1 Peter 3: 15
Your heart should be holy and set apart for the Lord God.
Always be ready to tell everyone who asks you why you believe as you do.
Be gentle as you speak and show respect.
Some thoughts I wanted to share:
I've been slowly reading my way through 1 Peter (Holy Bible) in the mornings, meditating on the precious words and letting them wash over and through me in any way that the Lord sees fit, to either teach, correct, soothe, comfort or heal. I always pray before I begin reading that Father reveal to me what He wants me to observe from the reading. Sometimes something will come to mind that I had been unaware of, maybe I said something in haste, which wasn't helpful or encouraging. I thank Him for this, repent of it and will ask whoever I may have offended for forgiveness. It's very cleansing to do this. It's like a clean slate each day. It also doesn't matter how old or young the person may be :)
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1 Peter 3:15
Set apart Christ as Lord. The context for this passage is in the section 'Suffering for doing good'.
In his letter Peter has already told believers that they are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9). As a “holy nation,” believers are set apart to be different from the world. In a world where we should be seen as different, our lives of faith will usually lead to suffering, whether that may be persecution from the government (1 Peter 2:13–18, 4:15–16) or from unjust masters (1 Peter 2:18–19). Peter is reminding his readers to expect suffering as Christians. Just as Christ suffered for us as our example of gentleness and suffering for righteousness, he is also an example of hope (1 Peter 1:21, 2:21–23).
Honoring Christ the Lord
In a world where we fear suffering, Peter reminds us that our focus should be on honoring Christ the Lord. What does it mean to honor Christ the Lord? The word for honor (hagiazo) here has the sense of “treat as holy, regard reverently”1 Christ as Lord. In other words, we are to treat Christ with a special status (see Hebrews 9:13–14). This is not an option but rather a command to all believers, and the desire of our hearts should always be to understand and obey the commands of our Lord (John 14:15, 23; 15:10).
Our holiness will ultimately come from our devotion to Christ, and personal holiness in a culture of opposition usually leads to suffering. To treat Christ as holy also means that we do not see ourselves as the center of our being or purpose; rather it means we see ourselves as those who are redeemed sinners (1 Peter 1:16, 18–19). Moreover, what you treat as holy in your heart will have an impact on the rest of your life: morality, understanding of life and death, ethical decisions, priorities, and so on.
If Christ is rightly honored in the hearts of his people, they will fear him and not the world. But notice that “always being prepared to make a defense” flows from the obedience to the first part of the text, that is the obedience to honoring Christ the Lord as holy in our hearts. It is because we are a royal priesthood and a chosen people that we are commanded to give a reason for the hope in us.
The Hope in You
Peter tells us that our personal holiness will require an explanation because it sets us apart as sojourners and exiles (1 Peter 2:11). Those to whom we give an answer are “anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you and to wonder why the christian is different?.”
What is the hope in the face of a Christian’s suffering? It is a living hope, the hope of a life to come (1 Peter 1:3–4).
However, if we don’t live in such a way as to honor Christ, if we dress, talk, think, and react like the world, then who is going to ask us about the hope that we have? There must be something about our lives that results in us acting differently from the world. Sometimes people don’t hear our words until they see our deeds (1 Peter 2:12). This is not to say that what we do is more important than what we say, but that our words must be consistent with our testimony.
Most of all, we must not forget to explain the reason for our hope in gentleness and respect. If we suffer, it should be because we have honored Jesus as Lord, not because we have dishonored him in conduct or speech.
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I've noticed that simply living every day life as a Christian 'setting apart Christ as Lord' and striving to bring Him glory by my words and actions can be inflammatory to some people. It's like they despise me just because of this. Is it because their hearts are so hardened to the things of God? Is it because they want to live in sin?. The light will always reveal what is hidden.
I've found this quite a cross to bear in my own life. I've lost friends over it, who couldn't accept me and my narrow way beliefs. Thats hard and brings with it suffering. While I know I have not lived a perfect life by any means and have made many many mistakes which caused other people pain. When God revealed to me the depth of my own sin, I repented of it, sought forgiveness, confessed where I needed to and have not looked back. Was this easy? NO !! It was very hard, but the fruit of it now is glorious. My relationship with the Lord is pure and intimate. I keep short accounts with Him, I set Him apart as my pearl of great price, my precious Lord. I don't ever want anything to come between us and contaminate that LOVE. I know as a christian woman He is the only one who will never let me down or abandon me, He actually spoke those words to my heart when I needed to hear them most.
I truly pray what I have shared is timely and helpful for someone today.
Be blessed, anoint these words dear Lord,
continue in the narrow way which leads to godliness
if your walking with God.
. Pursue His heart with true commitment and devotion. It is worth it.
If you are a non-believer why not surrender.
If you just open your heart even a tiny crack, and ask the Lord to reveal Himself to you, He will.
Ask for forgiveness for your sins,
the way you have lived your life on your own terms up to now.
Ask Him to be Lord of your life and He will.
Your life will change in ways you couldn't even imagine.
It will have true worth and an everlasting reward
in heaven when this life is over.
xo ~ Linda