Welcome back, precious one! I pray your week has been a blessing. I had such a great time looking at 1 Peter 1:1-12 with you last week and discovering some things that are Precious in His Sight. Didn’t you?
Let’s continue our study of this encouraging book by looking at the next portion of Scripture. We’ll follow the same pattern we did last week:
Search the Scriptures by reading 1 Peter 1:13-25
Now let’s discover what God says by going verse-by-verse through His Word.
Verse 13 begins with the word “therefore,” so let me remind you that anytime you see that word, you must look back to see what has just been said. The verses prior to verse 13 spoke of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His sufferings, and the glory that followed His suffering. Prior to those verses we learned that the testing of our own faith through trials and often suffering is very precious to God because it refines or proves our faith.
It’s like saying, since God chose you, since Jesus Christ gave you a living hope through His suffering and resurrection, since you have an imperishable inheritance, since God wants to protect and prove your faith, since you have salvation through the blood of Jesus …
Since you have been graciously given all of these things, “prepare you mind for action, be sober-minded, and set your heart fully on the grace that is to come.”
I really like the way the New King James puts it:
Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:13
Gird up the loins of your mind is a unique word picture derived from the practice of tucking in the long flowing garments from the robes that were once worn and fastening them with a belt so the person could run about freely without hindrances.
So it’s kind of like saying, tie up and secure those stumbling blocks that crowd your mind. Tie them up so they don’t become a distraction to you as you endure hardships. After all, the mind is a powerful mechanism. Thoughts begin in the mind, then travel to the heart and seep into deepest recesses of who you are. Then those thoughts, if not “girded up,” turn into actions.
Read Ephesians 6:14-17
What are we to gird our loins with? Truth! And where do we find truth? God’s Precious Word!
Be sober means to conduct one’s self with control, discipline and soundness of mind.
The final command in verse 13 is rest your hope fully upon the grace that is coming with the appearance of Christ. Don’t get confused here. Back in verse 2 Peter prayed that grace and peace would be multiplied in us. What he is asking is that God’s favor and rest would fill us up to overflowing. We also know that Jesus, through His grace, redeemed us and is sanctifying us even now and that one day we will be in Heaven with Him.
So what does all of this mean when we put it together?
Through this entire chapter Peter has been talking about trials and genuine faith. And here is what he is saying … There will be tough things to endure in your life, and you need to prepare your mind for action. Don’t let anything hinder you, be sober-minded, that is self-controlled and attentive. And finally, endure these hardships remembering that you have hope. Your hope is in the salvation that has already been purchased for you by Jesus. It’s a done deal! You just don’t get to live there yet. You’re traveling there, but you haven’t made it yet. But remember the promise of your salvation, have a hopeful perspective as you endure, don’t get sidetracked by ground noise and static that comes your way through distractions, hurts, anger, tiredness, tests ad trial. Fix your eyes on your Hope – Jesus!
Let’s keep discovering … this chapter is so rich!
1 Peter 1:14-16 tells us to be obedient and says, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but rather be holy, as God is holy.
Read Romans 12:2. Again we see that we are to not conform, but rather, we are to be transformed by renewing our minds.
This entire portion of Scripture emphasizes that guarding our minds with Truth is of utmost importance. But not just any truth, THE truth – God’s Word! It is our most precious possession. God’s Word teaches us, keeps our minds pure, convicts us when we sin, sustains us in trouble, calms us when we are fearful, and gives us great joy as we study and learn. Why? Because it is God’s love letter to our hearts. The Word of God helps us know our Lord.
When I met my husband I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana because I was going to school at Louisiana State University, and he lived in South Carolina where he attended the University of South Carolina. The only way we could really get to know each other was by talking on the phone (long distance), writing each other letters, or by visiting on occasion. We met at a wedding while I was at home for a visit and our minds became “fixed” on one another. He captured my heart, and I his. In order to stay connected and get to know each other, we had to prepare for that and the way we prepared was through promising to talk every day or at least every other day.
Oh how I longed to hear the phone ring. I was enamored by what he had to say. Hearing from him was the most important thing to me. Alex’s voice was precious to me, and I longed to hear from him. I wanted to hear how his day went, what he did, who he saw, even what he ate! I was in love with him (and I still am!).
God’s Word should be the same for you and me. We should long to go to the Word of Truth and hear from our Savior. It should be exhilarating to us and should satisfy us like the riches of foods. (Psalm 63:5) God’s Word should be precious to you and me. Is it?
In verse 17-21 we find something else that is precious to God. What is it?
Verse 19 tells us that the blood of Jesus is precious. Jesus was fully obedient to His Father in every way. He was obedient unto death and this was precious to God. Is the shed blood of Jesus precious to you? Do you cherish your salvation and look at it as a treasured gift?
Read 1 Peter 1:22-25. After we have purified our hearts and minds with the truth of God’s Word and obeyed His Word, we have the ability to live out the command in verse 22. We can love one another earnestly with a pure heart. How? Because God’s Word in a pure heart doesn’t wither or fade away, it takes root and blooms again and again. It’s not like grass that dies or is cut and thrown away. God’s Word remains forever!
Do you see it, friend? The only way we can love, be holy, remain steadfast, await the coming of our Savior, and be made like Christ is through His precious Word. God’s Word changes us!
Now let’s apply truth to our lives …
- Name some things that distract or hinder you. How can you “gird up your loins” or “prepare your mind” so you can guard and secure your mind? Being prepared with the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)is very important!
- How can doing what Philippians 4:8 says help you prepare your mind for action?
- What or who are you hoping in?
- How important is God’s Word to you? Do you read and study it daily? Do you find it difficult to spend time in God’s Word because it is difficult for you to understand?
- Are you resistant to God’s Word in any way?
So … from this portion of Scripture what did you learn to be Precious In His Sight? Here’s what I learned …
- God’s Word
- The Precious Blood of Jesus
- Loving others
Precious Father, give me a love, passion and understanding of Your Word. Help me cherish and obey it like nothing else. Help me get to know You more as I spend time reading it. Open my mind so I can understand Your Word. Thank You for the hope I have in You, Jesus, and thank You for my salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you’d like to take a deeper look at the Book of 1 Peter, join our Online Study Group. We are going through Putting on a Gentle & Quiet Spirit by Elizabeth George, an inductive study of 1 Peter.
Jacqueline Heider is the Director of Women’s Ministry, Prayer, & Resource Specialist at Warren Baptist Church.