Monday, November 7, 2016

Daily Devotional November 6 - Listen and Act Promptly

"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. But as He which has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, be ye holy because I am holy." 1 Peter 1:13-16

Gird up the loins of your mind. To paraphrase: "Strengthen, through use and constant communication with God, the center of your mind; the inner most part of your thinking; the root of all your thought life." We do this because as born again believers, we have a new nature that can be trained in the things of God. We have a living spirit that makes the direct connect with God through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We strengthen our minds by exercising them.
Be sober. In your thinking be sensible and use the wisdom that has been imputed into you by God. Don't let yourself be caught under the influence of anything that can blur your inner vision. It's not just alcohol and drugs. There are other vices that can keep you from sober thinking.

And hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Hope, look toward the end, but in the meantime you are living under the auspices of grace. Christ has already been revealed to you and you have already received the blessing of living under grace. You are not waiting until the end to receive the grace. You are currently actively involved in living under the rule of grace, the dispensation of grace, the time prior to the end of the end of man. Your hope must be in the finished work of Christ. You need to know that God's grace is to be fully understood, activated, and utilized now, on this side of heaven. All that God has is available to you right now under grace. If you are waiting to cross over to the other side so you can really experience Christ, you will be disappointed. Grace and peace with God are for this life we live , fully activated for use and complete in every way. Of course this is not heaven, it was never meant to be. This is life in Christ, for the now. Heaven is meant for another time and when we get to heaven we will no longer be under the dispensation of grace. We will be in the dispensation of the kingdom of God.

As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance. Obedience to God only means good things. Obedience brings blessings. Obedience saves us from ourselves. Obedience to God is so much better than anything this world has to offer for our allegiance. If you claim Christ, fight your mind and your body to fashion itself to be like minded with Christ. You didn't have the power to do that before you were born again, but you do now. Use it wisely.

But as He which has called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.
Conversation means lifestyle. Jesus is calling us to a holy lifestyle. And more than that, holiness is all about the direction you are in. Holiness is not a static position that you earned because you belong to the right church, because you are a pastor, because you are a priest, because you tithe, because you always make the right decisions or because of any other level of perfection that you think you might have reached. Holiness is fluid and part of the sub-structure of the Christian life. You are holy because of Christ, not because of you. You are holy because God sees you through the works of Jesus, not because you attended church and didn't miss a Sunday for six years. Of course it is wonderful that you or someone you know is faithful to do what they say they are going to do and follow the important tenants of faith of the church they attend. But don't get that kind of holiness mixed up with the holiness that God calls you to through Christ. The holiness we live through Christ, is Christ in us the hope of glory, and it is the indwelling Holy Spirit that lives in our inner man, but it is not from our good works that God looks upon and bestows blessings. It's always been about what Christ is doing in you and through you that makes you holy. Let God have His way with you.

Because it is written, be ye holy because I am holy. Because it is written. I won't belabour the point, but this is so important in how you view the scripture and God.
Because it is written it cannot be rescinded.
Because it is written God has proven Himself that He will not change his plan.
Because it is written, you have a contract with God that is immutable.
Because it is written you can stake your life on it.
Because it is written you don't have to worry about dysfunctional cult leaders taking you down the wrong road.
Because it is written you can find the truth for yourself and decide.
Because it is written it will come to pass the way it is written, because God promises that not one jot or tittle will be changed until all is fulfilled.

You might not like it. You might not agree with it. You might not do it this way if you were God. But because it is written, it will come to pass. My suggestion is to get on board with all that God is doing, pray about your part in this great move of God, listen carefully to what is written and act swiftly to fulfill it.

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