June 18. I Peter 1:13-25
GRACE LESSONS: When we read verses 18-20 in this passage we are reminded in a new way of God’s grace. Peter uses the word “ransom” to describe what God paid for us. We were slaves. Incapable of freeing ourselves from sin and foolish, destructive behavior. He paid the ransom and bought us our freedom. Charles Swindoll puts it like this: “The idea of a ransom, or the price of redemption, comes from the slave market. The picture it suggests is that we were all in the slave market of sin, lost without Christ … We needed someone to pay the ransom for our souls. Christ did that on the cross with His blood. In doing so, He broke our chains and set us free to serve Him. But in order to enter this freedom, we each have to personally take His gift and accept by faith that His death and resurrection have paid for our sins.”
OUR PASSAGE: I love the mixture in this passage of what we should do and what God has done. We could not save ourselves. We can not live right without His help. But Peter also wants us to “live in reverent fear” of the One who paid such a steep price for us and that means in verse 22 that we “must show sincere love … deeply with all (our) heart(s)." We are saved by grace alone. But there are commands to obey – loving God and others being pre-eminent but also other tasks to accomplish. And by His grace … we shall obey those commands out of our love for Him.
My verse: I Peter 1:13 “So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.”
My response: I’m fascinated by this command that I prepare my mind for action and exercise self-control. This makes such good sense. Sin starts in the mind. Peter didn’t want these Christians undergoing persecution to go back to old sinful habits. They were to be a holy people. And the way to stay holy is to guard all thoughts in the mind, turning worries and fears and temptations immediately into prayers, not letting any evil take root in the mind and do damage there. Lord, help me to be QUICK to turn from worthless thoughts and to replace them with prayer and worship and desire to please You alone.