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Saturday December 22 – Setting apart Christ in our hearts and lives

But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you… – 1 Peter 3:15

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 3:8-22

The Christians to whom Peter first wrote this letter lived in a hostile world that thought their faith was crazy. Although we do not deal with the same persecution they faced, many people today see our faith as crazy. Everyone looks to Christmas as a nice time for the family to get together and celebrate, but most think the story of Jesus’ virgin birth is foolishness. For many, it is like believing in Santa Claus.  However, in the midst of this world, we are called to set apart Christ as Lord in our hearts.

The things of this world can easily fill our hearts with wonder and joy, but we are called to put Christ first, above all. This can only happen when we continue to think and ponder on who Jesus is and what He has done for us. As we constantly think and ponder the wonder of who Jesus is, we will be able to both handle the ridiculing of our world and do what Peter calls us to do: to live for Jesus with such hope and joy that others will ask us the reason for our hope and joy. Although the world around us ridicules Jesus, we are called to look for ways to speak to them of Jesus, because knowing Him is the only way anyone can have lasting hope and joy in the fallen world.

Suggestions for prayer

That Jesus would increasingly be the joy and hope of our hearts; that we would show this hope and joy to all; that we would be able to explain our hope and joy to those still needing it.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Richard Bultjes is pastor at a church plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario, called River of Life.

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