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Active Self-Control

1 Peter 1:13
Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Christians should have active minds. God does not intend us to be passive or indifferent to Him or to our human circumstances. If we take the preceding verses seriously (1 Peter 1:3-12), we know that we should live each day joyfully waiting for Jesus Christ to come back, and trusting God's written Word. Yet in times of suffering, troubles and persecution, some are tempted to give up the struggle against sin, the world, the flesh and the devil. They put their minds into neutral gear, ignoring God's commands, hoping for the battles to go away.

But this verse says that we should prepare our minds for action (Romans 12:2). This is not to invent solutions to our discomfort, but rather to be determined to keep on living for Jesus, whatever the cost. That involves an active consideration that there is no other option. The Jesus who saves us, will sustain us. The God who has prepared an inheritance for us, will enable us to receive it. The Holy Spirit who gives us joy will also give us self-control (both are fruits of His presence within each believer (Galatians 5:22-23).

So, every day, we need to think carefully about how we can honour the Lord, pressing forwards in our love and trust and obedience. This is not, necessarily, because it makes life easier for us now (it may make life much harder): but because we know that we will be accountable to Jesus when he returns. Passive minds do not care: but those who do care what Jesus thinks will set their minds on getting ready for His arrival. If our working day requires us to think carefully about management, processes, profit and quality; how much more should we be concerned to have focussed minds which think through how best to please the Lord. And you can assess how much this matters to you, by reflecting on how much you pray that God will help you to be self-controlled for His sake.

Prayer 
Gracious Lord. Please help me to appreciate all Your encouragement to keep pressing forwards as a Christian. Forgive me when I am too lazy or careless to pray for self-control, because I know that I am designed to please You and not myself. Forgive me when I want to give up the struggle against all that urges me to sin. Please help me today to take care to think how I may please You, to the best of my ability, with Your amazing help. For Jesus Christ's sake. Amen
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© Dr Paul Adams

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