The sacred Scriptures give witness to the eternal truth that our thoughts direct our decisions and actions. In essence, correct thinking leads to right living, and vice-versa. The Apostle Paul cautions the Roman believers in his letter when he writes: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
We resist the corrupting influence of our broken world by allowing our minds to be renewed by God’s eternal Word through the power of the Holy Spirit. When our minds are renewed, we are transformed, and we will be able to know God’s will—which is “good, pleasing, and perfect.”
Christmas time can be a difficult and dark season for many. During this season celebrating joy, love, and togetherness, many face debilitating loneliness brought on by fragmented and broken relationships. The constant exposure to the 24-hour news cycles and the endless negativity of social media can cause many to spiral into depressive hopelessness. But the birth of Christ and the firm promise of His final return bring us eternal and firm hope. The grace of salvation that we received, our conversion by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), finds its consummation at the final appearance of Christ, when “we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). What extraordinary hope! At His appearance, we will be like Him - our brokenness, pain, and fear left behind and forgotten in the glorious joy of our eternal adoration of His glory!
The Apostle Peter encourages us to have sober and alert minds, setting our hope on the return of Christ. The Greek text of this verse (1 Peter 1:13) suggests that to be sober-minded is to have a singular focus, a determined and steady gaze on a singular truth. Peter encourages us to be alert and single-minded in the hope of His grace to be revealed at His final coming. We rest our weary hearts and focus our minds on the promise that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). During this Advent, we remind ourselves that this broken world, ravaged by sin, will be put right by Him who has all authority in heaven and earth. We can trust in the certainty of His grace. Christ has come, and He will come again!
Father, in the name of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and in the power of Your Holy Spirit, we ask that You wake us up to the power and certainty of Your grace. Give us the grace to have sober and alert minds that are focused on You. Remove all distractions and fears far away from us. Create in us a deep longing for You. Jesus, you have come, and You will come again! We trust in Your eternal grace! Amen.
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 1:13 NASB1995
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