Be Prepared

This is the season of preparation. It starts back in November when you begin planning for Thanksgiving, and it doesn’t stop until Christmas. We spend this time of year running around like chickens with our heads cut off, trying to make sure everything is just right. We have to make sure that we have bought everybody the perfect gift, we need to make sure that we are going to be all the places that we need to be for the holidays, we ensure that our houses are decorated just right, and we plan the menu for all of the holiday meals. All of this takes time and preparation.

I’m not here to chastise anyone for being too busy or losing focus on what this season is all about. I’m confident that you have heard that message a million times. If not, stop by any church on a Sunday morning between now and Christmas and they will remind you. I am one of these people who always say the stereotypical thing about how I hate that Christmas has become commercialized and whatnot but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today. I want to talk about being prepared for something much more significant.
In 1 Peter 3:14, we are told that we need to be prepared, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

The first thing that we need to examine is what that “hope” is. Peter explains it this way in 1 Peter 1: 3-4, “In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade.” Our hope is eternal life through our faith in Christ’s death and resurrection. If you have placed your hope in anything else, it will eventually fail, but salvation through Jesus will remain through all eternity.

Is that hope evident in your life? The way Peter states that we need to “be prepared” is for when someone asks us about that hope. No one is going to ask you about it if they can’t see it. Are you putting your hope out there for all to see or are you putting your lamp under “a bowl or a bed” as Jesus asks in Mark 4:21? We have the greatest hope in the world, why would we hide it? Paul calls us “jars of clay” in 2 Corinthians 4:7, saying that the light that is in us is going to shine through our cracks. Are you letting the light of Christ that lives in you shine? It’s easy to get bogged down by the troubles and worries of this world, but we always must let people see who we are and, more importantly, whose we are.

Are you prepared to give an answer for your hope? What would you say if someone came up to you right now and asked you about your faith? Would you stumble around and not be able to put a coherent sentence together? Would you go so deep into theology that you miss the basics of God’s love? Maybe you would just tell them to ask someone else. There are three ways to be prepared: practice, practice, and practice.

It may seem odd to rehearse what you would say in that situation, but you will be thrilled that you did whenever the opportunity arises. Honestly, there’s not much to it. We just need to be ready to tell people about what Jesus did for us. We need to explain to them how He has loved us, even to the point that He willingly went to the cross for us. We need to inform them that He got up and walked out of the grave on that third day. Finally, we need to describe how He has impacted our lives. It’s that simple. If you can explain those three things, you can answer the reason that you have hope.

Telling people about how God is impacting your life is a powerful tool. Scripture is under attack more now than ever before, but no one can deny your story. You can talk about how God got you through tough times or how He has blessed you immensely. Your testimony has power, and often, that’s what’s going to touch the lives of others. We need to show the world that God is still at work today and is just as powerful as He has ever been. There is no such thing as a boring story if you’re living your life following God. You are a fascinating tapestry of God working in your life; let the world see the beauty of the Almighty Artist.

I hope that you have enjoyed what you read today or over the past few months, I have loved writing and getting to share my thoughts with you. I would appreciate if you would like, follow, share, or reblog what I’ve written. Thank you for reading; it means the world to me!

Published by smith1626

I am the Director of Youth Ministries at St. John United Methodist Church in Scott Depot, WV. Mostly, I am a sinner saved by amazing grace.

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