give the reason…

Many of us have in our “living as New Creations” comes in the form of an inability to speak about what God has done/is doing in our lives.  I see this often in my teens, whose usual high decibel level drops significantly at the question, “What is God doing in your life?”  For whatever reason, we kind of approach the topic as this picture might suggest:

When we share something vulnerable about ourselves, it usually involves a risk.  This is just one of the tons of benefits of marriage that can fight the usual “ball and chain” metaphor.  Within marriage we find a safe covenant context for sharing a “living vulnerability”.  But I’m not talking about marriage here today.
To share what God is doing in our lives involves putting ourselves “out there” in a way that we usually don’t feel is guaranteed to produce great results.  Even in a faith setting, often Christians are quick to smile and love their neighbor, and less anxious to say “this past week, God has been working on my heart toward….”.  We know that if we give a bit of ourselves away like this, we may not receive anything in return.
Lately in reading Neil Cole’s “Cultivating a Life for God”, I’ve not only been reminded of the importance of doing this for our own sake, but also for the sake of the living, breathing, transformational message of the gospel that has so much to offer TODAY, not to mention into the infinite.  Many of us have realized how much “getting people saved in order to avoid hell” kinda rubs us the wrong way.  We want to offer people more than that, but in my experience the conversations end there.  At least the “avoid hell” people are talking.
We need to be people who are not only transformed by, and experiencing the NEW LIFE of Jesus Christ in our life today – we must SPEAK OF IT.  Be involved in God’s Kingdom-proclaiming/bringing work and share the stories with each other and with people who have yet to realize Christ as Lord!!  This is definitely worth “putting ourselves out there”…and not because of the line “Because Jesus put himself out there for you.”….but because to keep God’s bondage-breaking, sin-forgiving, new-life-offering presence to ourselves – seems sinful.

Are you different today because of Christ?  Tell someone.  Is God doing something in your heart and life right now?  Talk about it.  Do you desire God to move in your life in a new way?  Confess that desire, and pray with someone.

1 Peter 3:15 – “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”

Step 1 from this verses seems to be “have hope”.  Obviously this is the same source of hope for everyone, but the verse here doesn’t say “say _____________” when people ask you the reason for the hope that you have.  Why not?  Because it’s YOUR story.  What God has done/is doing in your life.

A good place to start may be asking the question – “What is the story I would tell someone else right now?”

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