Morning study provided by David Niednagel, Pastor, Teacher, Evansville, IN. (David uses the S.O.A.P. method for his morning devotional time – study, observe, apply, pray).
1 Peter 1:13-16
1:13 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. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” ESV
Their world was in chaos. Refugees. Forced to leave what was familiar and what gave them peace, routine, and to some degree, even their identity. Life was so much harder. So Peter reminded them that even though they had little control over their outer world, they could control their inner world. Even non-Christians can control their minds, and can focus on positive things. POWs have done that and survived better than others. But they still have no control over the future.
But believers have a promise that the world doesn’t understand. Even though we can’t control the world around us, and in fact it may get worse than ever, Jesus promised He was going to prepare a place for us and come back for us. In the meantime, His Holy Spirit is within us, He will never leave us or forsake us, He is interceding at the right hand of the Father for us, and He promises rewards for those who faithfully serve Him in the meantime. When we see His smile and joy, and hear Him say “Well done, good and faithful servant” it will make everything worthwhile. (Matt 25)
Peter tells them/us to be super careful to plan how we are going to think in the hard times. Don’t wait till the crisis comes, decide now that we are going to praise Him and trust Him through it all. He reminds them of “youthful passions”. They all understood that. And he reminds them that even though those passions are strong, they can bring great trouble and pain, and that it is worth it to resist them to enjoy life later on. Jesus said He was holy, that He decided before He ever came to this world that He was going to be set apart for His Father’s will. Pleasing the Father was worth it. It will be worth it for us to do it too.
Lord Jesus, thank You that You never wavered from Your devotion to Your Father! Thank You that You understand our world of uncertainty, temptation and pressure. But thank You that we can control our thoughts. Sometimes we don’t, and our world constantly encourages us to think of all kinds of things we should never entertain. Thank You for Your Word in our own language that I/we can read every day, so that I can continuously think Your thoughts. Help me do my part to be faithful in this time with You, and use Your Holy Spirit to speak to my heart and conscience every day. Help me plan how I will respond to pressure and temptation and be holy – set apart for You – just like You were for Your Father. Amen