Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The End of All Things (1 Peter 4:7-9)

Today’s scripture: 1 Peter 4:7-9

A couple of millennia ago, Peter wrote that the “end of all things is near.” Two thousand years later, we’re still waiting for that end, waiting for Christ’s return. And frankly, I echo the words of John after he heard Jesus say, “Surely I am coming quickly”: “Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20).

But for reasons we can’t understand, Jesus delays. Perhaps it’s because He’s still waiting for those He loves to choose to follow Him because, as Peter wrote in his second epistle, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (3:9).

In any case, while we’re on this earth, we need to represent Christ well, and Peter gives us some great exhortation:

We’re to be of sound judgment. Are we thinking about how our actions might appear to an unbeliever? Do they see something different in us? Are we making wise choices?

We’re to be of sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. This doesn’t mean we’re to be doom and gloom “Eeyores.” No. God loves to see His children joyful. What this does mean is we’re to take prayer very seriously. We’re not to treat prayer as a last-ditch effort or something we do just before meals. We’re to come to God’s throne humbly—remembering how undeserving we are—and gratefully—remembering everything God has done for us.

We’re to fervently love one another. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines fervent as “exhibiting or marked by great intensity of feeling.” Love is a verb, not a noun. It is an action. What do you do to love others? Do you know what’s really important to them? Do you treat them with respect and dignity?

Finally, we’re to be hospitable to one another without complaint. Going back to Webster’s, hospitable means “given to generous and cordial reception of guests.” We’re to be willing to open our homes and our hearts to serve others. But did you notice that last little command? Without complaint? Everything Peter calls us to do should be done with full and sincere hearts.

What if all of us who follow Christ did these things? Maybe the world would finally see the light of Christ in us. And maybe many would come to know Him in a personal way.

And maybe, the “end of all things” would come … quickly ...

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