By Emma Danzey, Crosswalk.com
The Reason for Hope
By Emma Danzey
1 Peter 3:15 says, “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.
But in Your Hearts Revere Christ as Lord
The word revere is often not used in today’s modern language. It means to have deep respect. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to revere Christ as Lord in our hearts. Before we can even get to the hope that we have with others, it has to be personal to us. How has Christ saved you from sin? In what ways has His sacrifice blessed you? What impact has the sealing of the Holy Spirit had on you?
We have a heart of reverence for Jesus when we have been personally blessed by His gift of salvation. Jesus has taken our hearts of stone and given us hearts of flesh. Ezekiel 26:26 says, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” When we have had a personal encounter with Jesus, and we invite Him into our hearts, His Spirit transforms us, and we worship Him as Savior and Lord.
Always Be Prepared to Give an Answer to Everyone Who Asks You to Give the Reason for the Hope That You Have
As Christ-followers, it is vital that we are always prepared to share the hope that we have in Christ. This means that we are well equipped with knowing our God and His Word. By spending time with Him in prayer and in Scripture daily, we are strengthening our own faith and confidence in our relationship with Him and then able to communicate more effectively the hope that we have in Jesus.
The truth is that there are people around us every day who will not be in heaven without the saving grace of Jesus. We can ask God for hearts of compassion to share the gospel with them. When they ask us why we do certain things or say certain things pertaining to Christ, these are open doors to sharing the hope that we have in Jesus. We so often shy away from “controversial” topics when in reality, we are not loving well unless we do share this hope that we have. Who are we to withhold the key to eternal life from others based on our own comfort levels or pride? We need to ask God to help us to have confidence led by His Spirit to be able to share authentically and purposefully with those around us. In our homes, At our schools, in our jobs, in our communities, we are walking representatives of Christ. We are His ambassadors.
But Do This with Gentleness and Respect
Approach matters. I was having a conversation just today with a friend about how our approach to sharing the gospel makes a difference in the willingness of someone else to listen. We both talked about the importance of genuinely loving and asking questions. Our culture is getting closer and closer to post-Christian. This means older tactics of sharing faith do not necessarily speak as effectively to this generation. We need to be able to shift our evangelistic mindsets with the unchanging message of the gospel. The message should never change, but the method of sharing might. Scripture makes it clear that however we share with others, we are called to do this with gentleness and respect. The guy in the suit yelling on the street corner repels me, and I’m a Christian. How much more does he push away those who do not know God? However, the person who loves, befriends, genuinely cares, and does life with another who shares with others about the hope of Jesus is a fragrant aroma to a world in need. May we be this person as we share Christ. It does not mean we do not share hard truths, but we do so in love.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
How has Christ transformed your heart? How can you be better prepared to share about Jesus with those around you? In what ways have you not been loving in your approach to evangelism? How can you be gentle and respectful in your sharing?
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/ksenija18kz
Emma Danzey’s mission in life stems from Ephesians 3:20-21, to embrace the extraordinary. One of her greatest joys is to journey with the Lord in His Scriptures. She is wife to Drew and mom to Graham. Emma serves alongside her husband in ministry, she focuses most of her time in the home, but loves to provide articles on the Bible, life questions, and Christian lifestyle. Her article on Interracial Marriage was the number 1 on Crosswalk in 2021. Most recently, Emma released Treasures for Tots, (Scripture memory songs) for young children. During her ministry career, Emma has released Wildflower: Blooming Through Singleness, two worship EP albums, founded and led Polished Conference Ministries, and ran the Refined Magazine. You can view her articles on her blog at emmadanzey.wordpress.com and check out her Instagram @Emmadanzey.