1 Peter 3:15-16 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. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
Okay, so I resisted the temptation to blog on verses 1-7 today so, you’re welcome. Instead we are going to jump down to verse 15-16. There are really two important messages here contained in this passage. The first is “in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.” You know, there are really lots of things vying for lordship in our lives. There are many things demanding our allegiance, our undivided loyalty and attention. But we are not to mix Christ in with a whole bunch of other lords. We are to set him apart as Lord. He is in a league of his own. It’s kind of like Ichiro playing for the Mariners. Everyone else should be playing triple AAA, but he is in a league of his own!
The second part has to do with being prepared to give an answer to the hope that we have. Well, I hope we have hope ‘cuz otherwise there’s not point. But when our lives are truly displaying the hope of Jesus Christ to the world around us, people are going to ask about it. Now Peter tells us to make sure to do this with gentleness and respect. And I started to think about what the other option would be. Hmmmm…. So what if we just started roughing people up until they said, “okay fine, I’ll believe in Jesus.” We would be like God’s gangstas. (That’s “gangsters” for all of you who don’t know street talk.) We could be like, “listen fool, I’m gonna bust a cap in ya head if you don’t bow down… to Jesus. That’s right, you heard me. Hail to the King, word to your motha!” I think that kind of goes against the whole free will thing. So next time you have a chance to share Jesus with someone, refrain (I know it will be hard) from going all gangsta on them. Instead do it with gentleness and respect and let your conduct lead them to Christ.