Athlete, defend the faith


Athlete, defend the faith

Tom Petersburg

1 Peter 3:15 (NASB)

But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect.

Do you recognize who wrote this passage? Peter, the guy who boldly declared he would never fall away despite Jesus’ prediction otherwise, the guy who lopped off a servant’s ear when the authorities came to the Garden to arrest Jesus. Within a matter of hours, a servant girl recognized him as a disciple of Jesus and he responded with an adamant denial.

I have rarely met a Christian who does not regret that he or she missed an opportunity to stand for Jesus, in the locker room, among friends, in a discussion. Sometimes it is awkward. Sometimes it puts us in a position where we might be labeled or marginalized by others. Sometimes we just don’t know what to say.

Jesus made a point of restoring Peter after his denial, assuring him of a significant ministry to come. Peter was never the same after that day.

Notice what Peter advises us to do: Sanctify (set apart) Christ as Lord of our hearts, and be ready. Being ready is part of being available for God to use us. For people like me who tend to be tongue-tied, being ready helps to move our defense from our hearts to our minds to our tongues.

Think through what you would say in just three minutes. Keep it simple, inviting. What characterized your life before you knew Christ? What changed your mind to follow Him? How has He changed you?

These three things open conversations. This is the stuff of everyday faith.

Next best step: When you have a conversation with a few Christian friends, ask them to join you in a “testimony rehearsal.” Take turns in telling your story in just three minutes. Tell each other what resonated with you. You will be surprised at the interaction it creates for your learning, and your readiness.

Today’s devotional is one of five this week on “Everyday Faith” by Tom Petersburg.


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