Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Hope That You Have

“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,” - 1 Peter 3:15

I have always liked this passage. I have often said to people, "always be prepared to give an answer to anyone who ask you the reason for the hope that you have."
This quote is actually the middle of verse. It is important that we be prepared to give an answer but we need to really understand the context of that statement. Peter says it begins in our hearts.

In our hearts we are to revere Christ as Lord. This is where the hope is for us. It is not about knowing about Jesus and being able to tell people four spiritual laws or walk them through the Romans road. Peter says first thing we need is to have hope in us. Revere Christ in our hearts. When we do this we have hope. A relationship with Christ is our hope. Loving Christ and experiencing his transforming love is our hope. In a nutshell, I think Peter is saying that if we give our hearts to Christ, hope will be evident. People will see those who revere Christ in their hearts as hopeful people and will be asking, "Why are you so hopeful?" So, be ready to tell them.

Peter then ends the verse by taking us back to a matter of the heart. I think he must have been given some foreknowledge about how people would beat people up with the Gospel. How people in telling others about the "hope" that they have would use the gospel as a hammer to beat them down or to say I am right you are wrong. Peter says, "but, do this with gentleness and respect."

When our hearts are transformed by Christ we cant help but be hopeful. We are compelled to tell others so that they too can have the hope that we have. Also, we are moved to love others like Christ loves them and treat them with gentleness and respect.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

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