May 15, 2009

Be Prepared

1 Peter 3:13-18

Always be prepared to give … the reason for the faith that you have.
1 Peter 3:15


Even before Peter wrote to encourage the persecuted Christians of Asia Minor, Jesus had told his followers that they would have to suffer for his sake (see Luke 21:12-19; John 15:18-16:15).

A clever preacher once asked, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” The question is interesting, especially in Western societies where Christians are often indistinguishable from the people around them. But elsewhere people are frequently arrested for their faith in Christ. And secret police have ways of making people talk.

We are not to worry about such situations, or wrack our brains about ways to express our faith in such a way as to save our lives. Instead, Peter says, “Always be prepared to give … the reason for the faith you have.” What do you believe, and why do you believe it?

Christians often stress the importance of theological study and deep thinking about complex issues in the world we live in. That’s important, and it can give the church great strength. But it can also make people’s thinking so complicated that they do not know how to express their faith simply.

How would you answer someone who asked you, “What is a Christian? Why should I believe in Jesus?” Are you prepared to give a simple answer?

Lord, many of your earliest disciples were uneducated, ordinary people. Make us zealous to tell others about you, our Savior, in a way that is clear and simple. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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