#1—sanctify (set apart) the Messiah as the ruler in your heart . . .
make God the deciding factor, the umpire, in every choice you make in your life, in every thought you hold in your heart
#2—always be ready to make a defense . . .
to be ready means to have considered what & why so you can give an answer because you have thought about it, like answering why you do something the way you do – a position of defense (response) not offense
#3—to everyone who asks . . .
this is not an admonition to go correct another or to “instruct” another but rather an encouragement to have considered why you have hope for the future to share with anyone who asks you about it
#4—to give an account . . .
to tell a story – to share your experiences, your pain, your insights, your steps in getting to where you are and, in truth, we tend to want to share our story about things that impact us (a diet that works, a plan that works, a happy event, a tragedy, etc.)
#5—for the hope that is in you . . .
HOPE is what you are to account for (note: it does not say “doctrine”).
HOPE is the end result of walking the path you have walked in the knowledge that God somehow worked in your Life and that you can trust Him to do whatever is needed to work out His plan in your life in the future (it’s all about Who, not how)
#6—with gentleness . . .
a story told from a humble heart, one who knows Who God is and who he/she is (a child of God), will reveal the Truth gained in gentleness based in compassion for the hearer – it’s possible struggles are still to come for the one who is asking or painful experiences have hindered the flowering of the heart of the one asking (healing occurs under the growth lamp of HOPE in God)
#7—reverence . . .
when the hearer sees HOPE in the Love of God and sees HOPE in the Power of God, he/she will feel reverence for God – stand in awe of, have a deep respect for
—the assurance of His Faithfulness and His awesome Love for each of us supports every step in our path and this is the basis for our HOPE . . .
Oh, the depth of the riches
both of the wisdom and
knowledge of God!
are His judgments and
unfathomable His ways!
For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him
that it might be paid back to him again?
For from Him and
through Him and
to Him are all things.
To Him be the glory forever. Amen.
. . . truly unfathomable HOPE!
my thoughts this morning to start this day . . . HOPE in God . . . “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” . . . (1Timothy 4:10)