Being Ready to Speak (1 Peter 3:15, etc.)

The apostle Peter exhorts all believers to always be ready to make a defense (1 Peter 3:15). Our Lord tells us that the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say when we are brought before kings (Matthew 10:19-20). Surely that message should be clear and powerful, and the messenger should be ready to proclaim. In that same passage, the Lord Jesus tells us that if we shrink back and deny Him before men, He will deny us before His Father in heaven (10:33). The author of Hebrews reminds us that true disciples of Jesus are not those who shrink back to destruction, but are those who have faith (Hebrews 10:39). Finally, in Colossians 4:6 Paul tells us to season our speech with salt and to respond with wisdom to each person.

What is the point of my referring to all these passages? I believe all these verses and many more make clear a New Testament theme, and that is that the disciple of Jesus should always be ready to be a witness for the Lord, so that he or she does not miss an opportunity to talk about the Lord Jesus, to proclaim the gospel and to declare the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9).

To be ready requires that we be intentional about our preparation for witnessing. Being intentional means thinking about evangelism and envisioning yourself in conversations that are going to lead to the gospel. While I cannot control what the other person will say, I can completely control what I will say. What questions can I ask or where can I lead the conversation so that we head toward Jesus Christ and/or the gospel? Think about those questions! Plan conversation-starters that are likely to open up the conversation and cut a path toward the cross.

We are to be ready to be His witnesses.

If I am going into a social situation where there are likely to be many unbelievers, I will see this event as a fishing trip (Matthew 4:19). I am walking into this event with my hook already baited and my net ready to be thrown. As any good fisherman would do, I fully intend to throw out the line and to make several casts, and I do not intend to come away empty. Thus the company Holiday Party is, for the believer, a fishing trip. Plan out the people you will talk to and even plan the conversations you will have with them. Tell about the life of Jesus and about His glory and greatness. Relate your personal testimony. Carefully explain the gospel. Ask questions about life and its meaning. All of these are ways that you can prepare and be ready.

Each encounter and each event will increase your skill as a fisherman, but we are to go to each event prepared to respond as an ambassador and as a witness of Jesus.

Be ready to share Christ. Be alert to any open door that the Lord provides and go through that door with boldness. Prepare to tell of the hope in Christ. Be ready to tell of the death of Christ. Warn that Jesus is coming back to judge the earth.

Be intentional and be ready!

SDG       rmb       12/4/2017

 

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