Proverbs 17 3-17-19

Why do you follow Jesus? DO YOU follow Jesus? Why or why not? What reason would you give for where you are in life?

14 “Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”

People like to argue, especially about politics and religion. When it comes to religion, we should be noticeably silent during these arguments. Instead, we look for an opportunity to give our testimony. Keep in mind that what we say about our faith and how we say it is important. Is it relevant? Is it respectful? Does it highlight the right truth? These are good questions based upon 1 Peter 3:15-16. Let’s look at this passage in parts:

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord.

As followers of Christ, this is a given. Let’s keep Him Lord of our lives.

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

What an opportunity! The person is asking! But, rather than starting with Scripture, let’s start with our testimony. We ARE the Bible he has been reading, so let’s capitalize on that. Besides, we are much more confident with that which has happened to us. Our story is what is appealing to the seeker. He is interested in how you were before meeting Christ, how you got to know Christ, and how your life is better now that you know Christ. Said in your own language and “verbal skills” (remember that the Holy Spirit is probably working on their hearts and will cause them to hear His voice through yours, so quit worrying; you can’t mess this up), just tell the person what happened.

But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience,

This is the hard part. If we argue with him about ANYTHING, we ruin the chance to give our testimony. For ANYTHING ELSE, wait until the person is truly hungry for truth. That is the time to break open the Bible and share with him God’s Word. Creation over Evolution is great, but NOT NOW!

so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.

The idea here is to live a life that “underscores rather than undermines our message.” It may be that your behavior causes them to fall under conviction of the Holy Spirit. We pray that it does.

I read a good quote: “Every generation of believers must be prepared to explain their decision to follow Jesus in their generation to their generation out of concern for their generation.” Doing so is Christianity 2.0. It’s the next level. Want to grow in your faith? Put together your testimony so that you can share it in under a minute. Remember that they are interested in:

  1. Your life before Christ (What were you like? Where did you struggle?)
  2. How you met Jesus (Who introduced you? What got your attention? Why did He look good to you?)
  3. Your life now that you know Christ (What’s different? How are you a better person? What do you have now that you didn’t have before?)

I would be interested in seeing what you put together. Please send me a copy of your testimony. Let’s do this, people! Let’s move “Higher Up and Further In” with Christ by moving out with His message!

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