Some of the greatest opportunities to stand for the Lord can happen around Christmas time. This can come at family gatherings, Christmas office parties, “Christmas” discussions at the water cooler, etc…How would the Lord have us converse and conduct ourselves with friends, family members, co-workers, etc. who we converse with about Him?
1 Peter 3:15 says “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, yet with gentleness and reverence.” A few things to remember:
*GET FIRED UP! – “sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts” is the idea of dedicate or be passionate about. In other words, it starts with you.It starts with having a current, passionate, contagious love relationship with Jesus! When is the last time some asked you about “the hope that is in you”? If it’s been awhile, maybe it’s because you don’t look like you have hope! Many Christians are known by what they are against and angry about, instead of the living hope of Jesus.
*READ UP! – “give an account” is the idea of a defense. It is where we get our term “apologetics” from. It is the ability to give a reasonable answer to a reasonable question. In today’s postmodern culture, it is imperative that the believers have a basic understanding of Biblical apologetics. An easy way to get stronger at this is to read some good sources such as Lee Strobel’s Case for Christ book or Josh McDowell’s More than a Carpenter book. Don’t panic or pretend if someone asks you a question that you don’t know the answer to. Tell them you don’t know the answer and go find out. Just because you don’t know the answer does not mean there is no answer. The Christian does not need to give away the intellecual high ground to be a Biblical, evangelical Christ follower.
SWEETEN UP! – “with gentleness and reverence” means to show kindness, humility, and respect. Not much is less appealing than a self-righteous, obnoxious Christian. You can stand strong for the Lord and your convictions, and not be a jerk! I know this is hard because sometimes a skeptic can be mean, rude, and illogical (see the “save the whales” bumper sticker right next to the “keep abortion legal” bumper sticker). So sweeten up.
God bless you this season as you stand for Him.