“…but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy.” (1 Peter 3:15)
I was listening to the testimony of a man (Edmund) this week and found it quite challenging. He spoke of a time, many years ago, when a girl he knew was invited to go to a Christian meeting. His friend, who was not a believer, implored him to go with her as she wasn’t keen on attending alone.
She knew that Edmund was a Christian and thought that he would be ‘safe’ to go with. She did not know that Edmund was, at that time, really not following the Lord. The speaker at the meeting presented the gospel and urged those attending to respond to Jesus in repentance and faith.
After the meeting the woman asked Edmund if what the speaker was saying was true. Edmund, knowing that the eternal destiny of his friend was at stake, responded by saying that it was true and that she needed to trust in Jesus Christ as her Saviour (all the while knowing that he was not living a faithful Christian walk). His friend made the decision to believe in Jesus and become his follower.
Over the next few months she began to learn more about the Christian faith as she read her Bible and attended church and a home group. Then, one day she confronted Edmund and asked him this question, “Do you believe that Christianity is true and that Jesus is who he says he is?” Without any hesitation Edmund responded in the affirmative. It was what came out of his friend’s mouth next that really challenged him. She asked him, ’Well, if you believe it’s true then why doesn’t your life reflect that?”
Sadly, today, there are many people who claim to be Christians, who say that they believe the Bible and love Jesus, but who are living lives that contradict their testimony. Jesus said in John 14:21,“ Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.”
It is what captivates our hearts the most that we will devote our time and efforts and energies to. When Peter urges his readers to ‘honour Christ in their hearts as holy ‘ he is essentially telling them to put Jesus first – give him the place of utmost importance and significance in their lives.
This is a great challenge for us today because we have so many things vying for our affections and devotion. It’s so easy to lose sight of the glory and truth of Christ and the salvation he has secured for us, and to go after stuff which we believe will bring us a better life.
This has been the plight of God’s people throughout the centuries – to lose sight of God and His goodness and to instead go after worthless idols.
Each day we need to ‘set apart Christ as Lord of our lives’. Have you done that today?
Blessings, Pastor Duncan