Saturday, August 11, 2012

Reflection on 1 Peter 3:15-16: Live a Good Life because you Belong to Christ

You must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.” (1 Peter 3:15-16NLT)

First Letter from Apostle Peter (above) was addressed to Christians whom he called ‘God’s chosen people’. In this letter, Peter want to give encouragement for the readers who were facing persecution and suffering for their faith – and at the same time, he also urges them to live as people who belong to Christ.

"Hey, you're different..."
Here I want to highlight this statement by Peter: “…when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.” This is what made the difference from the persecuted-believers at that time from the non-believers. This was what attractive to others; ‘a good life’ in the midst of hardships and difficulties – and may I say it here, this kind of ‘a good life’ is also very attractive to our world today! God’s influence in your life is attractive to others. Make it your goal that your friends or classmates or even strangers are able to say, “Hey, you’re difference from others. I see that God is with you. Tell me about your Christian hope.”

While looking for illustrations to strengthen my point here, I suddenly remember about an interesting story that I read before [Pardon me, I modified it without permission, I’m sorry]:

A boy was selling apples on a KTM train. The price was only RM0.70.  He walked through the car saying, “Apple?” And the reply came, “No” Another negative response. “Apple?”, “No, thanks.”He went all the way to the end of the car and didn’t sell even one apple. Then he returned dejectedly and took his seat.
A wise old man said, “Son, here is my 70 cents. I want one of your apples, and I want to help you sell the rest. I will go up to the front of the car, and I want you to keep your eyes on me. When I wink, go through the car again selling your apples.”

So the salesman went and stood at the front of the car. He held up the apple, took a handkerchief out, and began to polish that apple. He leisurely polished it and then polished it some more. Finally he decided it was time to take out his pocket knife, and he stood there leaning against the door peeling the apple. The peelings fell on the floor of his feet. Then he took his knife and cut one slice of the apple and put it in his mouth. He stood there, thoroughly enjoying chewing that juicy apple.

Then he winked at the boy. The boy started down the aisle again, calling out, “Apple?” “Yes!” came the first response. “Apple, mister?”, “Yes, sir!” said the next. “Apple?”, “Yes, please!” And he emptied the bag.

What made the difference? The apples were now attractive. What made Christians difference from others? They are living ‘a good life’(NLT); "good behavior"(NIV); "good conduct"(KJV);  because they are belong to Christ.” D.L. Moody writes, “A holy life will produce the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns; they only shine.”

THINK BIG. Ask yourself this question, “How can I, as a Christian, have the greatest impact on others?” START SMALL. Pray to God, the Holy Spirit to teach and convince you to live “a good life”. GO DEEP.You belong to Christ” – this is the source of your attractiveness. This is our “Christian hope”. 
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