At A Moment’s Notice
By Toby Crowder
1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”
Levi Sawyer… John Hawks… James Goodwin… Asa Rugg…Joel Phinney… Do any of those names ring a bell? These are the names of only a few of the Revolutionary minutemen that served our country. Although many of their names are not well-known today, civilian colonists called “minutemen” comprised about a fourth of the militias during the time of the Revolutionary War. These men were selected from militia muster rolls by their commanding officers and were typically young men who were chosen for their enthusiasm, reliability, and physical strength. They were expected to be ready to assemble and serve at a moment’s notice, hence their designation and title.
I will admit, I am starting to feel the effects of my age and I am not so sure that I can be ready for anything (other than a meal) at a moment’s notice, but when I read the verse above, the minutemen are what immediately came to my mind. As the children of God, we should be ready at moment’s notice to tell others about the HOPE that is in us. We see God’s “minutemen” all throughout Scripture, but I would like to focus briefly on the Apostle Paul and his ministry.
In the opening chapter of Romans, we hear Paul make what has become a very popular statement on the Gospel, and basically lays out the theme of Romans … the Gospel of Christ. Verse 16 says “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Paul was letting them know upfront that he was unashamed of the good news of Jesus Christ! The good news of the Gospel has not changed since Jesus’ day…and this is what we accept and believe by faith for salvation.
Consider all the great opportunities that Paul had to share the Gospel. In Acts 25 & 26 we see him before rulers such as Felix and Agrippa, yet when given the chance to speak, Paul did not argue or complain, he only spoke to them about the good news of his testimony and the Gospel that he proclaimed! The audience did not seem to matter to Paul, because the subject was always the same. Wherever and whenever he had the chance, he wanted to talk about Jesus and was not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ!
Paul was unashamed to BELIEVE this Gospel. Many in this day do not want to believe the message of the Gospel. They are ashamed to admit that they are lost, separated by their sins from God, and need a Savior. When Paul stood before Agrippa in Acts 26, he was not ashamed to recount how that the Lord had saved Him on the Damascus Road. Are we willing to tell others how we came to believe the Gospel and share with them our salvation experience?
Paul was also unashamed to CONFESS the Gospel. Everywhere he went in his travels, the message was the same…. Jesus! Are we being consistent with the message that we are sharing with the world? Are we ready at a moment’s notice to confess to the world this Gospel that we believe? Jesus told His disciples in Mark 8:38 “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
And finally, Paul was unashamed to SPREAD the Gospel. In the preceding verse (Rom 1:15) Paul says “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” Paul had surrendered to the ministry of the Lord and was bold in his work for Him as he spread this glorious Gospel. This is the place that a lot of Christians stop because it means we must deny ourselves and our desires and overcome the fears of sharing our faith.
In a world that so desperately needs to hear the good news of the Gospel, may we each heed the words of 1 Peter 3:15 and be ready “at moment’s notice” to share our faith!
Toby Crowder serves as Pastor of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Spruce Pine. He and his wife Leslie have been married for 26 years and have two daughters, Emilee, and Katy. He can be contacted via the church’s website MCfamilyforChrist.org or firstname.lastname@example.org
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