Holiness; July 7, 2022

1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter is so packed with important truth! I could probably preach for weeks on this chapter alone. This verse emphasizes a vital truth, that our minds, our wills, are fully involved in our life of faith. When we choose to follow Christ we need to expect to be fully involved; there is little if anything that is passive. The power is all from God, but we are actively involved. If we don’t choose God, His power and His holiness, then they won’t be manifested in our lives. We can’t make them happen, but God in His grace allows us to choose them. As we do that, we need to remember that everything is not going to be set right until Christ returns, so we aren’t to be bummed out when scenarios we create in our minds don’t materialize. God certainly acts, and miracles are to be expected, but evil is still rampant, and we have to live with that reality. As Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) As Peter says, we are to set our hopes and expectations on Christ’s return, whether that happens in our physical lifetime or not. The mess in the world is never an excuse not to live as a child of God, instead of a child of the world, as Peter makes clear in the following verses.

I will never forget the time, over 20 years ago now, that I was lying in bed thinking, “There are so many things I wish were different.” That wasn’t a conscious prayer, but the Lord spoke to me so clearly that I was almost surprised my wife didn’t hear Him too: “How do you think I feel?” That gave me total assurance of two things: first, that God doesn’t create or desire evil, and second, that God’s got a plan that will clear it all up in the end. This points up the reality of human free will. That free will has got to be one of the most valuable things in the universe, because it was worth the Son of God dying a horrible death in order to deal with sin. If we didn’t have free will, we would never sin! We’re back to where we started with this verse. I’ve got to expect spiritual attack and stand against it, on the basis of my obedience to God, (James 4:7) and I need to teach others to do likewise. We can’t do it in our own strength, but we can choose to appropriate the strength God offers us to enable us to do it. The world is always saying, “It’s only natural,” but those who are in Christ are supernatural, and we need to live like it.

Father, thank You for this powerful reminder, and for this clear message to communicate to the flock on Sunday. I pray that I would communicate exactly what You are saying, and I pray that I would apply it fully in my own life as well. Keep me from deceiving myself! (James 1:22) May this flock be the holy, loving children You desire, drawing many to repentance and faith for their salvation, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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