Being prepared takes effort. No matter if you’re talking about the Boy Scouts, a football team, or disaster recovery… it takes planning, effort, time and resources to be prepared. I was once part of the disaster recovery team for the AAA TourBook Marketing team. Since our headquarters was located in hurricane territory, that was one more disaster we had to prepare for. But even that disaster has somewhat of a warning. However there are many disasters that occur without warning. We had to back up all data, get that back up off site, plan for our course of action to regain that data and set up a new command center should any sort of disaster occur.
Being prepared does not always relate to disasters however. In martial arts, we would often practice our forms. These are slow moving strikes and blocks. The forms themselves would be totally ineffective in any combat. But the forms prepared your muscles and joints for specific movements, muscle memory. Through amazing amounts of repetition and practice, we were preparing our body to make certain movements without pausing to think about the movements. Either during a match, or God forbid, an actual fight on the streets, when the opponent made their move, the prepared person would respond with the appropriate counter move.
In his letter, Peter gives us similar instructions about being prepared. “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). There are several things we can draw from this once verse.
Being prepared brings honor to Christ – Peter says that we are to honor Christ by being prepared. This means that our study of His Word, our training to be prepared… brings Him honor.
Live in a way that causes the ask – People will only ask of your reason for hope if they see it in how you live. Demonstrating hope will all is well would not be noticed by many, but demonstrating hope even during times of trial… that will get attention. These are the times that your demonstration of hope shines a light that others cannot grasp. These are the times, those moments of darkness, that His light in you is designed to shine the brightest. “Only let your manner of life be worthy[h] of the gospel of Christ” (Phil 1:27a)
Know His word and have a testimony – The way we are prepared to give a reason for our hope is by knowing His word. Being able to sight verses that give you hope, is powerful. Having these verses stamped in your heart allows you to convey them with passion and conviction, rather than simple memorization. But adding your own testimony to His word is vital too. People don’t care what you know unless they know that you care. Stating these verses is part but know your testimony too. How these verses have impacted your life is powerful.
Minister with gentleness and respect – The quickest way to push away a potential seeker is to try to cram religion down their throat. Even if your pressure and scare tactics get someone to “confess with [their] mouth that Jesus is Lord” (Rom 10:9a), they are not saved. The second part of that verse says “and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Rom 10:9b) They won’t believe if they are pressured. Only with gentleness and respect can you win over their mind AND heart. Both are needed to both confess and believe.
Being prepared is not easy (it takes work) but it is simple. Study His word, apply it in your life, show His love to others.
I pray that you appreciate my blogs. They are my way of journaling as I read His word. If you do like them, please be sure to click the Follow Hisfamily Ministries button in the top right corner AND to spread the word. Share these posts with others and perhaps they will be blessed too.