Pledge Principle IX “I will make the most of every opportunity to share Gods love demonstrated by His Son Jesus on the cross gently, respectfully and soberly without compromising truth.
1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always be prepared to give an explanation to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, yet with gentleness and reverence.
The Pledge Principles are road markers on the journeys of faith. No Principle in itself makes us “right with God.” The only one who did that was Jesus on the cross. What the principles are though are elements of your life which should be impacted in an ongoing process of change if you profess to follow Jesus Christ. They like a barometer, as Gods spirit lives within you ( John 14: 26 & 16-17) His Spirit confronts and conforms our life into the image of His Son Jesus.
Why do so many Christians go through life with the same compliant? “I just don’t seem to have the opportunity to share, no one is interested?” Well I can relate to that one hundred percent as most of my Christian life I could say the same thing! No one seemed interested. I was looking at the problem backwards. It wasn’t anyone wasn’t interested, (John 4: “Look the harvest is plentiful, it’s the workers who are few”) it was me, I wasn’t interesting.
That’s right, there was nothing in my life for most of my journey as a so called follower of Christ that communicated anything different to the world. I was ordinary.
People take notice of the extraordinary around them. They notice, trust me. The Bible verse this Pledge Principle revolves around in 1 Peter starts with a simple subject that’s miles deep.
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts …”
We hear a lot about the word “heart” or hearts” in the New Testament, it’s based on the Greek word “Kardia” which refers to the inner person the thoughts, the feeling and the mind. (see Gal 4: 6)
That second word “sanctify” is as deep as the ocean in practice, it would be considered a verb and it means to “make holy, to purify or consecrate mentally, to venerate.”
Pretty much in one sentence you have the reason why so many of us experience a marginal faith, absent of inner peace and driven by circumstances around us.
Peter who wrote the epistle knew what it was like to fail in his faith and make his ideas priority over God’s who was desirous of communicating to Peter through the “heart” the Kardia. Telling others about Christ and the forgiveness of God is a pretty easy sell, that’s good news to be shared. How we do it means everything. We can exist with the intellectual knowledge of Jesus knowing all the right things to say and be nothing more than a “clanging symbol” devoid of love because we haven’t venerated or consecrated Christ in our thoughts, minds and feelings. We can exist in a form of “cheap grace” or “grace for granted” without even knowing it. The world is very keen and smarter than we give it credit for as it can smell our lack of depth which seems always to be reveal itself by what comes out of our mouths! “Cogno Jesus” is about as offensive to the world as it gets, and I would argue God as well.
Pledge Principle IX sounds good in practice but as you probably have already discerned it’s hardly easy. Making an effort to consecrate Christ in our inner being means coming face to face with all of the junk, the wrong assumptions, the life philosophies and our immature beliefs about the power and nature of God. It’s a humbling experience, especially when it brings us into confrontation with our own shortcomings and poor choices. The good news is putting Him first in our inner being comes with a promise,
“Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened. Math 7: 7
Here’s another one, “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him and he with Me. Rev: 3:20
Before we even attempt to share our faith, it’s worth asking the question do we have a faith thats worth sharing?