Let Me ‘Splain!

 

15 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. 1 Peter 3:15 NLT

We should always be ready to explain why we believe, why we hope, why we rejoice. Barna Research stated “Only half (52%) of born again Christians say they actually did share the Gospel at least once this past year to someone with different beliefs, in the hope that they might accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.”

Did you notice from the scripture above, “And if someone asks about your hope…” Consider what this is saying; you are living a life that communicates hope to people around you to such a degree that they are perplexed enough to come to you!

Our lives should be testimony, we should be bearing fruit which causes people to taste our hope, taste our joy, and desire to know from where did we procure such fruit!

How many times has someone NOTICED your hope, noticed your joy, and had the fortitude to come and ask you for an explanation? That number, that exact sum is the number of times that you have drawn people to Jesus simply by the way you live!

So what do we do in THAT moment? What do we say? What can we draw from?

I believe there are two basic things which we need in order to be able to share why we have hope:

  1. Knowledge – so few people actually study the scriptures and subsequently have no idea what they really believe or how salvation has occurred in their life.
  2. Experience – if you’ve had an actual encounter with God, your life is changed. If this is true of you, the experience of God is enough to fuel your ability to testify but if you couple it with the knowledge of scriptures your story will infused with the power of Holy Spirit and will be effective.

 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16 NKJV

I want to encourage you to read the book of Romans, understand what the terms justification and sanctification mean, begin a daily devotion time between you and God, a time meant for you to pray, read the Bible, and worship. It is in these daily times of honestly seeking after God’s presence, and reading His word that you will discover the tools necessary to “be ready to explain” your hope.

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You ARE a Worshipper (Whether You Think So or Not)

15 Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. 1 Peter 3:15(a) NLT

Every single day you worship.

Maybe you aren’t worshipping God but you are worshipping something or someone.

Would you like proof?

At it’s core, worship is ascribing value or worth to someone or something. The old English word for worship is “worthship” which indicates that something has worth. I argue that everyday, whether it’s in the way you spend your money and/or your time, the  way you talk up latest menu item at a restaurant, or the way you brag about yourself or someone else, you have just worshipped.

The verse above starts off by saying “instead”… instead of what?

14 But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.

Worry and fear. These are two things of which we all are guilty.

Instead of worrying we MUST worship. We need to refocus our attention back to worship, giving value or worth to God, instead of sacrificing our time and hearts on the altar of worry.

You ARE a worshipper. So, as a worshipper I admonish you to quit giving your worship to that which doesn’t deserve it and return your worship to the only One WORTHY of your worship.

Blessings!

Receiving the Gift

will press lever

Positive Reinforcement

There’s no doubt that in most cases and most of the time, positive reinforcement works. We’ve used it on people and it has been used on us to achieve desirable outcomes. If you’re not familiar with how this works, consider our friend, the mouse to our left. Every time he presses the lever, he receives a reward, namely food. While we’re not mice, we have come to expect the same in our lives, not to mention how cheated we feel if we do not receive what we believe we deserve for compensation for performing well. The worker who works harder than the rest will soon become frustrated if she doesn’t receive some sort of recognition for hard work.

Wages and Gifts

But that’s the trouble, isn’t it? A worker is a hired laborer who deserves or has EARNED compensation for their work, therefore when the paycheck arrives, it isn’t a gift, rather it’s the worker’s wages. 2868703_o

The difference between wages and gifts is that wages are earned by work, gifts are given regardless of merit and often in spite of merit. They are things which are given not out of necessity but out of love.

I remember when I used to work for a diesel parts distribution warehouse. We had some really hard working men there, but we also had some men that literally did as little as possible each day. You know the kind; they called off as often as possible, didn’t respect anyone else. One year for Christmas the owner called us all together and handed out Christmas gifts; we received a turkey and a jacket.

If found it interesting that everyone received these gifts, EVERYONE. Even the workers who were lazy – it didn’t matter whether you earned it or not, whether you even cared or not that they were giving us gifts. At the end of the day, the company offered us all gifts.

Receiving the Gift

I remember how some of the men could have cared less that the company had offered us gifts; some of the workers even scoffed at it, thinking they deserved more! As I walked to my vehicle I turned to see my co-workers walking to their vehicles. So many of them didn’t receive the gift that was being offered.

That, however, is the nature of receiving a gift. You can either take it or leave it, but you can never deny that it was offered, nor can you determine that it was something that you earned. The gift given isn’t something you’ve earned or deserve, nor can you determine the motive for the gift; the only function you play in receiving a gift is either in refusing or accepting the gift.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.                                                                                                       Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT

Sincerely, I pray that if you haven’t received this gift of salvation that you consider holding out your hands to God and accepting it today. He is offering it to you. There are no amount of good deeds which will get you into Heaven, being a “good person” won’t do it, giving money to charities won’t do it, working in the homeless shelters won’t do it, nor will fighting for the rights of others… it’s only through Jesus.

 

It Is Time For You to Renew?

Isn’t it amazing how quickly renewals happen? It seems like you just joined and it’s already time to renew your subsciption or license, membership or affiliation. If you don’t renew you will be cut off from all the benefits of that organization, service, or priviledge.

The same is true in our walk with God. We are constantly in a need for renewal! It seems like our attitudes and thoughts are our greatest testimony against us, which is why, in the book of Ephesians, Paul warns us to RENEW!

Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:23 NLT

 

The operative word in this verse is “let”; we must LET Holy Spirit do the renewing that we so desperately need. He won’t barge in and change things for us, we must surrender and LET Him do what is needed.

Are you willing to LET Holy Spirit renew your thoughts, your attitude today? Have you considered how badly you need it to happen?

Is it time for you to renew?