2 Peter 1:3 reminds us that “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” (NLT)
Here’s James’ encouragement to us in James 1:22-25…“22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” (NKJV).
Therefore, our responsibility is to take what He’s given us and put it into action. Today I’d like to share with you the concept of Actionable Intelligence.
What is Actionable Intelligence? “Broadly defined, actionable intelligence is all about having the necessary information immediately available in order to deal with the situation at hand.” From the Article...Actionable Intelligence: How U.S. Forces can Stay One Step Ahead
How can we apply Actionable Intelligence in our biblical/spiritual lives? Let’s consider the article below from gotquestions.org that further explains the meaning of the content within 1 Peter 3:15. Keep in mind as you read the article…what is our situation at hand?
What does it mean to always be ready to give an answer (1 Peter 3:15)?
First Peter 3:15 says, “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.” It’s a verse that motivates Christian apologists as they prepare to give answers in defense of their faith.
In the immediate context, the apostle Peter discusses suffering for doing good (1 Peter 3:13–14). Persecution and suffering are to be expected in the Christian life (John 16:33), but a believer’s response to suffering should point others to Jesus. Peter emphasizes that Christ suffered and died to provide eternal life for those who believe in Him, and His example of suffering for doing good should strengthen all of us (1 Peter 3:17–18). Instead of fearing persecution, Christians are to make sure they suffer for righteousness’ sake, “honor Christ the Lord as holy,” and be prepared to give a defense of one’s hope in Jesus (verse 15, ESV). A believer should always be ready to tell others the good news of salvation in Jesus’ death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:2–4).
Providing a “defense” or giving an “answer” for one’s hope is based on the Greek word apologian, which carries the idea of “defending” something as a lawyer would defend his case in court. From the Greek word comes the English apologetics, “the discipline of defending” the Christian faith. Notice that Peter does not say that the job of giving an answer is only for the pastor or professional apologist. All Christians need to be prepared to give an answer or defense when someone asks them the reason for the hope that they have.
Peter wrote to the persecuted Christians in Asia Minor. As they were undergoing persecution, their outward behavior demonstrated hope in Jesus—not a wishful thought, but a solid and assured faith (see Hebrews 6:19–20). The believers’ lack of fear in the face of suffering would have propelled others to ask about the reason for their faith, giving the believers a perfect opportunity “to give an answer.” When believers display their sure hope in Jesus despite their circumstances, others will notice (see 1 Peter 2:12).
To properly answer someone who asks about one’s faith, the Christian must use “gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience” (1 Peter 3:15). There’s no place for harshness or disrespect in a Christian’s life, especially as he represents Christ and gives an answer to explain his faith. Peter exhorts the believer to answer unbelievers gently, respectfully, and with the example of one’s life (cf. Colossians 4:6). Believers should reflect Christ’s teaching of gentleness and “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15, NLT).
The command to “always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” presupposes a faith that causes us to live out our hope in Christ visibly before others. When unbelievers see a Christian’s great hope in the face of persecution or suffering, they will naturally want to know the reason for that hope (Matthew 5:16). We need to be prepared to share the gospel in a way that is gentle and respectful. The result will be “that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander” (1 Peter 3:16).
Spend some time in prayer asking the Lord to reveal to you how it is that He’d have you apply Biblical actionable intelligence in your own personal life.
Practicing His Presence,
Nate Smith is a college baseball and football coach, a husband, a father of 6 girls, grandpa to 3 granddaughters, a police chaplain, and has a passion to see men grow in Christ.
#girldad including granddaughter