SOAP Devotional 2014-04-21
Scripture – Observation – Application – Prayer
Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ. (1 Peter 3:15, 16 NLT)
Instead of fearing those who might persecute us, we are to sanctify or set apart Jesus Christ as the master do our lives. If someone asks why we have confidence in Christ, we should be prepared to explain why we have placed our confidence in Him. But, we are to explain this in a gentle and respectful way. By responding in the proper way, we can keep our conscience clear so that even if people speak against us, they will be ashamed when they see that we only respond by living right and doing good because we belong to Christ.
At the root of our faith is Jesus as our master. We can allow him to be our master because we, by faith, have confidence that he will always guide us in the right paths and to do the right things. We need to be able to explain how we have that confidence in Him as our master. That confidence and our hope are tied to everything that we are as a believer. How foolish should it be if we could not explain that relationship since it is so important. It is also important that we use wisdom when sharing this confidence with others. Zeal without wisdom will cause more damage than good. Sharing our hope with gentleness and in a respectful way will go a long way toward showing Christ's love with others. It also keeps our conscience clear from being someone who drove others away rather than drawing them close. If someone rejects our message, let's not have it be because we did it in the wrong way.
Father, when I was young I had a lot more zeal than wisdom. I was so eager to share salvation that I forgot to show your love and respect for some. You forgave me long ago. Help me to always explain my relationship with you as my master and your offer of freedom to others with your gentleness and with respect for them as someone you cared enough to die for. Let my life show you before my lips ever speak.