Prepare your minds for action (1Pe 1:13)

Set apart Christ as Lord (1Pe 3:15)

When Jesus appeared to John from heaven he cited works done by some churches (Rev 2:2,19; 3:1,8,15). But for Sardis he said, "'I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead'" (3:1). For Laodicea he said, "'I know your deeds, that you are neither, cold nor hot'" (:15). There's a saying "out of sight, out of mind." So if you don't cultivate a consistent, personal relationship with God through prayer, your deeds may be cerebral, but not from the heart serving God. To be in touch Peter suggests "set your hope fully on the grace to be given you" (1Pe 1:13). To stay focused "prepare your minds for action" (:13) and "be self-controlled and alert" (5:8). But there's another worldly saying that a religious person can be "so heavenly preoccupied that he's no earthly good." Are heaven and earth mutually exclusive? Peter refers to God's people as "strangers in the world" (1Pe 1:1) and to "live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear" (:17). But when something bad happens do you revert back to survival mode? Peter explains that when you "suffer grief in all kinds of trials [they happen] so that your faith . . . may be proved genuine" (:6-7).

This perspective is such that "you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls" (:9). "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him" (1Pe 1:3). Therefore "in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord" (3:15). Peter says "live as free men" (2:16) and "love life and see good days" (3:10). Be eager to do good (:13) and keep a clear conscience (:16). Respect everyone (2:17) and do not fear what others fear (3:14). Speak as though they are God's words (4:11) and serve with the strength God provides (:11). Resist the devil standing on your faith (5:9) and after a while God will restore you and make you strong (:10).

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