Preparation for a Troubled World

In a PBS broadcast, they noted that nearly a quarter of a million people have died in Ukraine in less than a year of fighting.

The latest number of deaths in the earthquake in Turkey and Syria has reached over 38,000. The death toll is expected to double.

The affected area in Syria is home to refugees from a 10-year civil war. Their situation is the most perilous of all.

Closer to home, Haiti is being controlled by violent gangs, who use ruthless means to exercise their control.

Chinese spy balloons occupy the news with worries about the continuing deterioration of our relations with autocratic nations.

Peter’s message was appropriate for first-century Christians, who endured persecution from Nero, one of the worst Roman emperors.

His message is spot-on for our contemporary world.

Be Prepared

“Be prepared” is a Scout motto, but it should also be the theme of our lives. In verse 13, Peter spoke of three areas of preparation.

Therefore prepare your minds for action; discipline yourselves; set all your hope on the grace that Jesus Christ will bring you when he is revealed (1 Peter 1.13).

(1) Prepare your minds for action.

In Sunday’s sermon, Pastor Jake Taylor spoke of how Chris Jones prepared the entire football off-season to play at the highest level in the playoffs.

With a Super Bowl win fresh in our memories, we can celebrate the accomplishments of Chris Jones and the rest of the Chiefs. They prepared and competed at the highest level with another Super Bowl-worthy team.

The Super Bowl is a big deal, but how much more important is it for followers of Jesus to be prepared for troubled times?

Jake gave the congregation several ways to be prepared. They included finding a time to give serious attention to our relationship with Jesus.

This is a link to the Sunday service at Maywood Baptist Church, where you can hear Jake’s message.

(2) Discipline yourselves.

Professional athletes have unique physical abilities that are in a class of their own. Giftedness is not enough for these sports stars.

In addition to natural talent, they follow a protocol of fitness and skills development, mental agility, specialized diets, and more things than I know.

They know that “trying” is not good enough in the big game. Human effort must be accompanied by serious training.

In a similar way, just trying to live a Jesus-kind-of-life won’t get the job done. We must discipline ourselves on a daily basis.

Daily prayer and Bible reading are a good start. There are other spiritual disciplines that have been practiced by the church over the centuries. When God shows us something, we must follow up with obedience.

(3) Set all your hope on . . . Jesus Christ.

Prior to the Super Bowl game, millions of sports fans hoped for their team to win. They weren’t sure of a victory but hoped for one all the same.

Christian hope is not the “hope so” desires of a sporting event. Christian hope expresses an assurance that God is in control.

When we set our hope on the grace of Jesus Christ, we trust him as our Plan A and have no alternative.


I wonder how many fans of the Super Bowl had tears in their eyes, some with tears of joy and others with sadness?

I wonder how many of the same people have tears over the many deaths of humans in Turkey, Syria, and the war in Ukraine?

We live in a world of misplaced priorities. Our culture is one where many humans have no realization of God.

Christians have been rescued from the mindset of the world and we should not let the world squeeze us into its mold.

Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance (1 Peter 1.14).

We need to incorporate the message of Peter into our lives, especially the call to holy living.

Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct, for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1.15-16).

What is holiness? Ben Witherington III writes about holiness in a book on 1 Peter.

“It involves what the Spirit is doing in the believer (sanctifying) and what the believer is doing in the power of the Spirit in all our ways and behavior.”

We are to become what God already is. Let’s discipline ourselves, and set our minds and hopes on living a Jesus-kind-of-life.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I continue our discussion of 1 Peter on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.

Please email your prayer request to The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I continue our discussion of 1 Peter on YouTube. You can see the video on the Bob Spradling channel.

Please email your prayer request to The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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