No sooner had we smiled in acknowledgment of his presence that he whipped out a New Testament from his back pocket and asked, "Do you know Jesus?"
1 Peter 3:1-22
Reference: v.15 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. (NIV Bible)
Explore: When I was a teenager our family went on a holiday to visit our cousins in Sydney. On one our days away we decided to take the train in to the city to do some sightseeing. We had not been sitting in the train carriage for long before a young gentleman came and sat beside us. No sooner had we smiled in acknowledgment of his presence that he whipped out a New Testament from his back pocket and asked, "Do you know Jesus?" I remember this situation quite clearly, for a number of reasons:
1. I had never seen anyone try to witness to a stranger before;
2. I had never seen anyone who was so open about their faith in a non-Christian context; and
3. I was surprised that someone could find a Bible so small that they carried it in the back pocket of their jeans (I had grown up only knowing of the NIV Study Bible, and you'd struggle to fit that in any piece of clothing!)
While I found the whole experience quite bizarre, I could not fault the man for being brave and courageous enough in his faith that he would ask an absolute stranger if they knew Jesus.
Application: Preaching on the street corner or asking strangers about their faith is not necessarily my style of evangelism, however I think I may have gone too much in the opposite direction. I hate to think of the opportunities I have missed in talking to people about my faith because I was too scared or too ashamed. Recently I went to a seminar about evangelism and the key note speaker advised us to always have our testimony ready to share if the opportunity came up. If someone asked you, 'Why do you believe in God?' how would you answer? While this question may not come up all that often, it would be great if we were prepared for it when it did. There is no better time for us to think about how we would explain our faith to someone who did not believe. We can never predict when this question will arise but we can be prepared to express ourselves as best as we can when it does.
Prayer: Lord, it is so difficult for us to put in to words all that You mean to us. Help us to have clarity so that we can tell others about the glorious hope we have in You. Amen.
If someone asked you, 'Why do you believe in God?' how would you answer?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.