This verse encourages us to always be prepared to defend the gospel with biblical truths and our personal testimony of faith.
1 Peter 3:15
15 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,
I had a friend at university who thought he had cracked a way to evangelise and to share his faith with a wider audience. He was bursting to let me know his method. He had a car so would drive up to a bus shelter and hop out and ask the people waiting for the bus whether they wanted to hear about Jesus. He was certain this was a winning formula. He had located a captive audience. As he saw it, he was giving them the opportunity of a lifetime to hear the truth about Jesus.
Looking at my friend’s evangelism plan in light of this verse, I find obvious flaws. Did the people in the bus shelter ask him first about his faith? Did he give them answers in gentleness and respect? The answer to those questions are between him and God. However, I think it helps us to check our tactics and our motives for evangelism against God’s word.
I don’t think that there is one formula for effective evangelism but I do think that there is one motive. Our desire to see others rescued must be motivated by our personal conviction of the hope we have in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Our love for others must challenge us to share our faith with gentleness and respect, as we see others as individuals greatly loved by God.
Recently I was at a professional conference. I had to sit at a company stand to talk with delegates. During the time when delegates were in lectures, I sat on the stand with a colleague. In this time, through unexpected linking of conversations, my colleague ended up asking me the direct question, “So why do you go to church each week?” There was my totally unexpected opportunity to defend the gospel and share my personal journey of faith. I was left amazed yet again at the opportunities that God gives us when we least expect them.
So I encourage you to expect the unexpected. If we are to expect it then we must be ready for it. We won’t always have the best arguments, but if we believe that God’s word is truth then even the weakest orator can win the toughest battles. The battle for hearts and lives is God’s alone, but let us be constantly ‘suited and booted’ ready to be his vehicles of delivery. Be joyful and expectant, a direct question about your faith in Jesus may be asked of you today.
Head: Do I have a head that knows God’s truths and delivers them in a manner that is comprehensible to the enquirer?
Heart: Am I excited, jubilant and eager to share my faith?
Hands: What do I need to change so my speaking of God’s truths is done in a gentle and respectful manner?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thanks for drawing me into fellowship with you. Help me to deeply long that those who do not know you will come to know you. Open my eyes to see others as you see them. Cause me to be expectant and willing at any time of the day or night to share your truths with others in a gentle and respectful manner. Amen.
A song to listen to: Speak Life
Emma-Jane McNicol- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina