July 15 Be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of prayer.

July 15 1P1.7 watch n pray1 Peter 4:7 “For the culmination of all things is near. So be self-controlled*~ and sober-minded*~ for the sake of prayer. “

The result the global explosion of Chrisitanity has been a shift in end–time teaching with a general loss of the sense of His imminent return.

However, the unprecedented global turning to Christ can be seen as the “open door, and not one can shut it” of Revelation 3:8.

The prophecy of the Philadelphia Church, which exists until Jesus returns, is promised: “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world” (Rev 3:10).

This is a reference to the Rapture of all believers before the “trial” of the seven–year tribulation period begins; we are at the door! Everything points to the imminent return of Christ.

Peter gives us two commands that affect our prayers in the end times. First, we are to “immediately and urgently decide to be self–controlled,” which means “to be sane, of a sound mind, sober–minded, and self–disciplined.”

We must keep the perspective of living in the light of His imminent return, always obedient to His purposes. We are not to panic when things turn against us.

Failing here can be dangerous: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet 5:8).

Being irrational, explosive, impulsive, or reactionary only signals your openness to demonic attacks. Believers are to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5).

Second, Peter exhorts us to “urgently become sober–minded,” a closely related word meaning to have “sound judgment, or self–restraint.” We are not to be naïve or presumptuous, thinking that everything will prosper.

Believers are to study God’s word to be wise, learn the thinking of fools (Proverbs  1:22, 32; 10:18; 12:15; 13:19; 14:3, 8, 9, 16) learn the truths of Scripture to recognize error, and never allow ideas or practices that would quench our rich communion with God.

“Father, help me live in the light of Your imminent return and determine to be sober–minded and self–disciplined through the teachings of Your word so You will be able to use me to help get the gospel to the ends of the earth.”

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