Prepare to Answer

1 Peter 3:13-17 

13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15But in your hearts revere 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. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

Practice makes what?

You may have heard people frequently use this excuse, “I’m not perfect! You are not perfect either! Nobody is perfect!” Of course, we can agree that no human being is perfect. But still, you may have heard people suggest, “Practice makes perfect!” Why?

Maybe, they can be perfect according to their standard of perfection but not necessarily in the real sense of perfection. To say, “Practice makes perfect!” can be encouraging statement for anyone to keep on practicing. It may not make them perfect, but eventually their confidence will grow stronger when they practice more diligently.

Many immigrants who took the Driver’s Road Test in Canada failed. But those who were trained in Canada on how to drive easily pass their Driver’s Road Test. Why?

Immigrants could be familiar of traffic rules and regulations in their country of origin but not very familiar yet with Canadian traffic rules and regulations. Instinctively, new immigrants are accustomed and used to driving behavior in their home country.

In comparison, Canadian student drivers would train on the streets where they will take the Driver’s Road Test. They familiarize the route, speed and traffic flow in the streets where they are expected to be tested. So, when new student drivers practice more frequently in the same street, their driving confidence will grow eventually. We may conclude that practice increases confidence, not necessarily perfection.

Personally, how do you interpret what it declares in Hebrews 11:1? 1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

The term “confidence” implies practice of faith. Faith in God is functional and active as compared to idle belief. Confidence in God increases when we practice our faith in him. To practice faith in God, we obey him frequently. God gives initial instruction appropriated to faith in him. When we obey him, confidence in him develops. As faith grows stronger, we obey him more often; confidence that God’s will is best for us increases all the more.

God wants us to have strong confidence in him. He designed series of commands for us to follow. Every time we obey each command, our confidence in him increases. Just as physical exercise strengthens physically, obedience to God is spiritual exercise that strengthens our confidence in him, and we grow strong spiritually.

One command of God is to be good to others. Instinctively, we are apprehensive of possible rejection when we show goodness to others. We need courage from God.

1.  Courage

13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 

When inspired by the Holy Spirit, we can be good to others spontaneously. When Christ is active in us, his love and goodness enables us to have good behavior toward others. When his Holy Spirit is actively performing in us, we sense eagerness to be good to others. This term “eager,” as description of doing good to others, is also interpreted properly as enthusiastic, devoted and zealous to be good to others.

The Holy Spirit inspires us to be enthusiastic to be good to others spontaneously without selfish agenda. Zealousness, devotion and enthusiasm to goodness are essential supplement to courage and not scared to be good. We imitate the goodness of Christ.

Doing good attracts persecution too. It warns us in 2 Timothy 3:12-13, 12In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Christ warned about persecution of disciples. No disciple is exempted. You prefer to be persecuted for godly life or choose to go from bad to worse and be deceived.

Doing good can attract oppositions who may possibly abuse or cause trouble.

The statement, “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened,” is godly command. Believers are expected to be courageous, only if inspired by the Holy Spirit. Can we be courageous at all the times, especially when oppositions are very intimidating?

There are also intimidating situations when we need courage. The challenge of new responsibility may intimidate individuals who have no experience. Say for example: Annually, we elect church leaders; many church members are nominated, but only few responded positively. Why? Are they intimidated by responsibilities or expectations?

Did God design intimidating circumstances? God wants us to grow stronger in our faith in him. He wants us to have confidence that he sustains us. Can you believe that? God sustains us with things we need to accomplish his mission purposes for us.

Pray for stronger faith when you are hesitant to obey. Learn from Joshua’s story.


After Moses died, the Lord instructed Joshua to lead Israel, cross the Jordan River and conquer the Promised Land. The Lord encouraged him in Joshua 1:5-9, 5No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

The Lord repeated his instruction for Joshua to be strong and courageous. Why?

The Lord sensed that Joshua felt intimidated by huge responsibility to lead Israel and conquer Canaan, why? Well, why not? Moses was considered as the greatest leader of Israel, yet Moses was not able to lead Israel into the Promised Land. Again, why?

One may say, “Well, the Lord planned that Joshua conquers the Promised Land.”

And that is very true! The Lord had designed it that Joshua led Israel when they entered the Promised Land. And truly when God preferred you to lead, he will also provide necessary encouragement for you to accept the challenge of leadership.

Are you frustrated when the person you nominated for leadership did not accept your nomination? It is possible that the divine timing of God for them as leaders is not the proper time, just yet. At the right and perfect time, God gives sufficient encouragement for them to be leaders, just as God encouraged Joshua to lead the Israelites.

When the Lord told Joshua not to turn to the right or to the left, what can you interpret? Going right may possibly mean attraction of better opportunity while going left may possibly mean choice of lesser challenges. Better paying job and less difficult duties can influence careless decision. Do you agree that God know the best for you?

Always pray for increase of faith and confidence in Christ as Lord who provides.

2.  Confidence

15But in your hearts revere 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. But do this with gentleness and respect, 

To “revere” Christ as Lord is to honor, respect and prioritize him. Our faith in him grows stronger when we obey him. We practice faith in Christ when we follow him, and when our confidence in him increases. Be familiar of his instructions written in the Scripture.

When Apostle Peter advised us to always be prepared to give an answer, he did not expect us to use human logics, did he? To always be prepared to give an answer is godly command. Always pray to be inspired by the Holy Spirit to obey him gladly.

Apostle Peter may have properly interpreted what Christ Jesus said in John 16:13. 13When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.


The Spirit of Truth is significant in the interpretation of the church Constitution and By-laws. The formulation of church Constitution and By-laws can be a blessing, but it could also delay the progress of church ministries. The blessing of having church Constitution and By-laws is that we have standard guidelines of church activities, and can be useful, especially when legal challenges happen. Yet, church activities that are not specifically mentioned in the church Constitution and By-laws could be delayed. The BOT have proven it.

Former members of the Board of Trustees are not enthusiastic of serving in the BOT. Why? Were they exhausted by extended meetings? During meetings, the leaders discuss about ministry budgets, and proponents of budgets have to defend their proposals. They need to logically convince the BOT that their ministry budget proposal is God’s will.

Have you heard of individuals who resigned from leadership and transferred to another church because their proposal was denied during leadership meeting? Such reality happens to every local church, here and abroad. So, please include our church leaders in your regular personal or family time of prayer. It says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Pray that our church leaders would diligently and prayerfully read the Scripture and always be dependent on the Holy Spirit so that they may enthusiastically serve God. It is beneficial to the church, when leaders decide to follow the mission purposes of God for them personally. Thereby, they will have clear conscience before God and others.

3.  Conscience

16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 

Who are against good behavior? Malicious people! It’s biblical reality that should not be ignored, especially, when we decide to follow the will of God. Dedicated leaders have been disappointed because of malicious gossips; ordinary church attendees are no exemption. Thus, anyone can be victimized by malicious information or fake news.

Fakes news, malicious gossips and false information had infected the humanity. Human beings became vulnerable and victimized by malicious information and fake news ever since the ancient serpent lied about the instruction of God.

It narrated in Genesis 3:1-6: 1The serpent said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” 4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

It started with simply believing false information. The first mankind ignored God.

Sin infiltrated humanity when Adam and Eve disregarded the instruction of the Lord not to eat fruit from the forbidden tree. Pragmatically, they defied and disobeyed the instruction of the Lord when they desired to gain wisdom. Instead of gaining wisdom, they lost it, why? They believed malicious information from the ancient serpent.

Defiance to God can never produce wisdom. Wisdom begins when we fear God. Meaning: To fear God is to revere, respect and trust God; thereby, we obey him.

The Lord sent the Holy Spirit of Christ into our life when we believe and trust him as Lord and Savior; he guides into all truth and warns us not to believe in malicious gossips. Well, believing in Christ does not stop malicious people from promoting fake news. It happened in the past, it happens in our generation, and it will happen in the future.

Have you heard about false information regarding the resurrection of Jesus Christ? It narrated in Matthew 28:11-15, 11Some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

These days, they use human logic to prove or disprove the resurrection of Christ. To argue and prove biblical realities can be entertaining but cannot increase faith in the Lord. The open secret to grow in faith and increase in confidence in Christ is obedience inspired by his Holy Spirit. Prove your faith in Christ by faithful obedience to him.

Reflect on 2 Timothy 4:2-8, 2Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Are you prepared to give an answer why you believe and obey Christ? Do you eagerly wait for his return? Do you expect to receive the crown of righteousness on Judgment Day? Pray for stronger faith and increase of confidence in Christ that he sustains us with things we need to accomplish his mission purposes in us.

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