Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spiritual Preparation


In order for us to be an effective vessel of God's use, we must be prepared spiritually to do the work God has called us to. In 1 Peter 1:13-16 Peter shares with us how we can prepare ourselves to obey Christ's command: go and make disciples.

1 Peter 1:13-16 (English Standard Version)
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

If you read the context of these verses in the first part of chapter one, Peter talks about being born again to a Living Hope, Jesus Christ. In view of that, Peter says, "Therefore..."

  • Prepare your minds for action. The best way to influence our thinking and impact our minds is to fill it with God's Word every single day. If we fail to be in God's Word, we are completely unprepared to face the world. Especially at this point in our lives when we don't have the responsibilities of marriage, children, or a full-time job, we need to get into the habit of reading the Bible daily. Then, when it comes time for those things, we are still consistent. Daily time with God is a priority that nothing else can take the place of.
  • Be sober-minded. A more common term would be self controlled. As humans, we obviously have tendencies to be completely out of control. When we have self control, we don't act rashly or bring attention to ourselves. I like to think that self control goes along with having a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4).
  • Set your hope fully on Christ. More specifically, on the grace we will receive at the revelation of Jesus. We are to put our hope and our focus on building treasure in Heaven, not on worldly things. (Matthew 6:19-20) Set your heart on the unseen, the eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:18)
  • Do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance. We have been made new in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) and are to die to our old sinful self. Sure, we will still make mistakes, but we are to intentionally turn our focus elsewhere. We were formerly blind to the truth, now we are to conform to Christ and His will for our lives.
  • Be holy in all your conduct. Just as Christ Jesus is holy, so we are to be holy. Pure, clean, and white. We are to live holy lives because we are now a chosen, holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). Holiness isn't just not doing the wrong thing, it is intentionally doing the right thing.

We have a lot of work to do to transform our lives like Christ. Be encouraged by the fact that God wants to help us do the right thing! He gave us His Word so that we might be able to know and bring glory to Him.

In His Love,

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