Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”
– 1 Peter 1:13-16 (all caps portion is quoting a refrain from Leviticus)
When Peter writes “prepare your minds for action,” he says something very useful to us. It is so easy for us to lapse into a frame of mind in which we engage in these devotionals academically or intellectually. Indeed, we have to engage our intellects if we want to find grace in the words of Scripture; but understanding what God is saying is merely an intermediate step to acting on what God is saying. Remember when Jesus said:
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
– Luke 6:46 (emphasis added)
To “keep sober in spirit” doesn’t disallow a sense of humor, but it does mean that we must take seriously – and not frivolously – the devotional practice in which we are engaged. We must recognize the importance of our relationship with God, and the importance of our service for His sake to the people around us.
Alas, some people take Peter’s exhortation to “fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” as a reference to His appearing on earth in the flesh. That is not to be, for as Paul wrote:
…even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.
– 2 Corinthians 5:16
The ultimate “revelation of Jesus Christ” is the revelation that He is God. That brings plenty of grace to us. And grace upon grace forever!
Peter’s end goal is that we become holy as Jesus is holy, that we stop living for the motivations that previously drove us and, instead, live to imitate the One who loved us and gave Himself up for us.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Heavenly Father, I take this time to soberly prepare my mind for the actions required of me this day. Please grant me the ability to understand how I can serve You in my actions today…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)