not OF me. It is a direct result of love; the love of the One who both made me and remade me.

I was lonely and floundering, desperate for peace and acceptance, looking in all the wrong places. God began to open my eyes to my own sin. The realization of who I was before Him put fear in my heart, recognizing that I deserved only the wrath of a holy God. He left me there for a few years. I cried out for a solution. I didn't know what to do.
In a moment one day, I surrendered everything I was and everyone I loved. In that moment, He lifted my burden and overwhelmed me with His peace, love and acceptance. He gave me a new heart to hunger for holiness and to live for Him. Over the years since then, there have been many difficult years. Bud He has never failed me, always been patient as I've stumbled along, always given me the grace I've needed in every situation, always brought me back to a new and deeper walk when I've strayed. I don't know how I lived without Him and I look forward to the day when I see Him face to face!

For me the specific reasons/things I say depends on the situation. When I have people who talk about being good as being a criteria for "getting into heaven," I generally share how I had heard that before, but when I became curious about God, I learned that none of us are ever good enough on our own, because we all want to be "kings" or "queens" of our own lives. And then I talk about how when I felt like everything in my life was falling apart, God was the one constant who didn't push me away, but instead rescued me and gave me purpose. I often encounter people struggling with very hard things in their lives as well, and I've had the opportunity to sit with people in the midst of anxiety attacks as well as those grieving. In the intensity of the moment, they often just want someone to sit with them and be there, and I’m thankful that I’m able to do that. Those moments always lead later to conversations about where to find true comfort and Who can rescue us from the desperation of life and redeem it for good. And when I’m with someone and things are great for them, I try to always remember to thank God for the blessings He’s given them in front of them which often also opens a door to conversation.

When dealing with culture at work, and have to correct language or behavior. When I get asked, I never hear you do or say... I often say " Oh but you don't know the real me, old me" I am no saint. but I have an anchor"...
This has been a great tool to make and build relationships with people and when the Lord gives me the opportunity to share, because they ask, it is such a blessing to praise my Savior and King Jesus Christ.

Jesus' great love toward me causes my very soul to rejoice. He lived for me, His perfect & obedient life- a life acceptable to God- one I could never live, not on my 'best' day. He didn't stop there- He willfully took on Himself the wrath I deserve! And He rose again: His sacrifice is the only acceptable one to The Holy God Yahweh. My own sacrifice would NEVER suffice, it wouldn't be enough to bring me into relationship with God, my sin stained life would taint my best try at a sacrifice. But His life, death, and resurrection is enough! Jesus is the only One who meets the mark because He is Yahweh!
Why would Almighty God do that?! He loves people - we are made in His own image. He is a gracious, merciful and kind God. He is also holy so He must deal with my sin and He has! He is worthy of my praise and yours! I delight in Him and in being loved by Him! He delights in me as He does His very own Son. Wow <3
No matter how rough my day, I can confidently proclaim: "It is well with my soul!" because I am loved and have been loved by God! This is what compels me to live for Him daily. He is my prize. I long for Him and the day I no longer struggle against my sinful flesh but until then He strengthens and empowers me to remember His love and to leave it all at the cross and aim to live for Him and to make His name known.

Too blessed by our Lord to be stressed.

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