But in your hearts set apart 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, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 1 Peter 3:15-16 (NIV)
What does that mean? What does what mean? What does it mean that I am Lord? Let me start by saying that you are not just Lord generally. You are Lord specifically of my life. By that, I mean you have authority over my life. You are in charge of my life. I have bowed myself down to you. I want your will to reign over my life. You are on the throne of my life. I can say more. Go ahead, I am listening. I am not the evaluator of you. You are the evaluator of me. If my thoughts or words or actions are not in alignment with you, someone has got to change and its not you. If your word says something is true, I dare not think it is false. If your word says one thing, I better not do another. If your word says something is false, it would be foolish to think it was true. My heart and mind and life are centered on you. I want all my thoughts and words and actions to be pleasing to you. I have set you apart as Lord of my life because I love you with all my heart and mind and soul and strength. It is my joy to live my life with or for you. I could have no greater peace or joy or hope than I do in loving, following and serving you. That is very good.
Will you keep silent about the peace and hope and joy you have in me? Is this a secret that only you should know? No, not at all. I want to share the good news. I want to be a bold witness for you. I want to shine brightly as a witness for you in the world. I want others to wonder and ask why I have such radiant hope and joy within me. Speak through me. Help me to lead others to you. Use my life to help others to come to know and love and follow and serve you. Let the good that you are doing in and through me speak powerfully to others so that they will want to live their lives with you both now and forever. That I will do. I will shine brightly in and through your life. You will bear fruit for my kingdom and bring glory to my name. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I have set you apart in my heart as my Lord. I know you will make me able to think and speak and act in ways that are pleasing to you. Give me opportunities to share the reason for the hope that I have in you. Help me to shine brightly in the world for you. Amen
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