Everybody knows the game, Truth or Dare. You either tell the truth no matter what, or you take a dare. There’s no in between. I want to talk about something close… Truth or Fear.
When you are challenged about what you believe, about your faith or convictions, how will you respond. There is no in between. You will either share the truth about your convictions or you will respond in fear of how people will perceive you if you speak the truth. The Pharisees we very convicted about their beliefs but when Jesus challenged them, they bowed to fear of perception instead of standing on their beliefs (right or wrong).
On one particular case, they sought to trap Jesus again, this time about who gave Him His authority. Jesus instead responds with a question of His own and their own debate about the answer reveals that rather than standing on their convictions, they only responded how they expected the crowd wanted them to respond.
“He answered them, “I also will ask you a question. Now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from man?” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it came from.”
Living in a fallen world, one that is drifting further and further away from Christ, we will constantly be challenged about our faith. How will we respond? Will we respond like the Pharisees, only saying what others want to hear to protect ourselves? Or will we respond with truth and righteousness and humility and gentleness but be courageous about our faith? Peter, the one who denied Christ three times as Christ claimed he would, learned his lesson. He carries that lesson and teaches us as a result.
“Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but 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, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” (1 Pet 3:14b-17)
He said, ‘always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks’. This kind of readiness only comes from spending time in the Word and prayer. Don’t short change yourself. Spend time with your Lord, read His Word, talk to Him in prayer. These are the only ways you will ‘always be prepared’.
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