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Posts Tagged ‘1 Peter 1:13’

Bizarre Behavior

July 26th, 2013

When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped Him.”  Mark 5:6 NKJV

Regret apart from repentance and restoration will never bring you freedom.

My thoughts and comments today are about “bizarre behavior.”

People are capable of bad behavior, regardless of nationality, gender, geography, education, financial, or social standing. Common sense does not come automatically with any of those. People do unexplainable things, though it makes no sense to behave in destructive ways, typically hurtful to others and predictably harmful to one’s self. Some people do that all too frequently, usually unexplainable even to themselves. Everyone has had an occasion when you ask yourself, “What was I thinking?” Probably, your baffled explanation was, “I wasn’t thinking!”

Any person is capable of conduct embarrassing to themselves and bewildering to those who know them. Bizarre behavior is not as spontaneous and inexplicable as you might first think. Such behavior exposes an inner life lacking good judgment and little thought of consequence. The consequence is normally worse than previously considered. What begins as private thought can soon become public conduct. The bad news is that there is much damage that is irreparable; the good news is that all you have done is redeemable.

Mark reports Jesus’ encounter with a man whose behavior was bizarre. You will find hope in this first tragic then triumphant story of God’s grace and power. See Mark 5:1-6 NKJV. Here’s his story – the very definition of bizarre. The source of his strange behavior was spiritual. Mark’s account does not suggest that all bizarre behavior is demonic, as was true in this instance. But there is always a spiritual dynamic to wrong pursuits and passions that are controlling and eventually uncontrollable. His behavior imposed estrangement from others, worsening his isolation and despair. His actions were unconstrained, even irrepressible, in spite of his own efforts and the best attempts of others. As a result, he experienced self-disgust which produced a spiral of self-destructive behavior. (Verses 2-5).

However long he had struggled and suffered, there was some vestige of his former self that longed to be free and could recognize that Jesus alone was his solution. Whatever you have done and wherever you have strayed, come running to the Savior. “When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped Him.” Verse 6. Your wise response is to allow no regret over your past or present failures keep you from Jesus. Regret apart from repentance and restoration will never bring you freedom. Paul addressed this in these words, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Read 2 Corinthians 7:10-11 NIV.

Your struggle may not be as extreme as his, but your need can be as real as his. Unbecoming behavior is not the private reserve of the worst among us. Jesus braved a violent storm at sea to meet a man with a tragic storm in his soul. To both, Jesus said, “Peace be still! . . and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:35-41. There was a happy ending for him, as there will be for you.

After his encounter with Jesus, “They came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon possessed . . sitting and clothed and in his right mind.” Mark 5:15 NKJV. Changed completely; freed absolutely; satisfied fully. See 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV/1 Peter 1:13 NIV/Colossians 3:1-3 NIV. New beginnings are available. “Great is His faithfulness; His mercies are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:23 NLT.

My prayer for you today is that your first response is always to come to Jesus.

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Prepare for Success

January 15th, 2010

“Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled.” 1 Peter 1:13 NIV

“Few are ready to give the discipline and effort demanded for success.”

My thoughts today are to “prepare for success.”

Everybody is eager for success and the recognition, reward, and applause that would follow. Only a few will ever realize exceptional achievement however, because only the very few are ready for the discipline and effort that are demanded to succeed.

“Prepare your mind for action.” The road to success is not pretty, nor is it quick or easy. Like so many areas of excellence, the journey begins in your mind. Success is mental before it becomes actual. You have to believe in yourself, in your abilities, in your hard work, and especially in your goal. You prepare your mind, not merely to think, but to act – preparing your mind to clarify and picture your goal, to plot your strategy, to plan your work, to apply yourself to whatever effort, resources, and time as will be necessary to reach your goal.

Success is not achieved merely by some “power of positive thinking,” unless that is accompanied by large doses of good old-fashioned discipline, hard work, and perseverance. You move beyond the mental to the volitional – to engage your will to act and your inner conviction of success. Your want is not powerful enough without your will.

“Prepare . . be self-controlled.” Now comes the essential discipline of self-control. Circumstances are not the primary cause of failure to achieve, though they can be challenging at times. Failure is more often the product of lacking the necessary self-control when you face situations unexpected or adverse. What you do then exposes what you really believe and how much of your self you were willing to give. The prize is great, but the process can be grueling. If you are not strict with yourself – no self-indulgence allowed – you will not endure until reaching your goal.

For the follower of Jesus, such self-control is a unique expression of “the fruit of the Spirit,” which is developed in you as you yield to His leadership and follow His direction. Spirit-control may be a more accurate description, for what I am referring to is not a product of your own inner strength. “When the Holy Spirit controls your life, He will produce . .“ Galatians 5:22-23 NLT. Spirit-control directs and empowers your efforts; self-control keeps you following the Spirit’s direction and applying yourself diligently. Together you can achieve more than you ever could have otherwise.

My prayer for you today is that you will trust God with your life and find His success.

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