“The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If 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 for ever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:7-11 NIV).
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary regarding 1 Peter 4:7-11 says, “The destruction of the Jewish church and nation, foretold by our Savior, was very near. And the speedy approach of death and judgment concerns all, to which these words naturally lead our minds. Our approaching end, is a powerful argument to make us sober in all worldly matters, and earnest in religion. There are so many things amiss in all, that unless love covers, excuses, and forgives in others, the mistakes and faults for which every one needs the forbearance of others, Satan will prevail to stir up divisions and discords. But we are not to suppose that charity will cover or make amends for the sins of those who exercise it, so as to induce God to forgive them. The nature of a Christian's work, which is high work and hard work, the goodness of the Master, and the excellence of the reward, all require that our endeavors should be serious and earnest. And in all the duties and services of life, we should aim at the glory of God as our chief end. He is a miserable, unsettled wretch, who cleaves to himself, and forgets God; is only perplexed about his credit, and gain, and base ends, which are often broken, and which, when he attains, both he and they must shortly perish together. But he who has given up himself and his all to God, may say confidently that the Lord is his portion; and nothing but glory through Christ Jesus, is solid and lasting; that abideth forever.”
In a very broken and divided world, we have no choice but to accept solemnly the charge Peter gives us in the Scripture above.First and foremost, we are to pray. There is unimaginable power in prayer. Please don’t ever underestimate it. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to, “pray without ceasing.” Jesus prioritized prayer throughout His ministry and the Bible frequently mentions Him getting away by Himself to pray. The instruction that follows in 1 Peter 4 is not even possible without having a healthy and strong daily prayer life. In order to love like He loves, give like He gives, speak like He speaks and serve like He serves, we must be in tune with Him.
Once we are in tune with the Lord, we can live out the life we were called to live. One that yields the fruits of the Spirit. One that brings glory to God. Our lives are our mission field. We are called to love deeply, be generous, serve others, and even when we so much as speak, we should be radiating Christ within us. This verse always convicts me. How many times have I complained about doing a service for others? How many times have I chosen arguments and hostility and anger over God’s powerful and amazing love that covers a multitude of sin? How many times have I spoken out in anger and not waited for the Holy Spirit to guide my words? Self-control is a crucial fruit of the Spirit and in our earnest attempt at carrying out instructions such as these, He must increase and I must decrease.
I encourage you today to pray especially with this verse in mind. What are ways you can serve others today? What are ways you can love deeply today? What are ways you can steward your spiritual gifts well?
Father God, please help me to radiate Your Son within me to everyone I encounter. Guide my steps. Please use me today in any way You require and give me strength to serve you better and more completely so that You will be seen and glorified in all that I do. I surrender my life to You, Lord. Amen.