Living in light of Jesus’ Return | 1 Peter 4:7-11

Living in light of Jesus’ Return | 1 Peter 4:7-11

How are we to live based on the fact that Jesus Christ is coming back to establish His kingdom?

Like other apostles, Peter believed that Jesus is returning and his return is imminent, he could return at any time. He gives us inputs as to how one must live in light of Christ’s return.

1 Peter 4:7-11

7The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

The end of all things is at hand.

The major events in God’s plan of redemptive history have occurred, and now all things are ready for Christ to return and rule.

From the perspective of the Kingdom of God, all the previous acts of redemption have been completed: Creation, fall, the calling of Abraham, the exodus from Egypt, the kingdom of Israel, the exile to Assyria, southern exile to Babylon and the return, the birth of Christ, his life, death and resurrection, his ascension into heaven, and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit to establish the church.

The great ‘last act’, the church age, had been continuing for about thirty years by the time Peter wrote. Now it is almost 2000 plus years. Thus the curtain could fall at any time, ushering in the return of Christ and the end of the age. All things are ready: the end of all things is at hand. Christians who realize that the end of the age could happen at any time should act in a certain way:

1. Lead A Disciplined And Prayerful Life

2. Cultivate Love

3. Practice Hospitality

4. Glorify God In Using Your Gifts

I will be explaining this in this devotion.

1. Lead A Disciplined And Prayerful Life

1 Peter 4:7

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.

Be alert, be of the right mind. Have a clear mind. The reason given for being alert and sober is for your prayers, individual prayers throughout each day. The idea is “to pray more effectively, more appropriately.’ Christians should be alert about events and evaluate them correctly in order to be able to pray more effectively. Peter had failed to do this in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:37-45).

Peter’s words also imply that prayer based on knowledge and mature evaluation of a situation is more effective prayer. When you hear the news about all that is happening around us, pray effectively. So lead a disciplined and a prayerful life.

2. Cultivate Love

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

We are to love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins. Where love abounds in a fellowship of Christians, many small offences, and even some large ones, are readily overlooked and forgotten. But where love is lacking, every word is viewed with suspicion, every action is liable to misunderstanding, and conflicts abound and Satan delights in it. Love one another.

Proverbs 10:12

Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.

Hebrews 12:15

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Paul has given us an entire chapter on love, 1 Corinthians 13.

Ephesians 5:1-2

1 Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Paul is telling the Ephesian church to follow the example of God. What is the God’s example – Love.

3. Practice Hospitality

1 Peter 4:9

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Earnest love, which seeks the good of others before one’s own, finds practical expression in hospitality.

Hospitality is a Christian duty, is to be offered ungrudgingly to one another without resenting the time and expense which may be involved. Such grumbling is ultimately a complaint against God. Hospitality to all people is certainly pleasing to God. Peter’s emphasis on hospitality to one another—that is, to other Christians within the household of faith—is consistent with the rest of the New Testament.

Galatians 6:10

Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

4. Glorify God In Using Your Gifts

1 Peter 4:10-11

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.

Within the fellowship of the church, earnest love for one another will find expression in the use of spiritual gifts. This is not for self-advancement or to draw attention to ourselves, but for the benefit of others. Every person in every church have received a ‘spiritual gift’ (charisma) for use in the life of the church. Paul teaches about spiritual gifts clearly in 1 Corinthians 12:7–11.

Spiritual gifts are to be used to serve others. This certainly fits the context of love for one another.

A spiritual gift is any talent or ability which is empowered by the Holy Spirit and able to be used in the ministry of the church. There are different spiritual gifts in the New Testament (Rom. 12:6–8; 1 Cor. 12:7–11; 12:28–30; Eph. 4:11; 1 Pet. 4:10). As God’s grace is richly varied, so are the gifts flowing from his grace.

These gifts can be divided into two broad categories. Verbal gifts and practical gifts.

Verbal gifts are teaching, preaching, prophesying, encouraging etc. Practical gifts are gifts like serving, administering, giving, etc. Both these gifts are needed in every church and God wants you to use it for his glory for one another.

A good steward of God’s gift will not hide his/her spiritual gift, but employ it for the benefit of others. (The parable of the talents, Matt. 25:14–30; similarly, Luke 19:11–27).

God’s rule for our gifts is that we use them, with the confidence that resources expended in faithful stewardship will be replenished by a faithful Master.

In all these cases the Christian must do it as one who utters oracles of God. It means rather ‘with the seriousness of purpose which one would use if one were speaking God’s words’.

The source of our service is literally, ‘out of’ the strength which God supplies. Service performed by merely human energy and for one’s own status in the eyes of others can soon become a wearying activity (see Gal. 6:9; 2 Thess. 3:13) and increase one’s pride rather than one’s faith. While service is directed to helping fellow believers (and others) and to building up the church, its ultimate purpose is that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 10:31).

Finally, Peter closes this section with his own doxology. Peter writes words of praise appropriate only to one who is also fully God:

In conclusion, how does a Christian live in light of Jesus Christ’s return?

1. Lead A Disciplined And Prayerful Life

2. Cultivate Love

3. Practice Hospitality

4. Glorify God In Using Your Gifts

We do this so that God will be glorified in and thorough our life. Amen.

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