This is a copy of my speaking notes from a devotional thought I gave last Wednesday evening. I try not to read my notes word for word but use them more as a guide. With that disclaimer, I hope you understand if it is not written perfectly.
I have just recently decided to try my hand at turkey hunting. I've seen several strutting around our land this spring and so I went yesterday evening on the way home from work and I bought all the stuff that the experts say that I'm going to need. New camo, special shotgun shells, and last but not least a couple of turkey calls. Something I always wanted to try was the turkey calls that go into your mouth. That just seems like the way to go, hands free! Well I practiced my calling this morning all the way to work and figured I would close the door to my office and practice while I worked. Apparently, closing the door wasn't really enough to stop the sound from traveling to other offices and so it wasn't long before I heard *Knock, knock, knock* on my door. Thankfully it was someone from my team that I'm good friends with so I decided to have a little fun with him. So when he asked me, what is that noise? I looked at him, took out the call and said, it's a turkey call - and it looks like it works!
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:15, 16 NASB)
You see, the same way that me using that turkey call brought attention to me, Peter is saying that people are going to notice that you as followers of Christ are different. This should give us something to think about. When is the last time that someone came up to you and asked you "Hey, why do you have hope of eternal life with God in Heaven?". I don't think I've ever been asked that. But what about these questions
"How have you been married so long?", "Why don't you cuss or go out partying and get drunk with us?", "Why did you turn down courtside tickets to a Thunder game?", "Why are you leaving ball practice early on Wednesday evening?, "Why don't you laugh at our dirty jokes?"
There are all kinds of questions that the world asks of us. They aren't usually so straightforward as "Hey, why do you have hope of eternal life with God in Heaven." But guess what, that is exactly what they are asking in all of those questions.
The world will notice your actions, good or bad, and they will ask you why if you are different. How many of these opportunities have you let slip through your fingertips? I've certainly been guilty of not being ready to give an answer to those questions. It's not always easy to answer some of them out of fear because we don't want to hurt someone else's feelings. Peter writes that they should answer those questions, yet do so with gentleness and reverence. Certainly we can find a way to do that.
Paul writes in Colossians chapter 4 verse 5:
Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. (Colossians 4:5, 6 NASB)
I want you to think about tonight how you will respond to each person when they ask you why you live the way you do. Do you know enough scripture to be able to study with that person if they ask? Are you willing to know enough about what your friends and neighbors believe to be able to show them with grace, gentleness, and reverence why the scriptures say they are wrong? If not I encourage you to get ready, don't let another opportunity pass by.