Are you a sober-minded Christian? This quality is a sign of spiritual maturity that influences how we see the world around us.
In his first letter, the Apostle Peter spoke very directly about this quality of maturity:
· “Therefore, with your minds ready for action, be sober-minded.” 1 Peter 1:13
· “The end of all things is near; therefore, be alert, and sober-minded.” 1 Peter 4:7
· “Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary, the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour.” 1 Peter 5:8-9
What does it mean to be a sober-minded Christian? Such people are paying attention to what is going on in our world. They can see where history has been and where we are headed today. A sober-minded Christian realizes we are responsible to carry out God’s plans and purposes in the world.
· If we are married, we aim to be loving husbands, responsible fathers, and good providers for our families.
· We are to be devoted members of our churches and faithful employers or employees.
Note: Our consistent goal should be to become dynamic Christian witnesses by the way we live and what we say. A sober-minded Christian has as his/her consistent goal to grow and become a rock-solid believer. Paul, in Ephesians 4:17, wrote “Therefore I say this, and testify in the LORD: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thoughts.” He also speaks of this quality in Ephesians 4:13, “Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.”
As I look at those and other verses, it is obvious to me that sober-minded Christians have a really clear focus on life. It is not one grand party after another. We are to take life seriously. Such people do not live in continued anxiety because the world is headed in the wrong direction. They don’t lose their physical, psychological, or spiritual orientation. Regardless of the changes in the world, that violate Biblical values, they maintain stability and steadfastness.
I also believe that sober-minded Christians do not go to extremes. They don’t get bogged down trying to solve all the world’s problems, yet they roll up their sleeves and do what they can to solve social ills in accordance with Biblical values. FOLKS, this is not easy, but it is essential.
Sober-minded Christians don’t take off on emotional tangents. They rely on God for inner peace and security, no matter what is happening in the world. It is so interesting to study the lives of our Lord’s disciples and apostles. We read about some of them when they were flakes, fleshly, and feeble. As you follow them in their walk, a maturity sets in and I am in awe that ten of the eleven died a martyr’s death. Foxes “Book of Martyrs” is an important read because you will read about men and women like us and what they endured to be faithful to their LORD. Even today, many Christians around the world are suffering and dying because of their commitment to Christ.
The last thing I would mention about this subject is that sober-minded Christians are people of prayer. Paul, in Philippians 4:6-7, wrote “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” What great counsel and guidance from Paul who went through the fires because of his commitment to Christ.
In closing, I want to say that no matter how long you have been a believer, you should still be in a growing pattern. None of us have arrived or is perfect, but we should be gaining in our knowledge of our LORD, experiencing His faithfulness and power in our lives, every day.
In Philippians 3:12-14 Paul wrote, “Not that I have already reached the goal or am already perfect, BUT I make every effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: “Forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”
So, I ask you —
· Are you living in the past?
· Are you focused on the world and what is taking place?
· Do you see how so much around contradicts God’s Biblical values?
· Do you see yourself as a Christ-follower as one called to impact the world for the glory of God?
Christ didn’t save us just to take us to heaven. He redeemed us so that as forgiven and transformed men and women we would partner with Him to be clear witnesses for Him and thus influence the world for good.
Keep growing brothers and sisters,