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; – 1Pet. 1:13 KJV
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The devotional today is a follow up to the devotional titled “He Earned Your Praise” where the true Christian was made aware of the grace that for granted through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This includes the sufficient empowerment of the Christian to overcome the challenges of the devil and the preservation of a great reward in heaven for the Christian that successfully perseveres and overcomes all the trials and temptations in the world – 1Pet. 1:2-6. Today’s devotional further emphasises the need for the Christian to ensure that he/she remains firm in faith such that when Jesus returns, which he will surely do, the faith of such will bring praise, honour and glory to the Lord. Simon Peter is of no doubt that such Christians, for believing with joy unspeakable in someone that they did not meet physically, they will definitely be rewarded with salvation of their souls on the day of judgement – 1Pet. 1:7-9. Simon Peter went further to reveal that the grace that the Christian was enjoying today was one that the prophets of old, having being prompted by the Holy Spirit earnestly sought and desired but were told that their awareness was just for the purpose of creating a foundation for those who will receive the grace and not for them – 1Pet. 1:10-12. What a great love the Almighty demonstrated for the Christian today and for which the grateful Christian will be expected to reciprocate by remaining faithful through all trials and temptations till the return of Christ. The truth remains that every thing that the Christian requires to withstand these trials and temptations have been provided by the Lord and all that remains is for the Christian to play his/her own party by remaining determined to persevere, fully aware that all that the Lord has promised to reward with, He will surely do.
It is with this in mind that Simon Peter in the scripture that is the foundation of today’s devotional and verses fourteen to seventeen of the same chapter of this his first letter, gave the following advises to help the Christian remain standing till the end.
- The Christian should have a mind that is alert and fully sober. The devil who is the only enemy of the Christian is constantly on the prowl and the Christian must never be caught unawares. He is always scheming, coming up with new devices which we are advised never to be unaware of. In order to be on top of one’s game as a Christian with regards to this tricks of the devil, the Christian needs to have a sober mind always. To be of sober mind here means to not take things lightly, especially things related to the spirit. A very playful person cannot be classified as a sober mind as such will not have the temperament under such emotional state to view things in all its ramifications, a major characteristic of a sober mind. A sober mind is able to subject all issues to spiritual analysis and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is able to see the tricks of the devil when they exist. Such will be successful in attempts to remain standing spiritually till the coming of the saviour.
- The Christian should set his/her mind on the expected goal that Jesus is coming with when he returns. Just as the one that desires to be successful in a race focuses on the finishing line, likewise the Christian is expected to focus on the goal of the heavenly race which is salvation. The one that is salvation-minded at all times will see the greatness of the reward if he/she achieves the objective and this will always serve as the motivation for persevering through all the difficult times that trials and temptations bring. In all things the advise in the Bible that the Christian should focus on the author and finisher of his faith must be taken to heart.
- The Christian should avoid evil desires that characterised life before being born again. Jesus Christ himself in his advise to Christians revealed that focusing on all these desires which he classified as evil is the nature of pagans and should not be found in the Christian. He expects that the Christian will focus on heavenly goals with assurance that all those earthly desires will follow. It is the intention to make this earthly desires the priority that break the resolve of the Christian to retain his/her faith during trials and temptations and that will make them evil.
- The Christian should aim for the Almighty God’s standard of holiness. There is no doubt that the one that has as the major objective, the attainment of God’s standard for holiness will never be enticed or fall for the temptations that earthly possessions can be, especially if they are prioritised. Such people continue to make the Almighty God’s view on every step they intend to take as the determinant. With this as the rule for their lives, they will only live godly lives which with no doubt will lead to them being rewarded with salvation in the end.
- The Christian should always remember that he/she is a foreigner in this world and so must live a life governed by reverent fear. Beyond the fact that worldly acquisitions lose all their relevance as soon as the owner dies, is the fact that there is another stage after this life that will determine how man spends a more permanent existence known as eternity. Not only will all those acquisitions have no value after leaving these existence, the manner of their acquisition may just be the reason why such an individual will spend eternity in hell. Heaven and Hell are permanent destinations of human soul and the choice of where the soul goes after departure from this realm is dependent on how well an individual is able to withstand all the pains and discomforts of the trials and temptations in this world. The one who is able to remember that everything in this world is temporary and the only certain event in this world is death will rather prepare to have a more comfortable living in the more permanent destination rather than have all the comfort in this very temporary world. No matter how long an individual lives, he/she is certain to die and so all must be concerned about the fate of his/her soul after life in this realm.
There is no doubt that success will be achieved in attempts to live a Christian life worthy of salvation reward if these advise of Simon Peter is adhered to. There is simply nothing in this world to make the Christian consider or want to swap all the great promises in the life after life for. All in this world according to the wisest man that has lived and will ever live is vanity upon vanity. True wealth and riches exist with him and that is what He has prepared for all those who persevere and remain faithful to Him till the end. May our God grant us the Grace to remain standing through all life’s trials and temptations in Jesus name. Amen.