This morning, I was reading in 1 Peter 4: 7-11 “The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spirtual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himsef were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen!
There is a lot in these verses. That first sentence should generate some type of reaction from you, fear, excitement, confusion, joy? When I first read it my response was, “Am I ready?”
The end of the world is coming SOON. For just a few seconds my mind said, if it is really soon are you ready? Are you really one of the chosen? I believe there are a lot of “good” people headed to hell. They think they are ready but they don’t really know Jesus. There are people in all denominations playing church, that are not ready. So, what makes me think I am any different? Sometimes, like in those brief seconds, Satan likes to play with my mind, and make me doubt. Because, if I doubt, my energy goes to that, to the doubting.
So, what makes me think I am different? Because, I know Jesus died and rose again for me. I know by no power of my own could I get to heaven-only by the blood of Jesus. So, yes if the end of the world is coming soon I am ready. (If you do not know for sure please go to my home page and look under the picture, there is a link in the menu called Roman Road. Check it out.)
So, the end is coming soon according to Peter two thousand years ago. What should we be doing in the mean time, while we wait? According to these verses we should be praying, and he tells us how, earnstly and with discipline. Do I always pray that way? NO. My christian life is sometimes like my everyday life. Sometimes it feels like trying to keep all the plates in the air at one time. Some seasons my reading is good, sometimes my prayer life is good, sometimes my serving is good. But in reality I struggle with finding a balance in all areas.
Our church uses a great app that can help in that area. It’s called Echo. If you are part of Redemption and not on the app yet check it out. It will help you be more disciplined in your prayer life.
Peter goes on to say we should continue to show deep love for each other, because love covers a multitude of sins. Continue, that would indicate that I am already doing that. If I am loving others I am going to to be more compassionate, more patient, quick to forgive, less likely to judge, less likely to want justice when wronged. When I first read this I thought it meant my love for others would cover their sins. I think my love for others may cover my multitude of sins.
What else should I be doing in the wait? Sharing from my blessings, my home, sharing a meal. Brett and I were just talking about this while walking this morning. Someone we know just broke their foot, Brett said we should take them a meal. I said yes we should, we should take one to them, and the person we know struggling with cancer, the widow down the street, the couple with the new baby. Those are the types of things I should be doing in the wait, have I this week? Not yet.
Peter also says that God has given each one of us gifts. A gift from his great variety of spritual gifts. When I read this I had this funny image in my head. I imagined God standing in front of this big closet labeled spirtual gifts. As each baby is conceived God is standing there holding up different gifts deciding which one is right for each person. I don’t think that is quiet how it goes but, I do believe he does give each of us certain gifts. Robin Tarleton has the gift of organization, Robbey has the gift of evangalism, Brett has the gift of servanthood, my grandfather had the gift of giving.
Each person has a gift and when we use those for God everything we do will bring glory to God, through his son Jesus Christ. And, that should be our goal in the wait, to glorify God. Whether in my prayers, my love for others, sharing what I have or using my gifts. If I am doing this with all my energy and strength then the wait should be that, just a wait. A wait for something greater to come. Are you ready in the wait?
Thank you! I believe that it is usually in the basic Christian disciplines that we fail the most, especially after we have been “serving” the Lord for some time. We are no different than the Israelites who get excited then slowly anxious, then complacent, and finally apathetic. Thank you for your honesty and boldness in describing the feeling/doubts that most of us experience at some point or another but are too “religious” to admit. Like you, I have to occasionally remind myself that it is exclusively by His grace and my faith in Him that I can have eternal assurance. Once again, thank you for this timely reminder.
Joe thank you we do try to make it harder than it is don’t we.
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