Let’s move from grace to graciousness.
1Peter 1:13 teaches, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Lets look closer:
- Wherefore . “Because of ‘the glorious free grace opened for Gentiles and Jews in Christ.'”
- Girding up. “…vivid metaphor for habit of the Orientals, who quickly gathered up their loose robes with a girdle when in a hurry or starting on a journey.”
- The loins, “Old word for the part of the body where the girdle was worn. A metaphor. “The believer is to have his mind (mental powers) collected and always ready for Christ’s coming. “Gather in the strength of your spirit.” A.T Robertson
- Mind, “Old word for the faculty of understanding, of seeing through a thing.” A.T. Robertson
- Be sober. “spiritual self-restraint, lest one be overcome by the allurements of the world and of sense.” Let the finished work of Christ produce in you this sobriety.
- Hope. No casting away of your confidence.
- Grace is coming in the Person of Christ. Graciousness, in words and mannerisms t.
Summarizing the above:
Because of the glorious free grace, let us have our minds collected, gather in the strength of our minds, discern all things, have spiritual self restraint in the finished work of Christ, and cast not away our confidence, because graciousness is coming through the manifestation of Christ, shortly. Paraphrase mine.
Some have found problems with this process:
- “Those of us who have substantial religious backgrounds are likely to be addicted to legalism, we look at all spiritual matters through lenses of rightness and wrongness.When this is all we see, grace is eclipsed” Gerald May
- “If you are addicted to control as I am, you will want to take specifics and turn them into methods.
If you do, the spaciousness (graciousness) will be filled, and the mystery will disappear.” Gerald May
So, viewing life as mere rights and wrongs, or fabricating life as a set of methods for situations, leaves out the much desired graciousness of Christ.
2 Chronicles tells a story of Jehoshaphat: “It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them other beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, There comes a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria… And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. ”
In verse 16, the Word of the Lord came, “To morrow go ye down against them: Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you. ”
In verse 20 the word came “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endures for ever.”
What is the beauty of holiness? Nothing less than the gracious God manifesting Himself on behalf of his people.
“God is beautiful for all situations. ” Dr. Carl H. Stevens
Psalm 27:4 tells us, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
And Psalm_90:17 “…let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.”
Isaiah 33:17 “Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty.”
Finally, “Isaiah 61:3 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes,”
Friends, instead of ashes we get Him, His beauty, His Kingship and Majesty. Let’s gird up, get ready, discern, faint not. He’s coming. love ya