Read 1 Peter 1:13-16.
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action...." NIV
Well, there's a "therefore." Peter has just been reminding the scattered Christians about the salvation they have been given through Jesus Christ through His mercy into a living hope. Now he is saying, since you know the gift you have been given and the future in store for you, this is how you are to live. It doesn't say go get your house cleaned. Nor go earn some more money. There's nothing about upgrading your computer, car, or buying the latest video game. It doesn't even say you'd better take a vacation first. They are told to prepare their minds for action. Why the mind?
The choice to follow Jesus Christ is a conscious decision. God gave us free will to choose Him over evil. In the same way, following evil is a choice. Choices come from a mental decision to move in one direction or another. So if we have chosen to follow Jesus Christ and receive the hope He gives as our Savior, then we must be prepared to choose to walk in obedience to Him as Lord, as well.
Peter first talks about being self-controlled. How are we self-controlled with our minds? We know there are positive things we can fill our minds with and negative ones. The negative things fall under the "evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance." Choosing activities that promote falling under temptation to our old way of life would be the things we should avoid. Subjecting our minds to raunchy TV or movies, listening to certain types of music, reading trashy literature, or even involved in gossip in the workplace can all open our minds to areas where the enemy can lure us back into our old ways. As an athlete prepares their body for a race, our minds must be prepared for the battle the great tempter will wage against us.
So we "set our hope fully on the grace" and live "holy lives in all we do." The word "holy" comes from the Greek word, Hagios, which means "most holy thing, a saint." Verse eighteen tells us what holiness is -- being obedient, not conforming to evil desires. Anything that is in opposition to God's laws and ways is disobedience. It may come in the form of an action or an inaction. But either way, we must prepare our minds. Actively choose to guard the part of us that could be tempted to stray from the path and example of Jesus Christ and move us back into our old ways of disobedience. Choosing holiness is not bondage as some may view it, but freedom to be who God created me to be in the fullest sense. I am His child and walking His path.
Lord, if there is anything that I am doing or not doing that is weakening my mind, reveal it to me. I want to live a self-controlled, holy life for Your honor and glory.
- Read Numbers 15:37-41. God is instructing Moses to have the people put tassels on their garments to remind them to obey. Right now I am wearing a blue tasseled bracelet on my arm for a Bible study I am in to remind me to be obedient. What visual reminder do you have to remain holy through obedience to the Lord's commands?
- Look up the word holy in the dictionary. Find Scriptures with the word holy.
- Does holy leaving mean living a perfect life? Why or why not?
- Can you have holy actions and not have a holy heart? Explain and support with Scripture.
- What should the impetus for holy living be? What does holy living look like? What does it not look like?
- Can it be taught to our children? How? Is it possible to teach holy living without actually living it?