Archive for the ‘1 Peter’ Category

This is the fourth and final installment in the “Girding the Loins of the Mind” series, where I’ve been exploring the practical ways we can prepare our minds for action. We don’t want thoughts flapping about in the breeze when we must run, and we don’t want to pull an intellectual hamstring because our mental agility was impaired by a lack of support and strength. We’ve discussed prayer and Scripture as the main practical applications, and then considered other reading, and fellowship/mentoring as extra principles that assist in the work. Today we will conclude by considering the place of rest and worship.

5) Rest – We live in an instant-on society, and increasingly, in some ways, a constantly connected society. I keep my phone by my bed because I use it for an alarm, but the fact that my phone can now Facebook, post tweets, surf the web, text, and receive phone calls, means I am always connected. Whenever we go away as a family into the mountains of Idaho wherein no AT&T coverage has ever dared venture, I have a brief moment of panic as I get disconnected, which is followed by a long period of elation that I am effectively off the grid. To be released from the constant influx of new information is profoundly liberating. Trust me, I’m a guy who reads. A lot. I use Google Reader on my Mac, and Reeder on my iPhone, to stay on top of the wealth of blogs out there, and I have at least three books on my nightstand at any given time. (more…)

Girding the Loins of the Mind (Pt. 3)

Posted: September 3, 2010 by Jonathan in 1 Peter, Biblical Studies, Ephesians

This marks the third installment in the series based on the opening words of 1 Peter 1:13 (click here for part 1 and part 2). Having a readied mind is not something reserved for intellectuals or pastors – it is a call for all Christians to be ready for battle and ready to run hard. Paul says it this way in his letter to the Ephesians:

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth (Eph.6:14, fragment, ESV)

It’s the same idea of girding up that underlies 1 Pet. 1:13. Truth supports and mobilizes us in battle, and gives us the sureness we need to keep on running the race.

We have touched on the two major factors, prayer and Scripture, and now we continue with contributing factors. I would clarify that, personally, these are not necessarily optional things, but rather they are not on the level of prayer and the regular study of the Bible. On a list of essentials, those would top the list for equipping the mind, but these would make the list. (more…)

In the first post in the series I mentioned the need for practical training to prepare our minds for action when action is needed. The reality is that being a follower of Jesus puts a big target on you, both to the world and to spiritual powers and principalities that oppose God. The fight will often take place internally when it is an assault on the believer, or will have internal ramifications even when it is related to an external dispute. There are two main analogies to keep in mind when considering the girding up, namely running and fighting. Messengers would need to wrap their clothing more securely around their loins to aid in speed, and soldiers would do the same to aid in mobility when fighting. (more…)

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action…” 1 Pet. 1:13 (fragment, ESV)

NKJV and others translate this same phrase as “gird up the loins of your mind”, which is an interesting picture I am sure you agree. Rather than encouraging us to wrap our heads in jock straps,  it’s about being ready to run the race and fight the good fight of the faith. There is something of the Christian experience that requires the mind to run hard against competing ideas, emotions and persuasions.

The problem often comes from a lack of girding up – when the troubles and challenges come that require a readied mind, so often we are found wanting. A lifestyle of mental apathy as we soak in the latest cultural phenomenon with wild abandonment does not prepare us for the vigorous work of internal or external apologetics. Absorbing all the world’s ideas is as good for mind girding as absorbing all the McDonald’s in the world is for an athlete. We end up bloated, out of breath and pinned to the ground by those who are enemies of the Gospel.

In an attempt to avoid this, I began thinking through what the core training might look like for mental preparation and the remainder of the posts in this series will discuss what the practical ways are to gird up the loins of the mind. Join us tomorrow as we explore the first two practices.

1 Peter 4:12 “Deal With It (Suffering)”

Posted: June 19, 2009 by Rick Hogaboam in 1 Peter, Devotional, Prayers

1 Pt. 4:12 Deal With It (Suffering)

1 Pet. 4:12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.

Is it just me or does it seem like most believers are perplexed when trials befall them? Do we not try to find the root of the trial and get rid of it as soon as possible? Often times we think along the lines of Job’s ‘friends’ who concluded that his trials must have something to do with hidden sin.

While certain trials may in fact be a result of sin that needs to be dealt with, many are simply ordained by God for our sanctification. Doesn’t sound like fun, does it? Doesn’t sound like, “Your Best Life Now”, does it? Yet, listen to what Peter tells us to do in the midst of suffering:

13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Rejoice? Really?

I think we all need a good dose of BIBLE and stop acting like it is the end of the world when God serves us up a bit of suffering. We are told not to be surprised and act like something strange is happening. This mindset is almost foreign in American Evangelicalism and we need to regain a Biblical theology of suffering or else we might whine ourselves out of God’s Kingdom. Think of how God felt about the whining wilderness generation…He could barely stand it. I know that it seems impossible to rejoice or be thankful for the testing God’s providence leads us through in this life, but your other alternatives are whining or anxiety, which are both condemned as responses unbefitting the believer. Let us not mind a little suffering.

Prayer –

Forgive me for the many times I have failed the tests set before me, either by whining or complaining or distrusting you with sinful anxiety. Help me to embrace the tests Your providence deal me and may they ever increase my joy for that day when Your glory is revealed in its fullness. Amen.

https://i2.wp.com/theresurgence.com/files/penal_substitution.jpg

My evening readings were in 1 Pt. 1-2 and there is so much precious truth in it all, however 1 Pt 2:24 sticks out  for me today:

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”

I had the chance to visit with a dear brother this morning who is a missionary to the Ukraine and we ended up spending some time talking about the work of Jesus upon the cross. I informed him that the doctrine of penal substitution (Jesus satisfied our penalty for sin on the cross) is under attack today. He was shocked.

“How could they do that? Why did Jesus come to die then?” he asked.

I gave him the reasons and he was appalled that people have a problem with the idea that Jesus actually took our sin, its filth, the Father’s wrath against it, everything with Him into His body on that cross. You are left with an empty cross… a most unfortunate martyrdom that the Father had nothing to do with. How is this glorious?

Anyhow, Peter tells us plainly that Jesus bore our sins in His body. That is glorious in and of itself, however the good news doesn’t end there. Peter adds a purpose clause following that great statement, “…that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”

Jesus not only satisfies the penalty and wrath for our sin, but purchases on the cross sanctifying power for the believer to die to sin and live for Him. This is great news!!! He not only forgives us, but empowers us to live a life pleasing to Him for His glory. 1 Peter has several important imperatives that help shape exactly how the ‘justified’ believer is to live out ‘sanctification’. Let us praise our Lord that He truly “healed” us on that cross through the wounds He endured.

Prayer-

Thank you for saving me and not appointing me to destruction, but rather unto newness of life. Thank you for choosing to come and carry out the mission that the Father gave you to purchase me. Thank you for enduring every stripe and wound for my sin. As I ponder your wounded body, may I see in it the death of my own flesh and the power to live for You. I live for you Lord…for Your glory. I am not ashamed of the cross…it is a stumbling block for many, but you have made it precious in my sight. I have tasted Your sweet goodness and I long for more. May Your goodness shape me as a vessel to be used for Your glory. Amen.