Friday, April 06, 2007

I Peter 1:14

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.

Have you ever heard the verse, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Prov 22:6)? It is a very common verse, but I think that it is one of the most misused verses in the Bible, because of the way it was translated. I don't want to do a full commentary on this verse right now, but I do want to clear one thing up, because I think that it can relate to this verse.

Most people read this and cling to it as a promise that if they raise their children correctly, then when they are old those children will stay close to God. Whether or not that is true, it has little to do with this verse. The phrase, "the way he should go" would be more properly translated as "the way he is bent" (or one could say, "the way he would go). This verse is a theological teaching on the nature of children. We are born with a bent. We are born, headed in a certain direction, promoted by our natural desires.

This verse is not a good promise, it is a warning. If you raise a child according to his bent, his nature, then when he is old, that is how he is going to live.

I might do some commentary on Proverbs 22 at one point, so I won't go any further. Notice though that the current verse we are looking at relates us to little children, and tells us not to conform to our evil desires (i.e. our former bent).

Maybe we used to do just what we wanted, when we wanted it, and maybe even the good things we did really had a motivation to please ourselves. There was something we wanted, and we would do what it took to get it.

But as obedient children, we will put away those evil desires, and seek to please God instead.

This is one of those verses that comes in so handy when you are seeking to live the day to day life. Keep this one on a 3x5 card. Carry it with you. Memorize it so that it comes to mind when you are in that desperate situation and the temptations seem insurmountable.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

I Peter 1:13b

be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Once you prepare your mind, then you may begin to undertake this next step: self-control.

Proverbs 25:28 says, "Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control." If a city does not have its walls, it is nothing to over run that city. Enemies can come and go, and that city has no chance. Self control works the same way as those walls. It keeps the city firm and sure. In ancient days, you could build up a city as well as you would like, but without walls, there is no firmness to that city. An enemy could be waiting over the next hill and the city would never even see it coming.

Anyone who has truly tried to practice godly self control has probably been overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of what they were trying to accomplish. I believe that is why Peter threw in this little reprieve before he continued on in this list. He says, "set your hope fully on the grace..." Don't hope in your self control, hope in the grace that has been brought and will be brought through Christ. Don't hope in your prepared mind. Put your hope in Christ. His grace is sufficient.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I Peter 1:13 a

Therefore, prepare your minds for action;

I heard a pastor one time say that when you see the word therefore that you should look and see what it is there for. It sounds a little cheesy, and I try to avoid cheesy as much as possible, but this is a really good thing to remember.

If you go back before this therefore, you will see all of these amazing things that the Father has done through the Son, and we are reaping the benefits. Things that are so amazing that the angels are longing to look into these things. Because of all of this, there is a certain reaction that should take place in people when they realize these things. The next few verses describe how we should react.

This verse begins by telling us to prepare our minds for action. It is reminiscent of a battle scenario. The battle begins in the mind. This is a huge thought that I don't want to skim over. Don't miss its significance. Before you can defeat any temptation and begin to live the true Christian life, you must be prepared in your mind. There are way too many who have fallen because they thought that they could live righteously on the outside, and all the while they were acting out the worst imaginable sins on the inside. It just can't work. In the words of Jesus, "...first clean the inside of the dish, then the outside will be clean also."

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I Peter 1:12

It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

According to this verse, the prophets knew that the were serving someone else when they were writing about the coming Messiah. We are still being served by them and by those who have told us this wonderful good news.

That last little phrase can give you a glimpse of the grandeur of this message, of this story. I think as people we most of the time miss the big picture. I heard a pastor one time say, "...the salvation story has way more to do with the relationship between the Father and the Son than it has to do with us..." And I believe that.

It is all about Christ, and Christ makes it all about the Father.

If you are making your salvation about you, stop. Turn your eyes upon Christ. Focus on Him.

Monday, April 02, 2007

I Peter 1:11

trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.

Read verse 10 again.

The prophets were looking forward to salvation. Salvation and the entire Old Testament points to one focal point -- Jesus, the Christ. He is the focal point of all things. Everything before His time on earth looks forward to Him. We that have come after Him look back at what He did.