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.Â Give a kind and respectful answer and keep your conscience clear.Â This way you will make people ashamed for saying bad things about your good conduct as a follower of Christ. Â Â 1 Peter 3:15-16Â (CEV)
Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. What does that mean to me?Â When I say, â€œI love Jesusâ€, what does that mean to me?Â There are so many songs that I sing in worship that speak about my love for Jesus.Â Do I think about what I am singing?Â Is my heart true to Jesus?Â Is there anything that I love more than Him?Â 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 â€œfirst loveâ€.
Living my life like I have the Hope of Jesus is living my life with eyes that see into the promised future.Â When someone asks how I can â€œget throughâ€ or â€œsurviveâ€ hardship, then I am prepared with an answer about my Hope because I have spent time with my Savior.Â I know His Presence is real!
Peter, the one who is known to have led with his mouth â€˜way before his mind kicked in to filter, is warning me to always share my Hope in Jesus with â€œa kind and respectful answerâ€.Â I want to represent Jesus with truth but also with compassion and love.Â And Peterâ€™s remark about â€˜clear conscienceâ€™ is about my motives, my agenda, my heart when I speak about my Hope in Jesus.
One of the â€˜perksâ€™ 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.Â Such friends are Elgin Hushbeck and Alden Thompson.Â It is AWESOME to listen to these three men discuss a point about God.Â (Discuss it for a much longer time than I could have imagined!)Â 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.Â It is exciting to see their respect for each other and mutual love for Jesus and because of Jesus!
â€¦and if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. [or me!]Â Â Â Â Â Philippians 3:15 (NIV, comment mine)
There are so many â€˜thingsâ€™ that could be covered in any conversation I might have with these wise words that Paul spoke.Â It could cover a group that wanted to work together to reach out to the poor in our community â€“ even if the group members belonged to different churches! What a concept!Â It could be a Sunday School class or small group that comes together to study Godâ€™s word and find a point of disagreement.Â Does the time become a â€˜battleâ€™ to convince each other about who is right?Â Or is it an opportunity to learn?
Each day is an opportunity to allow Godâ€™s Holy Spirit to go through my heart and examine me.Â 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 51:10Â (WEB)