Monday, July 24, 2006

What Do You Say?

Check it out . . .

• Do you have a real hope for the future?

• Is there a reason for your hope?

• Can you put this reason into words for someone who asks?

• Are you ready to relate this reason if someone asks?

Can you convey this information with confidence because you know who you are, and with awesome appreciation for Who God is?

Perhaps we’ve read through this Bible verse much too quickly, thinking it was merely an example of some long-ago, godly people who were especially gifted with bravery.
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts:
and be ready always to give an answer
to every man that asks you a reason
of the hope that is in you
with meekness and fear,”
(1 Peter 3:15).

Does this verse apply to you? Does it apply to me?

What if God really expects this of us!
If we THINK we lack specific direction and confidence, perhaps what we actually lack is blessing and empowerment.
The key may lie in those first words of the verse, “Sanctify the LORD God in your heart.”

Picture yourself standing before the King of Kings in His glory. Awestruck, you are speechless, but then your heart brings forth, “Oh, Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiving my sins, for giving me eternal life.”
Overcome with His magnificent love and mercy, you kneel there as angels sing His praises. “God, I offer myself to you. I worship You as You deserve.” Time seems to stand still, there in that Heavenly Throne Room.

Now, are you ready to take your place back on earth and deny Him? Or ignore Him? Or turn aside when some lost person asks about Him?

Be certain of this: when you bow your heart before Him and honor and reverence Him, you will be changed. God’s Holy Spirit will indwell you in the amount that you allow Him room in your busy mind and life.
After that life-changing encounter you will be placed into Divine Appointments. People will come into your life, and they will notice if you speak with calm confidence. They will observe your kind attitude if you’re not grasping for attention. They will ponder what you say and how you say it. Perhaps there will be no visible miracle at that moment for them, but be assured God is at work. Leave the results to Him.

From time to time the pressures of life will surround you with confusion and agitation. If you neglect to speak to your Lord about this, then your eyes will be drawn to the spectacle of worldliness. It’s a show put on for you by Satan, the enemy of our souls.
Too frequently the words that float out of our mouths are not expressions of faith and hope and joy. Too readily we speak sarcasm, silly talk, small talk, irritation.
When that happens turn to the Lord and confess your actions and your attitude. Let Him restore you to the desire to please Him, alone.
Expect the same challenge to come to you again. The Lord is looking for you to trust Him and obey Him. He will bring opportunities.

Just reading a Bible verse now and then, just sending up a prayer once in awhile will not do it. Relationship with Him takes time spent together.
Like a race, life is full of hurdles. Unseen, others are cheering you on. God, Himself, Almighty Creator of All There Is, Savior and Lord — He blesses and empowers you to succeed.
If someone asks, are you ready? The way to be ready is to get ready now.
These words from the Bible are not a suggestion. “Be ready always to give an answer of the hope . . .”
So, what do you say?