Summary: Our actions need to be controlled, not hap-hazard, wheel spinning, I don’t care what happens to others, get out of my way actions, but controlled, focussed, intentional, Spirit-lead actions that we take responsibility for.
Prepare for Action! 1 Peter 1:13-25
Be prepared…how often do we hear that these days. Be prepared…in case of an earthquake, have your 72-hour emergency supplies prepared in advance. Be prepared…in case you get into an accident, make sure you have on clean underwear (Bill Cosby, Himself). Be prepared… ‘whatever comes through that door, you are men of Gondor, and will stand your ground!’ (Gandalf, Lord of the Rings, the Return of the King). Be prepared…if today is the last day of your life, do you have your will ready? Scar in The Lion King sang of being prepared for the rise of his own kingdom, as he plotted to kill Moufassa. And we, as Christians prepare for the return of the True King when Christ returns one day as King of kings, and Lord of lords!
All of these are things to prepare, things to expect, things to concern ourselves with. Our passage today deals with the preparation of our minds, the way we think, for action! Turn with me to the book of 1 Peter, chapter 1. Page 857 in the blue pew bibles.
Be Holy - 1 Peter 1:13-25 (NIV)
13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
17Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For,
"All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.
This is one of those continuing studies from a previous message. Only thing is, it’s not continued from last week, but last year…I spoke from 1 Peter 1 in April of 2008, and am now going to continue that study through the book. We just completed 2 weeks from the book of Jude, which has a lot of commonalities to 2nd Peter, and in reading those references, along with portions from his 1st letter, I was drawn to read both together again. So here we are today. And I’d like to focus this morning on those first few verses, 13-16.
We left the last message talking about the living hope we have through Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, into an everlasting inheritance…heaven. That is the hope Christians have when all the world seems to go wrong. That is what gives us an inner joy when we are surrounded by sorrow and suffering. And this hope is where our faith is built upon, proved genuine, and results in praise, glory and honour through Jesus Christ!…awesome stuff, yes?
All that to say what the ‘therefore’ is there for. Therefore, prepare your minds for action. When someone is preparing for action, I automatically think of getting themselves, their bodies, ready in some way. Perhaps we need to get in shape, you know, do some exercise, eat right, and get good rest. Perhaps we need to get the right equipment for whatever ‘action’ we’re getting involved in. An athlete needs good shoes for running, a good stick for playing hockey (gee the Canucks could use that…), a good car to race in the Daytona 500 in (which is happening right now by the way…got the VCR going). And they prepare for their events, practice, practice, practice. It all makes for a better performance by the individual or team.
But Peter is not talking about our bodies here, he is talking about our MINDS. He’s talking about the way we THINK. Our brain is one of the most complex things known to man. Billions of nerve cells, countless electrical connections, myriads of messages travelling across and through and around inside our skull; all of it happening without our ‘thinking’ about it. Memories of days gone by, thoughts of what may happen tomorrow, favourite songs, your phone number, and the thought of whether or not I turned the coffee pot off before leaving the house this morning, all stored inside and spinning around in our head, accessible at just a thought. Our mind is a wonder of creation, God’s creation. God gave us our mind. He knit us together in our mother’s womb, says the Psalmist. We are fearfully and wonderfully made.