1 Peter 1:13-16
13 Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed. 14 Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15 Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
A Moment to Ponder
The salmon run is the time when salmon which have migtrated from the ocean, swim to the upper reaches of rivers where they lay their eggs. This journey is not only physically exhausting for the fish, since they have to swim hundreds of miles against strong currents and rapids, but also dangerous, since it is riddled with dangerous predators such as bears and eagles along the way. In the end those who persevere ensure the survival of the species and those who perish contribute to the survival of the surrounding ecosystem. We could say that God designed this journey with these two important goals in mind.
Christians, much like salmon, are called to swim so to speak against the currents of the devil’s schemes, our own sinful desires and the idealogies of the prevailing culture that are opposed to God’s way. It doesn’t take much to realise that living like Jesus did, will see us standing out like a sore thumb, especially in our society where we’re told that self is king and that nothing should stand in the way of our pursuits of pleasure, power, position and possessions. Not even the life of another human being. This way of thinking runs contrary to Jesus’ life and the life he calls us to as his followers – a life marked by a posture of abiding in God’s presence, humility and putting the needs of others before our own.
This Christlike way of being, unfortuntely doesn’t come naturally. If we are to persevere in the midst of many trials there are certainly a few things that will have to change with regards to how we view others (2 Corinthians 5:14-17) and how we use our time, talents, money and efforts (Matthew 6:24-33). We must realize that the talents, skills, and wealth we possess are not ends within themselves, but are the means to an end, which is chiefly to honour Jesus in whatever way He has called us to use these things He has blessed us with. We must come to realise that God had designed our discipleship journey with an important goal in mind, which is to know Christ, follow Him and make Him known. If we are to be successful in fulfilling this purpose we will have to take heed Peter’s call to action where he charges us to prepare our minds, discipline ourselves and set our hope on Jesus Christ. We will have to be steadfast in our obedience to Jesus’ commands as we seek to lead lives that are holy, being intentional about keeping God’s goals for us in mind and knowing that our work in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).
James 1:12 – Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
- Prayerfully meditate on 1 Peter 1:13-16 and ask the Lord to show you what being obedient to these verses will look like for you. Ask for strength and courage to obey, remembering that just like the salmon, our lives with all its ups and downs, have a God-given purpose in mind.
- Our purpose is to know Christ and to make Him known within the context of our everyday lives. How might we exercise discipline in our use of time to create space in our lives to know Jesus more?
- Lent is often a season associated with giving something up. How might we, in addition to giving something up, take on something new (media fast, personal bible study, daily quiet time) that will enable us to spend more time with Jesus? (I would encourage you to continue this exercise even after lent ends)
- Think of a few people who are close to you who have not made a commitment to following Jesus, and prayerfully consider how you might help them to embark on their own journey of knowing Jesus for themselves. This will take time and effort but it is exactly what being an intentional disciple looks like.
A Moment in Prayer
Sovereign Father, you have created us for yourself to know you in perfect relationship. Enable us by your grace to overcome all the distractions of this life that promise fulfillment but are always lacking. Help us to see through the facades would seek to prevent us from knowing you as we ought. Strengthen us as we seek to lead purposeful and holy lives that will bring honour and glory to Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit now and forever. Amen.
Contributed by Adrian Wallace