Today’s Reading: 1 Peter 3:8-15
Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 2:18-36; Acts 15:22-41
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. In 1 Peter 3, we are told how a believer in Christ is supposed to think, act, and live. What a list of expectations we are to follow! How are you doing? Do you show brotherly love? Are you humble? Do you keep your tongue from evil? Sadly, I know all of us have to confess that we are not good at doing these things. Our sinful flesh does not want to turn from evil. There is many a day that we cannot even go one hour before we fall into sin. So it is important that we always confess our sins and turn to Jesus because He alone can forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Then, as a forgiven sinner who has been washed in the blood of the Lamb shed on the Cross, we can once more go forth and honor Christ, living by faith and doing the things that the Holy Spirit has prepared for us each day. One of the greatest things that we Christians can do is to share the reason for the hope that is in us. This simply means that you have the privilege of speaking about Jesus. You may share with your friends, with your family, with everyone the message that while we were yet sinners, Christ came and suffered and died so that we might be forgiven and brought into the family of God. This is the message we have to share with those who have not yet heard.
Peter tells us to do this sharing with gentleness and respect, for we who have been forgiven greatly by Christ know how important it is to speak with love and concern to those who have not yet heard the message of the Gospel. In this way, our words and our actions will mirror Christ and the message that He has for those still lost in sin. It is a message of love, forgiveness, and peace. Share that message as you are led by the Holy Spirit. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen
God, thank You for the forgiveness that You have given to us by Jesus’ death on the Cross. Help us each day to live as You desire us to, sharing the hope that is in us so that all might come to a knowledge of Your truth. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
-Rev. William K. Stottlemyer is pastor of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hancock, MD.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Christians need to aspire to being people of THE faith. Not just any will do. In Faith Misused, Dr. Alvin Schmidt shares his case for a Christian reclaiming of the word “faith” from its ambiguous modern uses. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.