Listen to this devotional:
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.