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Be Prepared...to Give an AnswerSample

Be Prepared...to Give an Answer

DAY 1 OF 7

BE PREPARED.... TO GIVE AN ANSWER

DAY ONE     

I remember it being a lively summer night, hanging out and shooting darts with a few friends at our favorite local establishment, all the while discussing and debating a wide range of topics from who the best running back in the NFL was to why the US invading Iraq was or wasn’t a mistake.  As the evening progressed, for some reason the topic of Christianity came up.       

One of the guys there knew that I attended church, and he asked me if I actually believed in all that Jesus stuff.      

“With all my heart.  Do you not?” I asked him in an almost condescending way.  “Jesus saved me from my sins,” I went on to say, dart in hand eying the bullseye, “and because I believe that, I get to spend eternity with Him in heaven.”        

“And not hades?” he said, chuckling.  “How can you logically explain any of it?” he chided. “None of it makes sense.  It’s like a bad fairytale.”  Another in the group agreed, only to chime in with some very poignant questions, most of which I answered something like this: “I don’t really know how to explain it… I just believe it.”

The discussion about God and Christianity and its validity, or lack thereof, continued that night, but I wasn't much of a contributor.  Though my heart wanted to share the truth that I knew to be true,  my voice had nothing to say.  

As I lay in bed that night recounting the conversation, I felt a little disappointed in myself.  I had always enjoyed a healthy debate and could hold my own in a number of topics, yet apparently, not so much the topic of my faith, which strangely enough, was something about which I considered myself to be passionate.  For my answers that night – or lack thereof – in no way represented the way I truly felt about God…about Jesus.  Or did they?     

Staring at the ceiling, I pondered more.  By that point in life, I’d heard hundreds of sermons, enough to recollect the words of Jesus when he was asked by a Pharisee what the greatest commandment was:  “…to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” Jesus answered. “…This is the first and great commandment.”     

All those years of hearing that verse, and yet I completely missed the “with all your mind” part. 

I was an avid reader in those days.  I’d read hundreds of books, from Zig Ziglar’s See You At The Top to other self-help books to biographies of sports stars and presidents to all of the John Irving and Pat Conroy novels, even read Ayn Rand’s thousand-page classic, The Fountainhead.  And yet not once had I read entirely through the Word of God--The Bible.  For the most part, I’d just skimmed through the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John).     

And so, I made the decision that night to read through the Bible that year, cover-to-cover.       

When I got started, I often came across verses that didn’t make any sense to me.  But instead of ignoring it, I made it a point to research my confusion and ask questions.  I also prayed and reflected about what I’d read, and as a result, little by little, over time I began to interpret scripture at a much deeper, more personal level.       

Fifteen years later I’ve read through the Bible fifteen times, and each time I’m amazed how much more I learn, and how much more I cherish it.       

Now when I am blessed with the OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THE HOPE THAT IS WITHIN ME, I’d like to think that I am somewhat more compelling at defending my faith than I was that night shooting darts.       

And yet now, when these divine appointments arise, my tone is never combative, at least, I sure hope it’s not.  I’m never out to win an argument or to prove a point with a punch.  It’s my belief that we’re gifted these moments to plant seeds of hope, and to do so with gentleness and kindness….in truth, and most of all…in love.  Just share.  Let the Holy Spirit do the convincing...the convicting.     

I love what apologist Doug Powell wrote in his incredible book, Ultimate Guide To Defend Your Faith:                                  

 …We are not to be clanging gongs but as the most beautiful music—welcoming, infectious, and irresistible.                                        

 If you aren’t a believer, my prayer is that this study might somehow plant a seed of hope within you that flourishes into a genuine faith in the Living God who loves you more than you can possibly imagine.

And if you are a believer, my prayer is that you become even more passionate about loving God with all your heart, and soul—and mind.


Day 2

About this Plan

Be Prepared...to Give an Answer

Scripture tells us to "always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within us." This study encourages believers to do just that: to be prepared. But as we grow in our faith, this preparation should go bey...

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We would like to thank Jeff Scott Wood for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: https://distrokid.com/hyperfollow/jeffscottwood/you-still-love-me-just-the-same

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