1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;”

May 10th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

The Apostle Peter tells us to sanctify, or set apart in the center of our being (in our hearts), Jesus as Lord. When our lives are rightly related to God the Son, then when our faith is challenged, we are able to respond properly. We are to stand firm for Jesus, and be ready to profess Him as Lord, even in the face of suffering. When someone challenges our belief in Jesus, we should be prepared to give a sound and reasonable answer for our hope in Him. Having Jesus as our Lord doesn’t mean we run over those who question us, but that we give them a thoughtful, intelligent answer with gentleness and respect. We are to fear no one except God, but we are to show respect to everyone, even those who oppose us.

Polycarp, the disciple of the Apostle John and the bishop of Smyrna, gave us a wonderful illustration. He was told to denounce Christ or die in 156 AD. He replied, “Eighty-six years have I served Him, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?” When threatened with death by wild animals he said, “Call them. It is unthinkable for me to repent from what is good to turn to what is evil. I will be glad though to be changed from evil to righteousness.”1 This respectful answer ultimately cost Polycarp his earthly life, but it brought him into Jesus’ presence and has offered courage to countless other believers to this day.

“LORD, help us to have a respectful and thoughtful answer when we have an opportunity to speak about You today.”

1https://www.christianhistoryinstitute.org/study/module/polycarp/, accessed February 2, 2016