I’ve been studying 1 Peter and have been struck by how much he emphasizes having the right mindset.
Prepare your minds for action. Be sober minded. Mindful of God. Unity of mind. A humble mind. A good conscience. Think like Christ. Be sober minded. Be sober minded.
Peter mentions the mind in every single chapter. Why was this so important to him?
And then it dawned on me what Jesus had personally said to Peter.
“You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:23
However well intentioned we are – however seemingly pure our motives – if our minds are not set on the things of God, we will be a hindrance to Kingdom work.
Also, after receiving such a strong rebuke from Christ, Peter was compelled to share the lesson with others.
Where are our minds focused today? Are we helping or hindering the work of Christ?
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Are you thirsty (in need, needy, desperate)? Are you without money (with nothing to offer, empty handed)? Have you spent money on that which is not bread (made poor decisions financially, relationally, etc)? Have you labored for things that don’t satisfy (spent your energy, efforts, emotions on things that don’t matter, make an eternal difference)?
God says, “Come.”
Are you weary (physically, emotionally, spiritually)? Are you heavy laden (carrying burdens, overwhelmed by responsibilities)? Jesus says, “Come.”
If we call ourselves Christ-followers, our message must also be, “Come.” We are told to come and to invite others to come (Revelation 22:17.)
We should be engaging, not avoiding, those who are needy, empty handed, living with the consequences of poor decisions, throwing their energy and efforts after things that don’t satisfy, weary, worn, and bowed under the weight of their burdens.
To those we, the bride of Christ, say, “Come. There is room at the table for you.”
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It’s easier to be angry. Anger feels like a shield.
But anger is not what God desires for us. It’s not a shield, but a prison. It holds not power, but poison.
Nobody enjoys feeling hurt, rejected, abandoned and, so, we often choose anger as our companion because we fear grief.
It’s okay to feel the hurt for a moment. Hurt seems to ebb and flow and somehow know when to move on for a time. It sometimes fades into the shadows, gives you some space, lags behind just a little.
Unlike anger who is always front and center, making its presence known and attempting to dictate every step of the journey.
I’ve decided grief is a better companion than anger. Grief guides me to Jesus.
“Come to me, all ye heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
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The enemy wants us to wallow in our wounds. To hang on to every hurt. To remember every remark that left a mark.
That is no way to live, my friends.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1) and, for many of us, freedom begins with forgiveness.
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We water down God’s Word all the time.
God says, “Be holy as I am holy.” We try to “be good” instead even though we have no idea what that even means.
God says to “love your neighbor.” We choose, instead, to love people who think, look, act, believe like us and we even love those people half-heartedly.
God says to make kindness a regular part of your existence and we’ve decided that random acts of kindness are somehow better.
Random: made, done, happening, or chosen without method or conscious decision.
So, if I’m in the drive through and I happen to want in that moment to do something kind and if I happen to have an extra $5 and if there happens to be someone behind me…
What Scripture teaches is that there should be nothing random about our kindness. We should be chasing opportunities to be kind. We should always be pursuing a pattern of kindness. We should be on the hunt, y’all, for ways to shower others with kindness.
When you study Scripture, pay attention to words. There is a difference between “be kind” and “actively pursue kindness.”
Interestingly enough, we are told the same thing regarding peace (1 Peter 3:11.) But that’s another post. 😉
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