As 2015 draws to a close it would be wise for us as followers of Christ to take some time to reflect on where we have been, where we are right now, and where we are going.
If you watch the news, it is certainly evident that, given the current trajectory the world is on, it’s not just 2015 that is coming to an end. Life as we know it, is quickly coming to an end.
The Apostle Peter said the very thing, in 1 Peter 4:7, “The end of all things is near…”
If Peter was saying this in his day, how much closer are we today? The good news in Peter’s announcement, if you are a Christian, is that Jesus could come back at any moment. There is nothing to prevent Him from coming back right now.
So…here is the pressing question for 2016!
If Peter got it right, then what kind of people ought we to be as we anticipate an even more immanent end of all things?
Peter recommends four things, in 1 Peter 4:7-11.
1. “Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled. “These two words together, in the Greek, mean, “Don’t be intoxicated.”
We live in a world intent on intoxicating us. So many things… our possessions, wealth, power, our looks, what we wear, drive, sports, politics, entertainment, social media. The list could go on forever.
Peter says that we must be clear-minded and self-controlled so we can pray. Prayer aligns us with the purposes of God. Prayer gives us insight into the heart and priorities of God. Guidance for your life can’t come first from other people. It comes primarily from time spent with the Lord.
2. “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.” The word “deeply” in the Greek means “through strenuous and sustained effort.”
The word, “deeply” in the Greek means “through strenuous and sustained effort.” It does not mean emotional intensity. All relationships, if they are last, require strenuous and sustained effort.
3. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Our world is increasingly producing people who are fractured, broken and living isolated lives. The only antidote for this dysfunction is the doors of the lives and homes within the local church open wide in welcoming healing embrace of each other.
4.Use whatever gift you have been given to serve one another.
Each one of us has been given a gift. Do you know what your gift is? The gift you have been given is not about you or bringing glory to yourself. The gift you have been given is so that you may serve others.
Why is the practice of these four priorities for the local church so important?
Peter actually tells us.
It is “….so that in all things, God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:11