At the moment, I have two competing subjects I want to explore with you. One is regarding ultimate questions, such as, “How do we know that truth exists?” “Is there a God?” “What is our purpose?” You know, lite, trivial stuff. On the other hand, I feel led to engage you on a journey to diving deeper into the peculiar physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual mix that make you the being God has created you to be. I believe I may toggle between these two topics over the coming weeks. But for now, let's discuss these ultimate questions.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever doubted that the God of the Bible exists. Raise your hand if you’ve doubted the truth of the Bible. Tap your feet if you’ve ever worried that some “smart” person may come up with proofs that the story of Jesus, as told in the Bible, is not true. Finally, have you ever avoided engaging an intelligent friend, classmate, co-worker, etc. because you felt that you may not be able to answer the questions they ask you? If you said yes to any of these, give me a lap! JUST KIDDING!!!! Nope, you just fit right in to the human race by having those thoughts at one time or another. However, I do believe God has given us a mandate to seek to overcome these doubts and fears and to be voices of truth in a world living in a truth vacuum.
In I Peter 3:15 we hear:
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer (apologia) to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.
Some translations of that finish with, “yet with gentleness and respect.” We are hearing this command from the guy who denied Jesus during His trial, but also the guy who stepped out on the water. He’s also the disciple who, though he denied him, did follow his Master to the courtyard. He then was one of the very first people to race to the empty tomb to realize that Jesus had risen! Shortly after that, Jesus appeared to Peter. Peter has a very clear testimony/very strong apologia for the hope that he has in Christ. He was an eyewitness to the most remarkable miracle since God spoke all of time, matter, and space into existence.
But Peter knew that you and I would believe in Christ based on the testimony of others. He knew that we would face skeptics. So, he is encouraging us to learn to “give a reason for the hope that is in us, yet with gentleness and respect.” Wow. That is a foreign concept in this day and time. That is, to share something that another person may not believe or even be opposed to with gentleness and respect. Quite frankly, I believe the love, patience, kindness, gentleness, and respect we show those outside of our faith, may have as much to do with them coming to know Jesus as the words you share. The ideal is that you have thought through and have a good rationale for why you believe what you believe.
Over the next few blogs, I will share with you how I build a case for my world view and ultimately, my faith in Christ to someone coming from a very un-churched or anti-Christian background. Feel free to ask questions here on the blog page of issues or questions that may have come up in your own interactions with non-believers.
Each day we go into the world with the opportunity to make an impact. Each person whose paths cross ours matters. Lives intersect for a reason. I believe there is One who directs our steps to these sometimes seemingly random meetings. My goal for these encounters is that I make a difference. That is my desire for those who venture across my blog. I hope you are blessed and it makes a difference for you.