Summary: Get ready: 1. To live in love (vs. 8-9). 2. For bountiful blessings (vs. 9-12). 3. To suffer like our Savior (vs. 13-14). 4. For a testimony that transforms lives (vs. 15-18).
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Jan. 20, 2013
*Much of life is about getting ready: Getting ready for school, getting ready for church, getting ready for a date, getting ready for the big game, and getting ready to take the “big plunge.”
*This need to get ready shows up in a few sayings most of us have heard: “Ready, set, go!” “Ready, aim, fire.” And “ready or not, here I come.”
*We all need to get ready. And the most important thing anybody can ever do to get ready is receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Christ died on the Cross for our sins and rose again from the dead to rule as King of kings and Lord of lords. So, you will never be ready for eternity until you trust in Jesus.
*Probably all of us here tonight would say that yes, by the grace of God, and the cross of Jesus Christ, I am ready for eternity! -- But are we ready for what might happen today? And what about tomorrow? How should we get ready for life in this world? God’s Word shows us what to do.
1. First: Get ready to live in love.
*This is the sum of what Peter tells us to do in vs. 8-9. Here the Apostle said:
8. Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted (or “pitiful” the KJV says), be courteous;
9. not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.
*When Peter wrote these words, he must have been thinking about something he said back in 1 Peter 2:23, where Peter held up our Lord as an example to us. Here’s what Peter said about Jesus in that verse: “When He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.” God wants us to live in love like that. And it makes sense, because everybody needs love! We all need to get it. And we all need to give it.
*Verse 9 in the NAS tells us not to return “evil for evil or insult for insult.” This reminds us that sometimes we drop the ball. And sometimes we get the ball dropped on us. So, we need to get Christ-like love. And we need to give it. In these two verses Peter helps us understand what this Christ-like love is like.
 For example, Christ-like love harmonious. That’s why in vs. 8, Peter says, “All of you be of one mind.” Or as the KJV says, “Be ye all of one mind.” God wants us to be like-minded, living together in unity as believers.
 Christ-like love is harmonious. And it’s compassionate. Peter tells us in vs. 8 to have “compassion for one another.” The idea is having sympathetic feelings for other people. And in fact, the original word here is where we get our word “sympathy.”
*Christ-like love enters into the feelings of others as if they were our own. Christ-like love suffers with them. As Romans 12:15 says: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Sometimes we can’t know how other people feel, but we can try. We can listen to their hurts. And spend time with them, even when we don't know what to say.
 Christ-like love is compassionate. And it’s tenderhearted or “pitiful” in the KJV. The root-word picture behind this word is actually your bowels or intestines. It’s the idea that you care so much for someone you can actually feel it in your gut. It’s the same word we see in Ephesians 4:31-32, where the Apostle Paul tells believers:
31. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.
32. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.
*This tenderhearted love changes the way we look at people and things. King Duncan shared about a grandmother and her little grandson, whose face was sprinkled with bright freckles.
*One day they went to zoo. Lots of children were waiting in line to get their cheeks face-painted with tiger paws. And while they were waiting, a mean girl in line said: “You've got so many freckles, there's no place to paint!”
*The little boy was embarrassed. But Mamaw knelt down next to him and said: “I love your freckles.” Then she traced her finger across his cheek and added this: “When I was a little girl I always wanted freckles. Freckles are beautiful!”
*The boy looked up, “Really?” “Of course,” she said. “Why, just name me one thing that's prettier than freckles.” The little boy thought for a moment, looked up at his mamaw’s face, and softly said: “Wrinkles.” (1)