1 Peter 3:15-17
But regard the Lord, the Christ, as holy in your hearts. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that is in you. But speak with gentleness and respect, while maintaining a clear conscience, so that those who attack your good way of life in Christ may be put to shame because they slandered you as evildoers.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You knew that we would never be able to save ourselves from sin, so n your infinite grace and mercy, you sent your Son to earth to be our Savior. He came here taking on our human likeness; he was born as an infant and raised by his mother, Mary. He was in almost every way like us; he had friends, family, and enemies; he was tempted like we are still tempted. As we look to your word to hear the different accounts of Jesus, we can lose track of the one stark difference—he was holy, without sin. You have reminded us through Peter’s words to keep Jesus in our hearts, remembering that while he was a person like us and Mary’s Son, he was your Son without sin. Jesus came here to carry out your plan of salvation.
As Peter wrote, we should always be prepared to defend our faith with gentleness and respect to those who would attack us, and this is our defense: Christ, your chosen one, lived a perfect life for us in our place. Then suffered and died in our place, suffering our punishment of death, and his death was not ordinary. He went to the cross and suffered your wrath in our place—the hell of being separated from you. Then he gave up his spirit only to take it up again, and he rose from the dead.
Our faith is founded in Christ and was begun in us by your Holy Spirit. By believing in Jesus, your one and only Son, we are forgiven and, with sins removed, are restored to you. You have made us heirs of heaven reunited with you through faith in your Son Jesus.
We pray we will reflect your love and forgiveness upon those of the world that do not know you or the love and forgiveness you have given us. Be with us to defend our faith in gentleness and respect. Forgive us when we are abrupt and rash; restore us to Jesus’ gentleness so we might win others to you with caring but assertive words and actions of our sure hope. So that at their end, they, too, will know and trust their Savior’s forgiveness which leads all who believe back to you; so salvation and everlasting life will be for all who have faith in Jesus. Amen.
Written through Pastor Roger Emmons
“My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”
ELH 197, Vs. 1