Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Peter 3:15
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” – 1 Peter 3:15
Mark, in his gospel wrote the following words of Jesus, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15. This was meant not just for the twelve apostles, but to all that believe and follow Christ. In other words, all Christians. Matthew includes the following into His version of what Jesus said. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20. We who are serious Christians are disciples and therefore we are to learn all we can about Jesus and the gospel so that we can preach it to all.
Peter starts this verse with ‘sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts’. The basic idea here is to regard reverently and holy. To be set apart as most important. We must always regard Christ, in our hearts, as most important to us. In Isaiah we read, “It is the LORD of hosts whom you should regard as holy. And He shall be your fear, And He shall be your dread.” Isaiah 8:13. Wayne Grudem in his commentary on 1 Peter says that the sense of fear and reverence for the Lord rather than the fear of men is reinforced. In other words, to reverence Christ as Lord means really to believe that Christ, not one’s human opponents, is truly in control of events. This is why we must put Christ, as Lord, first in deciding who we are and what we do.
And going back to what Mark wrote, we are to go into the world and preach the gospel. Now, there are two ways we can look at the phrase, go into all the world. First, by becoming a full time missionary and going to places all over the world preaching the truth of Christ. This is very valid, and if God has called us to do this, then it is what we are to do. I have a brother and sister-in-law who have traveled throughout the world telling people the truth of Christ, sometimes spending months and years in one place. This is a wonderful life they have lived, and God has used them immensely.
However, there is a second way to look at this, and that is to be available to discuss and preach the gospel to those around where you are. We do not need to be full time missionaries in order to have a mission field. Where we work is our mission field. Our home can be our mission field. Anywhere we go is a mission field. And as our focus verse states, that is always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you. Jesus told us, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-14. Our light should shine such that anyone who sees us sees something they wish to understand. So, we must always be ready to be a witness to others of the truth found in Christ. And we must do this in such a way that they will be inclined to understand and accept the truth. Therefore, we must be gentle and reverent, not being haughty, indignant or judgmental if they do not accept what we say at first.
So, let us be ready and prepared to help those who we come into contact with understand the gospel so that they accept it with assurance. We have an eternal hope within us that is available to all, and what a blessing we would be to those who come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And Paul lays out how we can be prepared. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. God gave us His Word in order to prepare us for the work He has for us to do. Therefore study it diligently so that you can answer any question posed to us regarding Christ and the word of God.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.