Preparing Your Mind For Service
The definition of girding up your mind: preparing your mental attitude for the spiritual battle of the Christian.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Doin’ alright? Oh I’m fine thank you. Gettin’ better all the time, hallelujah! Feel great! Trust everything’s alright at your house.
Say, there was one thing I wanted to get at which I think I forgot the last time we were talking, where he said, “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” That word ‘receiving’ comes from a verb that means ‘carry away for yourself’. (Laughs) I got it, you know. That’s, that sort of an idea. Carry it away for yourself – that’s what Thayers says in the Lexicon – carry it away for yourself. “I got it!”
I have the mental picture of a person whom I saw leaving an auction. And he, he had some small piece of furniture in one hand, and an ancient 12 gauge, single shot shotgun – a million years old – in the other hand. And he had bid successfully for these two items. And he said to nobody in particular as he walked away, “I got it!” That’s the picture, carry it away for yourself. Now he says, “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” How do you do that? “Believing,” said he. The commitment of faith. The minute you risk the situation on God and on His Word in the commitment of faith, that moment you become in possession of the assurance that you can say, “I got it!”
You want to make these things real for yourself? Some people always live in a never-never land of theological fog, when things aren’t very real for them even though they go to church, and sing, and pray, and give in the collection. It isn’t very real. You want to make it real? Commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ in the commitment of faith, based on the inerrant Word of God the Bible. “Faith commeth by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God,” the Bible says.
So take the promises and, and, and commands of God, and risk your own personal destiny upon them as you commit yourself in faith to the Lord Jesus. And you too will be able to say, “I got it!” Carry away for yourself. Well, I wanted just to throw that in free because I didn’t want to miss it, and I think I did the last time.
Now he says, “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind. Be sober and hope to the end for the grace brought onto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The last time we got together we were talking about this matter of girding up the loins of your mind. In Bible lands of course, because of the heat that oftentimes is very oppressive, people wear loose garments, flowing loose garments – you know that to be true.
And especially in Bible times when, when the Word of God was, was being dictated by the Holy Spirit through the human vessels that He used in writing it, all Scriptures inspired of God the Bible says, “Holy men of old spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” And so as the, as the Word of God was being written in those days the, the, the type of garment that was used very often, both by male and female, were long, loose flowing robes which would provide the ultimate in personal comfort, even though it was quite warm in the weather around one.
But if it were a matter of getting to work, or, or moving quickly from Point A to Point B, or engaging in battle if one were a soldier, what was done was to, was to scoop up the loose ends of those long garments, and fit them around one’s waist, and then secure them by a belt. That was called ‘girding up the loins’, all right? Now he says, “You gird up the loins of your mind.” Get ready for work, or get ready for war. In either case, the figure of speech is quite apt, because it is a matter of working. Our Lord Jesus left a command, and when He went away He said, “Occupy till I come.” Go work today in my vineyard.
And so, there is work to be done in serving our blessed Lord Jesus. Also, it’s a battle. “We wrestle not,” says Paul, “against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” It’s a battle. So he says, “Take the, the, the sword of the Spirit, and the shield of faith, and the helmet of salvation,” and so on. It’s a battle.
So he says, “Get ready in your mental attitude – your mindset, get ready for work or for war, because that’s what you’re going in to.” It’s not picnic. You’re going to serve the Lord. He’s your master, and you’re His servant. You’re going to fight in this battle for truth against the, the hosts of Satan. You gird up the loins of your mind.
Now let me ask you a question. Have you ever gone through the spiritual exercise of determining what your, your real attitude toward God’s service is? Have you ever decided that you have to work at this matter of serving the Lord? Or are you drifting along with the tide? Have you ever thought through the matter of, of fighting against the forces of evil? That when you pray, it’s a battle; and that when you give your witness for Christ, you’re opposed by the forces of evil? And when you seek to live a holy life, you’re opposed by Satan? It’s a battle. Have you ever thought that through to where you’re sure of, of what the score is?
He said, “Gird up the loins of your mind.” Get ready for the work, and get ready for the battle – that’s what he’s saying. Why? Jesus is coming. Salvation is wonderful and you’ve got it, and you’re rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory. And now he says, “Get ready for the work, and get ready for the, the warfare because you’re living in the light of the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Hope to the end,” said he, “for the grace that is to be brought onto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Interesting way the thing is written here in your Greek New Testament. He says, “Be sober.” And that’s the word néphó– that’s the form that’s here, which… That word means ‘calm’, ‘dispassionate’, ‘cool and collected’. Interesting that Peter would use that word when he was such a blurter and, and tended to, to talk out of turn. (Laughs) Oftentimes, our sermons it must be admitted, reflect our awareness of our own personal needs, isn’t that true? (Laughs) I’m sure that’s so. I’ve preached to ‘me’ more than I’ve preached to anyone else. Well, Peter the blurter, who often got upset, and often talked out of turn, he said, “You, you be calm and cool and, and dispassionate and collected” – that’s the word he used.
Get ready for the work, get ready for warfare, but keep your cool – that’s what he’s saying, isn’t it? “Be cool man!” – that’s what he’d day today. Then he said, “To the, to the planned end you must hope.” He used the idea of, of a planned objective at the beginning of that phrase. Now in, in English it says, “And hope to the end.” You can see it there in verse 13. “And hope to the end for the grace that has to be brought unto you at the Revelation of Jesus Christ.”
But if you, if you translate it literally, it says, “To the planned end you must hope. Unto that which is to brought to your…” namely the grace in the appearing, the Revelation, the apocalypse, as our English word from which it’s derived, apokálypsis– the apocalypse, the appearing of Jesus Christ. Now what do you make of that? Well I’ll, I’ll tell you what I make of it.
The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is a fact. It’s established although it hasn’t happened yet, but it’s established. There’s more said about the second coming of Christ than there is about His first coming, in the Bible – you know that, many of you. And you also know that every prophecy concerning His first advent was, was fulfilled exactly. He came on time and exactly as it was prophesized of Him – you also know that.
Now, we take from those facts, another that if the Bible says He’s coming again, He is. And He’s going to receive us to Himself. That, what’s, the Bible calls ‘the marriage supper of the lamb’. And then He’s coming in with His saints in power and glory, to set up his millennial kingdom, and all that. Well, to the end, to the established, planned objective, you must hope. You see, this whole business of, of living a Christian life is not a series of wishful episodes where you, you wish that things might be different, or you, you just hope that maybe vainly and shallowly that something may happen.
I know some folk who never really face facts and, and who sort of drift from one crisis to another. And they’re always hoping that they’ll be rescued, and that something will happen. Well, life isn’t that way, is it? But here you have a solid prophetic fact: Jesus is coming again. I am His. He is going to take me to Himself. “The dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain under the coming of the Lord shall be caught up together with them in clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord wherefore comfort one another with these word.”
The second coming of Christ will occur. I am one of those who believe that we are closer to it now than ever before, because of the fulfillment of many of the major prophecies which the Bible says must occur just before the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We’re on the threshold of the end of, of this ‘Age of Grace’ and the beginning of the next. Jesus is coming again. Now Peter says, “With that hope as the basis, with that fact – that prophetic fact as the basis – you do your hoping to God’s objective.”
What is God’s objective? “He that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even as he is pure.” God’s objective is that you and I should live a holy life in the light of Christ’s return. “Now little children,” says John, “abide in Him that when He shall appear, we may have confidence before Him and not be ashamed away from Him at His coming.” Do your hoping in the light of the prophetic objective. Do your living in the light of your solid hope in Christ who is coming again.
I remember as a boy, seeing a motto – I haven’t seen it around for a good many years. Went out of vogue I guess. There used to be a wall motto that people had: “Do not think today what you would not want to be thinking when Jesus comes. Say nothing today that you would not want to be saying when Jesus comes. Go not to a place today that you would not want to be found when Jesus comes.” You remember that old motto? Pretty good one. You must hope with the objective in mind.
Now it’s an objective of grace – time is running out and I can’t get into this, but maybe we can do it the next time. He said, “You must hope upon that which is to be brought to you, namely the grace in the appearing of Jesus Christ. The full appreciation of the grace of God is going to be yours and mine when we see Him face to face. We’ll fall before Him and we’ll worship Him. We’ll love, and we’ll cry out with love and joy. The grace of God will be real then. Yeah, I’ll talk about it next time, alright?
Dear Father, today help us to live in the shining hope of Christ’s soon return: a holy life, a life that honors Him, I pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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