Peace and Unity

Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope.  Give a kind and respectful answer and keep your conscience clear.  This way you will make people ashamed for saying bad things about your good conduct as a follower of Christ.     1 Peter 3:15-16  (CEV)

Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. What does that mean to me?  When I say, “I love Jesus”, what does that mean to me?  There are so many songs that I sing in worship that speak about my love for Jesus.  Do I think about what I am singing?  Is my heart true to Jesus?  Is there anything that I love more than Him?  If I love Jesus most then He would be first priority in my life. How I spend my time, money, and gifts He has given me would reflect that “first love”.

Living my life like I have the Hope of Jesus is living my life with eyes that see into the promised future.  When someone asks how I can “get through” or “survive” hardship, then I am prepared with an answer about my Hope because I have spent time with my Savior.  I know His Presence is real!

Peter, the one who is known to have led with his mouth ‘way before his mind kicked in to filter, is warning me to always share my Hope in Jesus with “a kind and respectful answer”.  I want to represent Jesus with truth but also with compassion and love.  And Peter’s remark about ‘clear conscience’ is about my motives, my agenda, my heart when I speak about my Hope in Jesus.

One of the ‘perks’ to being married to Henry Neufeld is that I have met and become friends with people that I probably would not have met except through Henry.  Such friends are Elgin Hushbeck and Alden Thompson.  It is AWESOME to listen to these three men discuss a point about God.  (Discuss it for a much longer time than I could have imagined!)  As I quietly sit back and listen, it is their passion about their relationship with their Father and Savior that I hear over the points of theology.  It is exciting to see their respect for each other and mutual love for Jesus and because of Jesus!

…and if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. [or me!]      Philippians 3:15 (NIV, comment mine)

There are so many ‘things’ that could be covered in any conversation I might have with these wise words that Paul spoke.  It could cover a group that wanted to work together to reach out to the poor in our community – even if the group members belonged to different churches! What a concept!  It could be a Sunday School class or small group that comes together to study God’s word and find a point of disagreement.  Does the time become a ‘battle’ to convince each other about who is right?  Or is it an opportunity to learn?

Each day is an opportunity to allow God’s Holy Spirit to go through my heart and examine me.  As He shines a light in every corner I bow and let Jesus be the Lord of my life and give Him the honor and glory for all that the day brings.

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10  (WEB)

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