Welcome to week two of the Bible study 1 Peter: Finding Encouragement in Troubling Times by Sue Edwards. Just in case you missed last week’s introduction, I’ll be blogging through this study every Tuesday for nine weeks. In all honestly, it feels a little odd making the shift from my normal blogging and review styles to walk through this study and share my thoughts, so this might not look quite like what you expect here. But, here goes…
This week’s lesson is entitled “Respond like a Bone-Dry Babe.” In all honestly, that’s how I felt as I worked through each core this week – bone-dry desperation for the living water of God’s Word. I’ve struggled greatly lately with focus. It has been hard to keep my mind centered on any one thing, and I’ve battled wandering thoughts. In short, I have relaxed the discipline of keeping my thoughts controlled and in submission to the Word of God. The result has been that aforementioned “bone-dry desperation.” How appropriate that this week’s passage began with this verse:
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
In the first core, we broke down the concept of preparing our minds for action. We looked at passages such as 2 Corinthians 2:12-16, Romans 12:2, and Philippians 4:8 as we discussed what a prepared mind should look like. The core closed with the question, “Specifically, what do you need to do to develop your mind this week?” I knew instantly what my response had to be, for God had already been working on me, convicting me, and nudging me back to mental discipline. I knew I had to strive to focus my mind on the things of Him instead of the wandering nonsense continually running through my thoughts.
Glancing ahead at what came next, I couldn’t help but move straight into the second core immediately after finishing Core One. Even though this was the shortest core of the week – only two questions – I found it to be the most powerful for me. Based on the second phrase of 1 Peter 1:13, this core discussed sobriety of spirit. The question that ran through my mind was, “How do physical and spiritual sobriety compare?”
Core two begins with this statement:
Excessive alcohol overtakes the mind and body, causing the drunkard to lose inhibitions, slur speech, stumble around, and make foolish decisions.
While I have never been drunk, I can see how an uncontrolled mind can cause similar spiritual responses. When my mind is not controlled, I struggle with focusing on my environment. I miss so much even though I’m right in the middle of the “action.” I’m not careful how I respond to my husband and children, and I find my patience – actually, the whole of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) – greatly lacking. In short, lack of mental control leaves me as impaired in my mind and spirit as alcohol would in my body. No wonder, then, that we are admonished to “set your mind on the things above” (Col 3:2). Spiritual sobriety is essential to every aspect of spiritual growth, exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit, and living in the holiness to which we are called (1 Peter 1:15-16).
The next two cores were meaty as well, but the final core for the week really solidified what God had been stirring in my heart through this week’s study. In 1 Peter 2:2-3, we are reminded to crave “the pure milk of the word.” If I truly long for God’s Word just as a baby longs for its mother’s milk, then that Word will fill my heart and mind, resulting in the sobriety and focus I cannot live without. That is where I have been striving to live this week. I can see the difference in my thoughts and attitude as I have returned to the discipline of controlled, Christ-centered thoughts.
Join me next week as we look at our value as daughters of the King!
This study was sent to me by Kregel Publications in exchange for my participation in this graduated blog tour. I am not required to respond positively to the study.