“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.” 1 Peter‬ ‭1:13‬ ‭

Yesterday we talked about the importance of being ready, being prepared for action. Peter warned his readers that difficult times were ahead. He reminds us to be prepared for action and committed to the ways of God so we will be able to endure everything that lies ahead of us.

There’s one more aspect of this verse that should not be ignored. Peter tells us to put our hope in Jesus and in the salvation he offers. But there’s also a line in this verse that I don’t think we should forget. Peter reminds us that our salvation, the hope that we have, won’t be fully realized until Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.

Salvation through Jesus has both a present and a future aspect to it. As we go through life, we know we are forgiven,. As we live for Jesus , we experience the peace and the love of God. But our salvation won’t be complete until Jesus is revealed to the whole world.

This is important because the people that Peter wrote to, and millions after that, never saw that hope revealed. They never saw Jesus revealed to the world because that will not come until his second coming. That time we are still waiting for and I believe is very imminent.

Hebrews chapter 11 tells us of people of faith who put their hope in God but never saw the promise of the Messiah in their lifetime. In spite of that, they are in God’s Hall of Fame of faith because they never let go of the hope he promised them.

We may not see Jesus come in our time. We always need to be ready for his return but patient and realizing his kingdom will never be in this world until he comes in great power and glory.

In the meantime as Peter says in the beginning of this verse, we need to be ready. We need to be prepared. Continue to keep the faith. Remember our citizenship is in heaven. There will come a day when our salvation will be complete and Jesus will be revealed in all his power.

There are two things we can know about God. He never acts the way we expect him to. Secondly he always acts in the way he said he would, according to his character and his love. Be faithful. Be hopeful. Be ready. But be patient. God has always come through on his promises.

“So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.” 1 Peter‬ ‭1:13‬

This verse is part of a passage in which Peter encourages his readers in a time of extreme struggle.

Believers in Jesus at this time were considered the enemy to all facets of society. The government, religion, and social opinion we’re all against those who followed Christ. There were some that were calling for the complete eradication of these believers in THE WAY!

Peter’s message is as clear to us now as it was to the first readers of his letter. We need to prepare ourselves for the tough times ahead. We need to be disciplined in our faith. We need to put our hope in Jesus and in the glorious salvation he will bring us. Hope will never be found in people, society, culture or government.

There are tough times ahead but we must be a shining light in the darkness. The light of Jesus offers hope to those around us through forgiveness, peace of heart and mind and most of all love for all people.

So prepare yourself for action. Cloth yourself in the hope and love only Jesus can offer those around us. Now more than ever they need to see his light.

We live in a time of unprecedented hate, anger, and violence. Sometimes our smallest comments or actions seem to incite anger in the people around us. During these times we need to be reminded of the great love of God the father has for us.

Society tends place value on us according to a certain political persuasion, our race, or our beliefs and opinions. But in God‘s kingdom, love that is based on the external isn’t love it all.

Love at any level is a decision, a choice. God choice to love us isn’t based on who we are but on who he is. God‘s love for us isn’t based not on what we do, but on what he does through his son Jesus Christ. God‘s love isn’t based on our faithfulness to him, but on his unconditional, unwavering faithfulness .

Human love can change over time. God’s love and never changes for us! His love for us sustains us in the darkest of times.

People may not understand us. Those closest to us can often try to ‘fix us’ when all we want is a listening ear and a hug.

True love guides us, protects us, encourages us and lifts us up. Gods love for you comes with his full awareness and understanding of your pain. He literally feels the pain you feel. No one else can do that no matter how hard they may try.

So today, celebrate you! Celebrate the fact that you ARE loved unconditionally by one who never changes. His love for you is new everyday.

You can come to him with every burden. You can come to him with your shame. You can come to him with your fear. He is always there, willing to listen and able to encourage you.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?” Psalms‬ ‭27:1‬

Fear is one of the most paralyzing tools of the enemy. He uses it to keep our eyes off of God and on our problems. Fear is almost always focused on the future and the unknown. Even if your fear is based on something from your past, the fear concerns the consequences of your actions.

From a human perspective, the level of fear we have is based on our ability to handle what’s coming. If we know we have the knowledge and resources to handle what’s ahead, our fear is minimal. But when the unknown faces us, and we aren’t sure we have the resources to tackle the challenge fear takes over.

Fear can keep us awake at night. Fear can take away our appetite. Fear can destroy relationships. Fear can kill you! The saying “scared to death” can actually be a reality!

Fear is often synonymous with darkness and danger. The Psalmist writes that “God is our light…” The smallest light amount of light can penetrate the deepest darkness. You don’t need a large amount of light to see your way through the darkness. You don’t need a large amount of faith in Jesus to see your way into the unknown.

If you can allow God‘s light to shine on your fears, he will, through the power of his Holy Spirit that lives within you, give you his peace that passes understanding. He’s given us his Spirit of power, not fear so you can face the future knowing you have the resources you need to overcome.

He is your light. He is your fortress. He alone is your salvation.

I’m over six decades old, I lived through the Vietnam war era. I remember the hatred. Remember the violence. I remember the anger and the destruction. Yet, never in all of my life have I seen the level of hatred anger and violence that we see today.

There is no respect for life, there’s no respect for persons belongings, there’s no respect for persons feelings. I think the saddest part is I see no difference between the verbal abuse of those who claim to be Christians in those who claim not to be Christians. It seems like the entire human race, in United States at least, is devouring one another with our judgmental attitudes, our words and violence.

To be honest, that doesn’t surprise me in one sense. The ruler of this world is Satan. He is the great deceiver. His intent is to destroy us. It would seem for now as though he is winning.

Yet the words Jesus speaks in Luke still ring true today. As believers in Jesus we should never be guilty of speaking evil against anyone. That’s hard to do in our culture. But it’s what Jesus did. We are called to love our enemies, to giving to them, to be understanding of them even when we don’t agree with them.

When I say I love you it doesn’t mean I agree with your actions. When I say I love you it’s not based on how you feel about me or what you say about me. My love for you isn’t based on what you do or how you look or how you act. My love for you is based on the love Jesus has for me.

If you are a believer in Jesus today let me encourage you to make it a matter of prayer to love those who are abusing you. To pray for those who are bound with the chains of evil and blinded by the darkness. Remember, our battle isn’t against the left or the right, or Republicans or Democrats, for this race or that race. Our battle is against the forces of darkness and those who listen to the prince of this world, Satan.

His time is short. The victory will be ours someday. But in the meantime, let us as followers of Jesus show the world what real love and real acceptance and forgiveness is about. We were sent here to be salt and the light of the earth and negativity will never do that. Let love be our guide and the Holy Spirit be our power to accomplish what Jesus has sent us to do.

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