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Be Prepared

Daily Reading: 1 Peter 3

Scripture Focus: ...prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. (1 Peter 3.15)

Devotional Thought: Ever the optimist. That's how I want to be known. And, Peter - at least somewhat - assumed that optimism would be the disposition of the Christian. He took it for granted that people would wonder about the hope that is in us. But, he reminds us of what we read about in Romans 8.24: "Hope that is seen is not hope." In other words, people see our hope through the trials we endure.

We are 'prepared' to defend hope when we...

· Are zealous for what is good (13). Often the good is not popular. But, when we are steadfast in our support for the good, people will be take note of our hope.

· Suffer for righteousness' sake (14). The Apostle Paul was moved in his spirit by the Spirit he saw at work in Stephen, who was martyred for his faith. Stephen's hope did not waver even when the stones struck him. This is indeed a costly testimony of hope.

· Honor Christ the Lord as holy (15). Does your life bring honor to the holiness and love of Christ? That kind of living exudes hope.

· Treat others with gentleness and respect (15). It is easy to strike out at our accusers. If people feel judgment and condemnation from you, however, they have little reason for hope.

· Keep a clean conscience when we are slandered and reviled (16). Peter shows us how Jesus is the prime example of not striking back. His accusers, and even his executioners, found hope in the mercy he showed.

We've all heard the expression, "Be careful what you wish for. You may get it!" And, so it is with our testimony of hope. We all want to have it, yet getting it is costly. Be prepared!

Prayer: Lord, I know that you suffered so that I might find hope. Help me to be willing to pay the price so that others, too, may experience the hope that I have found in you. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 60.1-5

1 O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses; you have been angry; oh, restore us. 2 You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open; repair its breaches, for it totters. 3 You have made your people see hard things; you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.

4 You have set up a banner for those who fear you, that they may flee to it from the bow. Selah 5 That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer us!

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