Daily Devotional: Thursday, March 7 - Get In A Defensive Stance

“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.” — 1 Peter 3:15

>> Sign up here for Sports Spectrum devotionals sent right to your email inbox <<

If you’ve ever played organized basketball, surely your coach has, at some point, yelled this in your direction: “Get in a defensive stance!”

With your arms outstretched, weight on the balls of your feet, knees slightly bent, and eyes locked on your opponent, holding a defensive stance is tiring and awkward. Certainly, it’s uncomfortable. But you can follow your opponent from side to side, getting your hands in the passing lanes and always being ready to dive on the floor for loose balls. There’s a reason your coach tells you to get in a defensive stance time and time again — it’s the best way to defend the basket.

Similarly, the Bible tells us to get into a type of defensive stance in our walks with Christ. First Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” This concept is where we get the word “apologetics,” which simply means “defending the faith.” God doesn’t need any help whatsoever defending Himself, but in 1 Peter 3:15, He calls all believers — not just pastors or theologians — to be apologists.

Followers of Christ are often asked multiple times throughout their lives to give a defense for the hope that they have. Sometimes, people are just curious and simply want to know more. Other times, the questioner really wants to launch an attack against the truth or the virtue of Christianity. Either way, we should respond with gentleness and respect, boldness and truth. Christ is honored when we do.

But how do we get prepared and stay prepared for a conversation like this? We study, of course, and we anticipate possible questions before they’re asked. But most of all we pray, we trust that the Holy Spirit will give us the right words to say, and we rejoice in the magnificence of our own salvation. Christ voluntarily took our sins upon Himself so that we might be saved from the wrath to come. When we behold that truth as precious, we’re better able to communicate it to others.

So, like a defensive stance in basketball, apologetics may be tiring, awkward and uncomfortable. But it’ll also be so, so worth it, because it will be glorifying to God. And God’s glory is our greatest joy.

— Kevin Mercer

>> Do you know Christ personally? Learn how you can commit your life to Him <<

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more devotionals and stories where sports and faith connect <<

>> Purchase “The Increase 52 Week Devotional” to further grow your relationship with Christ <<

>> Dive more into God’s Word with Sports Spectrum through the YouVersion Bible App <<

If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to