Power of a Godly Testimony (I Peter 3:15-16)
Peter 3:15-16, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.”
Sometimes conflict is unavoidable, even between godly people. The Apostle Peter found himself in the middle of conflict quite often. Sometimes it was a consequence of his mistakes. At other times, conflict caught him by surprise.
Looking over in Acts 11, the Jewish Christians contended with Peter because he ate with uncircumcised Gentile converts. Peter didn’t retreat when called upon to give an answer. Instead, he rehearsed to them the sequence of events God used to lead him to embrace his convictions. He explained how his vision from God, the witness from the Spirit, and the witness of God’s Word worked together to confirm God's will in this matter. Peter had no choice but to faithfully obey. After his response, his challengers could say nothing against him.
Peter didn’t have to say anything to answer his Christian critics. He could have smiled and kept his mouth shut, allowing the Word of God to speak for itself. But this apostle had a testimony and he wasn’t about to let anyone intimidate him from sharing it. When Peter gave his answer he presented a compelling, yet humble, argument which convinced his critics that he had done right to follow God. He dared to be faithful to the truth he had experienced for himself and God blessed his efforts.
We should be ready to answer questions about the Lord, our salvation and the Gospel for others. We are to be ready to openly share the hope we have in Christ based on the Word of God, how to be saved and why we know we are saved. We should know Scriptures that will enable us to show a lost person how to come to the Lord and why the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Saviour of the world. When Jesus Christ is Lord of our lives each crisis becomes an opportunity to witness for Him. The idea is to have the Lord GOD always upon our hearts so that when opposition, or persecution, arises for being a Christian we might properly respond. In other words, we need to be always primed and ready to testify of Christ. Salvation may come quietly but we must not remain quiet about it.
At the age of five, Hannah made an insightful statement about her newfound faith. She told her mother, “I think Jesus has moved out of my heart.” With curiosity and concern, her mom asked where Hannah thought Christ had gone. She replied, “He has moved to my throat, because all I want to do is tell people about Jesus.” We too should be constantly witnessing. I recently read a staggering statistic concerning soul winning that convicted me and challenged me to witness and testify more. “Only one person is reached for Christ for every 85 church members in America.” Our church has planned times of soulwinning for people to go out and present the gospel to others. I believe this is important because scheduling soulwinning helps us fulfill this important obligation. But there are many other times when an opportunity may arise and we need to be alert and take advantage of each one of those.
Perhaps you have recently been challenged about your Christian convictions. Your family can’t understand why your kids are well-mannered and submissive to your authority. They can’t figure out why you always seem so happy. There is something different about you and they’re curious to find out what it is. Are you prepared to tell them? You have a testimony and God wants you to share it.
Prayer: Lord, I know that You gave us a command to share the Gospel and our faith. And I know that You want me to share my testimony. Though at times it may not be the easiest, or even the popular thing to do. Give me the courage I need and help me to be faithful. Help me to realize the importance of sharing my faith, being a faithful witness, and the importance of having a godly testimony. Please help me to be alert so that I do not miss an opportunity to give the Gospel to someone. Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.