Australian author of yesteryear Banjo Patterson once wrote a poem titled “The Man From Snowy River.” The opening stanza of this poetical story tells of an incredible prize, in the form of a colt, that had escaped its corral. A thousand pounds they say the colt was worth in 1890, which nowadays would equate to roughly thirty thousand dollars Australian. The men portrayed in this poem were called to action and to action they went. There are of course, several reasons for their motivation; loyalty, notoriety, financial gain or maybe they were just plain ordered to. In (Luke 12:35-40) our precious Savior emphatically calls us to action, an image taken from the way in which the Israelite’s ate the Passover with their outer garment girded up and around the waist.
Like the men in the poem who were physically and mentally prepared, in other words “sober in spirit” and engaged to think and act. We too, more importantly, must brace ourselves sober for action, in other words self-controlled, a disciplined mind, spiritually alert. Why? Because the Lord will return but will He find faith on the Earth.
As children of obedience we must not be conformed to those former days of disobedience. Ignorance is not bliss, it carries with it a heavy penalty (Eph 4:18, 2 Peter 2:20). I have to tell myself repeatedly that those days of conformity are over (1 Peter 4:3), they have had their time, run their course, caused enough damage, instead, I am exhorted to cultivate holiness (Rom 12:2). The rewards of persistence are evident (Luke 18:5), holiness, is produced by it as long as that persistence is a fixed hope on God (1 John 3:3). Peter wasn’t wrong when he stated that “God has given us all we need pertaining to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3) and that is why Paul was able to reveal his heart to the Corinthians (2 Cor 7:1). Being holy in all our behavior implies that we must persist to possess certain characteristics.
Every apostle and non-apostle that has a written entry in the Bible, directly or indirectly, about the characteristics of the Lord, has penned them for a purpose. That purpose is to exhort us to love and good deeds, challenge us to obedience and to remind us of who we are now, all with the help of the Holy Spirit who bears witness.
The apostle Paul shares Peter’s thoughts about not conforming to this world but to seek after renewing the mind that is able to discern God’s will (Rom 12:2). The OT has the same idea, (Leviticus 18:1-2) establishes God’s sovereignty and (Leviticus 19:2) tells us that holiness is our standard of behaviour, in other words “holy conduct.” We can’t be holy yet, but we can be holy in behaviour now (1 Peter 1:15).
This reminds me of medieval times when an edict, announcement or law which needed to be brought immediately to the attention of the public was pinned to strategic posts and doors with a dagger or arrow. Thankfully we don’t have to have a parchment pinned to our hearts with a dagger. However, the Word of God is a sword and this particular command should be pinned to our hearts by the Holy Spirit. “You Shall Be Holy, For I Am Holy” (2 Peter 3:11).