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The Scriptorium

Lived Hope

1 Peter 3.15-17

15But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always beready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17For it isbetter, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

The Story: There is power in a life well lived. The Christian’s hope is to enjoy God in His glory and to show that glory to the watching world in every aspect of our lives (Rom. 5.1, 2; Hab. 2.14; 1 Cor. 10.31). When we are truly living in this hope – engaging with God in His glory and knowing the joy and power of His transforming Word and Spirit (2 Cor. 3.12-18) – our lives will show the blessings of God even in the midst of difficulties and trials. People notice that, and some will want to know how it is possible for us to have such peace, joy, and forbearance. We must be ready with an answer. That will take the form of an explanation for why we are the way we are – what we believe, how God has wrought in our lives, and why our hope has such sustaining power to bless. We must be gentle and respectful as we answer, not overbearing, preachy, or putting others down. By giving our answer we may suffer even more. So be it; the joy of the Lord will flow just that much more to us and through us.

The Structure: Peter understood well that Jesus has commissioned us first to bewitnesses and then to dowitnessing out of the context of a life well lived. God Himself is the power for our witness (Acts 1.8; Phil. 2.13), so we only need to concentrate on believing and obeying the Lord unto good works, regardless of the circumstances in our lives. If we will, open doors for bearing witness will be flinging wide before us every day.

What would be your “answer” should someone ask a reason for the hope that is in you?

Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “First, Be: 1 Peter 3,” simply click here.

T. M. Moore

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
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