The Opportunity

January 19, 2021
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Listen while you read: "Lord This Day Thy Children Meet"1 (Lyrics)

1 Peter 3:15a – But in your hearts set apart 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. (NIV)

As usual, Frank, my gelding, was standing against the corral gate when I went out to feed and clean. As I opened the gate, I asked him to step back so that I could get myself and the cleaning toboggan through. He did step back, but just as I hefted the toboggan clear of the gate so that I could close it, Frank saw his opportunity, and in a heartbeat, lunged through the opening. I had to laugh, as it seemed pretty obvious that he had been prepared and was just waiting for the right moment to get out for a good gallop. As we are fenced and gated, this was not a problem, and I knew that he would come back into the corral as soon as he saw his hay being forked into the tub.

To me, this incident was not only humorous but also sobering, as I recalled today's verse in regard to being always prepared and looking for opportunities to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have — of God with us daily, of forgiveness of sins, of peace amidst conflict and uncertainty, and of eternity with Christ. God desires that we be ready to share this hope with others, as opportunity presents itself. Peter does not tell us to be prepared to shove our spiritual views down everyone's throat who doesn't believe as we do. He doesn't tell us to trap people into hearing what we have to say. He doesn't tell us to go out into the streets and tell everyone passing by about our hope. He simply states, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."

So, the question for us today is, am I prepared? Are you? Have we given enough thought to the reason for the hope that we have within us, that we could quickly, concisely, respectfully, and lovingly share it with our friends, family, neighbours, or co-workers if and when they should ask? And if we haven't, what are we going to do about it?

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the reason for the hope that we have: Jesus Christ. Enable us to be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give them the reason for that hope. Open the hearts and minds of those who need You, to be willing to ask us for that reason. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Hi, thanks for the message.

    So many folks get this wrong Lynne. Blessings.

    Thanks, Lynne. An amusing story to help us remember the importance of preparation.

    Dear Lynne,
    Thanks for another wonderful devotional with a good challenge.

    Amen. Lynne, thanks for sharing.
    Christ in us our hope of Glory.

    Thanks, Lynne, for sharing this somewhat humorous devotional with us. We had a Welsh pony who was also an escape artist. Animals can present us with a challenge, but also necessary help and companionship. Blessings.

    Thank you.
    My son and daughter-in-law have four horses and a bucket full of stories about their behaviour.
    Thank you for adding to the list… and a timely word about preparation!

    Thank you, Lynn, for today’s devotional. It is a good reminder for me this morning as I pray for my children and grandchildren how have not yet embraced Jesus, to pray that I be ready and inspired by the Holy Spirit to speak of Jesus, when the moment of grace presents itself.

    Dear Lynne,
    I appreciate your humor in making the point of opportunity. When you asked, “are we prepared?”, I realized that being closed in for this long period I have been working on being ready. Thanks for your encouragement.

    Thank you, Lynne! I chuckled as I read about Frank’s escape. He obviously is tired of being ‘locked down’ during this pandemic. And yet, as you say, we have hope in God, through Jesus, that we will make it through. Stay well! Stay one step ahead of your sneaky Frank.

    Hello Lynne,
    I have a folder on my computer where I save devotionals that are particularly meaningful to me, and I found your message today a really good one and definitely worth saving. Thank you!
    Blessings on you.

    Greetings Lynne,
    Always good to see a devotional from you and enjoy hearing about the interactions you have with your animals. Yes, I’m sure your gelding had in mind to be prepared for the opportunity that might await him and quickly took advantage of it.
    So true, that we must do the same and be prepared to share the hope and faith we have in our loving Lord throughout our daily lives.
    Take good care and blessings for your interesting and mindful devotionals.

    The great thing about YOUR devotionals is the way your illustrations stick in the brain, making us ALL Frank the gelding, seeking opportunity to go astray. Yours is also the BEST list of how to share our faith – all the places it won’t BE sharing but rather a supposedly spiritual bullying to folks too polite to demur. And when I pray about such opportunity, God immediately provides and a friend suddenly asks me how I’m getting through the pandemic, specifically. “Why do you have any hope?” she asks me. “Everything’s AWFUL!” ‘Not everything,’ I begin…When our eyes are open, (the way your devotional is designed to do) – faith points out the opportunity when it invariably comes along. Thanks. Great.

    Hi Lynne,
    How true, while I was in hospital recuperating from the surgery, I had the opportunity to share my faith with others by what I did and how I responded as much if not more so than the words I shared, although I did have opportunity to share as well.
    I think we all want to do as your horse Frank did to escape and go for a romp in a different way, yet we usually come back because we know which side our bread is buttered on. Jesus is always willing to forgive and surround us with His loving and welcoming arms, all we need to do is come to Him.

    Everyone who asks… Jesus never forced his teaching on anyone. Sadly, there are those who do otherwise. In any situation the Holy Spirit guides…we just need to listen…and be prepared.
    And I love your horse story!

    Good morning Lynn.
    Good devotional, thank you.

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