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Pop Quiz

But in your hearts revere 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

As the teacher walked into the classroom, she said, "Students, put away your books and get out a piece of paper." At those words, I felt a surge of anxiety flow through my body. It didn't matter whether I had been listening in class and doing all the readings. For the briefest moments, I was fearful because of the unknown; I didn't know what she would ask. But I was sure there would be at least one question for which I wasn't prepared. I could wing it if it were true/false or multiple choice, but I was doomed if it were an essay.

When people spontaneously ask us about our hope in Jesus Christ, we must be prepared with an answer. While knowledge of the Bible is of great help, the person asking the question is unlike the teacher seeking a correct answer. They don't want to hear what the Bible says about hope but what we feel. How has having a relationship with Jesus Christ changed our lives? How can we, as disciples, find hope in a world of seeming chaos?

The other thing I remember about pop quizzes is that they usually only counted for a little in the overall class grade. However, our answers are heavily weighted when people ask about our faith. This chance encounter may be the person's only exposure to the good news of Jesus Christ. It matters not only what we have to say but how we say it. We aren't teachers talking down to students, but all students. While some of us may have been students longer, we are all on equal footing here. Our answers are to show compassion, gentleness, kindness, and respect.

Heavenly Father, we come before You with open hearts, seeking wisdom and guidance. As we navigate the twists and turns of life, we recognize that unexpected moments often arise—those pop quiz moments that catch us off guard. In those pop quiz moments, when the spotlight is on us, help us remember to be prepared. By continually studying Your Word may we grow in knowledge and understanding. May we demonstrate righteous character, keeping our hearts pure and consciences clear. May our actions align with our beliefs so that even those who oppose us may witness the authenticity of our faith. May we be filled with your grace when faced with skepticism or doubt; grant us grace-filled words. Help us respond not with defensiveness but with love and kindness. Remind us that You are our ultimate defense. We need not fear, for You are with us. Your Spirit will guide our words and actions. Lord, prepare us for those unexpected moments—whether in the form of a pop quiz, a challenging conversation, or a moment of doubt. May our responses reflect Your grace and truth. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen. 


Pastor Tim

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