“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” ~ 1 Peter 3:15
Notice the order of the instructions given in this verse:
- FIRST, “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts”;
- SECOND, “be ready always to give an answer… with meekness and fear.”
If we are not purposing in our hearts to live a Christ-centered life, then we can talk to people all we want about Jesus, but all we will end up doing is to give them a bad example of who the Lord really is!
Every single believer in Christ is a witness for Him, the question is what kind of witnesses are we?!
It should be our personal goal everyday to do as Romans 12:1-2 says and live godly lives, not conforming to the ways of this world but being transformed from it. This is not impossible to do since we have the indwelling Holy Spirit of God. When non-believers look at our behavior and speech, it should resemble that of Jesus!
The only way that we can be prepared to give an answer, is to be in close communication with God: through reading, meditating on, and applying His Word to our lives AND, by praying to Him often, and listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit inside us. This way, when we are called on to answer why we believe, we can give Scripture references and tell of our own experiences of living out His Word through its application to our lives. We can attest to how, in good times and bad, we have peace, joy and satisfaction that only He can give!
Neither arrogance nor pride should be involved when witnessing for Christ. As our verse points out, we are to behave with gentleness and respect in all we say and do towards unbelievers. We should not ‘beat the unsaved about the head’ with the Word of God, but rather present it with love and caring. Always we should remember the golden rule: treat others as you would want to be treated.
Thank You Jesus for coming to this earth and for shedding Your blood for the forgiveness of my sin, help me to always be a good example of You to a dying world that needs You so!!
Contributed by Mary Heuss Nelson