June 22, 2015
Peter reminds us in 1 Peter 1:13-2;3 of a simple, clear plan for living that will render us powerful and useful in this life.
""Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, and fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."" (vs. 13)
So many of us are losing the battles in our minds. Peter reminds us to ""gird up the loins of our mind"" i.e., to put aside all the mental things (worry, fear, anxiety, unforgiveness, selfishness, etc.) that can trip us up and clutter our thinking.
We are to ""keep sober in spirit"" i.e. to not be intoxicated and swayed by all that the world wants to draw us into such as worldliness and materialism.
And to “fix our hope completely"" on future grace. We are to cease look to THIS life for our hope and place all of our mind, attention and focus on the eternal.
""As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourself also in all your behavior, because it is written, ""You shall be holy, for I am holy."" (vs. 14-16)
We must be holy, set apart, like God Himself. This was God's original intent, to create us in His image to experience and enjoy and lead out of this godliness. Sin marred this, but God calls us to return to His original design. The process for this is to FOLLOW Christ, both initially as we surrender to His control and daily as we follow the leadership of His Spirit and Word.
If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. (vs. 17-19)
This fear is not a cringing horror, but a healthy understanding and deep respect for God that leads us to listen and continually, gladly obey Him. We do this because He is our Father, our Judge, and our Redeemer who has paid the ultimate price so that we would live in godliness.
4. FERVENTLY LOVE
Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart... (VS. 22)
The endgame of godliness is the flowing of God's ultimate nature through us as his vessels. And the highest peak of his character is love. If we are fervently loving, we will fulfill the law, we will show the world the nature of God, we will be fulfilled and the world will be awed by God's love. Even our enemies will see the overpowering nature of the self-sacrificing love of God. Out of this love flows our ministry, our witness, our calling--everything that we are to be and do in this life.
Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. (2:1-3)
And the way that we continue on this road, progressing and growing each day is to fervently feed on Him and what He says. We are to empty out all the impurities and fill ourselves with this pure milk. If we do, we will be continually growing into greater focus, following, fearing, and fervent love for God and others!
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?