You must worship Christ as Lord of your life...& always be ready to explain your hope as a believer.

Reflections for the week

There are companies that have manufactured products or services that seem to be solutions in search of a problem. Two examples include a word processor called “Easy” manufactured by the same company that made WordStar, and another was “PC Jr.” Both of those never found a place in the market and quickly died. Who wants technology that is almost as expensive but cannot do everything that the fully featured model can? Lest you think this is a problem I have never had, I give you this example. I have spent most of my Christian life studying and preparing to be ready to give answer to account for the hope that is within me. However, no one asked me about my hope. Have you ever prepared yourself for a question that no one seems to ask? Hopefully, there is a data nerd out there who is nodding, just so that I do not feel alone.

The verse that talks about this is 1 Peter 3:15, "...but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." (NASB).

I was focusing on the front end of the phrase, “always ready.” I never stopped long enough to ask, “Why isn’t anyone asking?” This was significant, because our hope is the solution for a world without meaningful trustworthy hope. For me, that this is compelling comes from an earlier verse, 1 Peter 1:13, "Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." The phrase “set your hopes” is a command (imperative mood for the English grammar geeks). That verb is modified by “completely.” We are commanded to hope completely. That sentence starts with “Therefore,” which is a summation of things earlier said. One of those earlier thoughts is that we have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus (verse 3). Because Jesus is living today, my hope is living today. I knew that. I believed that. I just was not telling my face to show that truth.

The truth is that for the first 25 years of my life very rarely did anyone ask about the hope (or love, or peace for that matter) that was within me. In contrast, for those that know her, my wife gets that question every week. She has been the living lesson to me about what it means to have a living hope and to show that reality to others. When that happens, I field more questions. I like fielding questions, which is why I am more intentional about how I respond to the question, “How are you?” Some of you have heard my responses, which include, “irrevocably loved,” and “undeniably blessed.” When others hear that, it causes them to stop and think about my response. Then they ask questions.

I invite you, that if you have a living hope within you, to alert your face and live your life so as to show it to others so that it would cause them to ask for the reason that you are different. I remain gripped by Him who has given me a living hope! Church, hope on!