Tony the Tiger and the Gospel
I was seven years old the day Tony the Tiger showed up at my front door.
After hearing the doorbell, I opened the door to find him standing on our stoop in the flesh (er, I mean in the fur). He was there to remind us that his Frosted Flakes were GRRRREAT and to offer us the chance to win a brand spankin' new bicycle with black and orange tiger stripes.
You should know that I thought Frosted Flakes were a food group as a kid. We always had a box on hand. But when my mom scoured the kitchen, she came up short. Even a quick dig through the trash resulted in no love. Tony the Tiger rode away into the sunset with my brand-new bike. I later heard that the kid down the street smiled for the camera with his box of frosted flakes and his brand-new tiger striped bike.
Tony may not have given me a bike, but he did teach me a lesson—always be ready to give an answer. It's an important lesson, but not very original.
First Peter 3:15 says, "But in your hearts honor 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; yet do it with gentleness and respect."
As Christians, the Bible urges us to always be prepared to give an answer for our hope. That answer is simple—it's Jesus. He is the reason for our hope. But why? Why do we put our hope in Him? How has hope in Him changed us? Why should others put their trust in Him?
Notice the Bible doesn't ask us to memorize 100 verses. It doesn't tell us that we have to be able to answer every question about God. It tells us to always be ready to share why we have hope.
When we are unprepared, we risk more than a new bicycle. We risk missed opportunities to share the gospel with those who desperately need to hear it.
So allow me to play the part of Tony the Tiger today and knock on your door for a moment. I don't need you to produce a box of Frosted Flakes; I simply want to know "What is the source of your hope?" Another way to say it is, "What has Jesus done for you?"
All you have to do is tell what God has done for you. The fancy word for that is a testimony, but it's just a story of how Jesus has given you hope.
Ready. Set. Tell.