Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fact or Fiction?

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:15, NIV)

There is a tale told of that great English actor Macready. An eminent preacher once said to him: "I wish you would explain to me something."

"Well, what is it? I don't know that I can explain anything to a preacher."

"What is the reason for the difference between you and me?" The preacher asked. "You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all."

Macready's answer was this: "This is quite simple. I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction."

Zinger, huh? Sure does challenge my faith-o-meter. J This story both motivates and cautions me. Frankly, Christians embarrass the cause of Christ all the time. It's vital that we be confident in the message of hope we cling to as believers in Jesus, but it's equally vital that we be prepared to share truth in love - share Scripture in proper context - share our hears with meekness and fear for the purpose of attracting others to the restoring love of Christ. We don't need to be Bible scholars with capital letters following our names...but we do need to be Bible girls!

I don't need to harp on the fact that there's a great moral decline in the world. We see that coming and going! As a community of Christ followers in this valley, let's commit ourselves to making a difference in the lives of others, in our homes, among our friends, in our communities, and in this world! To do this, we need to know our Bibles. To think through current issues. We must be prepared to share how we've been changed by the love of God through His Son, Jesus Christ. It's the great commission, and it's for each of us...not for the perfect among us. People around us need to know that God is still in the restoration business - and that He longs to bring His peace, hope and love to every life.

Look at the apostle Paul. He was prepared to speak about Christ wherever he went. In the New Testament book of Acts, we learn that, "from morning 'til evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets." (Acts 28:23b, NIV)

The life-changing, peace-giving, truth we know needs to be presented to the world as life-changing, peace-giving truth! Get in His Word - get in His presence - and look for opportunities to share God's love as truth with confidence!

2 Timothy 1:12: "Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed..." Can you say that and mean that?

Are you prepared to give an answer for the hope you have?

Have you been changed by God's grace? Held by His love? Grab your journal and write a paragraph or two that describes how God has worked in your life.