However, has the church fallen asleep spiritually while maintaining the thought that they will still be granted into God's kingdom based upon their salvation in Christ? Although I believe our salvation is secure in Christ (by faith alone) I also believe that authentic Christians should be pursuing Jesus Christ during the time that they await His return! As I was reading 1 Peter 4:7-12 today I really took the time to pray, contemplate, and challenge myself with a few thoughts. Let me share the passage:
(7) "The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. (8) Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. (9) Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. (10) As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: (11) whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
I believe that the following is Peter's intended encouragement to believers:
- We must live in view of an end and that God will judge all things.
- Be faithfully praying and live in such a way that our prayers are heard!
- Be abundant in love and walking in a spirit of love--forgiving others freely!
- Seek to help others and minister to them because of our deep love for them.
- Use how you were equipped and your gifts from God to build others in their faith.
- Because God is ultimately in control we must ALL glorify Him!
Love is the driving force of all the gifts that God has given us. As believers, we can choose to forgive others without forcing someone to crawl to us on their knees; after all, Christ has modeled this forgiveness for us. As I experience friends going home to be with the Lord and as difficulties enter my life, I am reminded that I must live with an end in mind. It brings me comfort to know that the pain in this life will not last forever and that God will have the final word. However unfairly life may seem at times may we keep His perspective about how we live our days out for His glory.
Prayer: Father, I pray that in all of my simpleness that I would never place my will or desires over yours. If difficult times are what is necessary for your work to prosper in my life then grant me those days with Your strength that I may move forward with humility and courage. I pray that I may walk pure before you and please teach me to number my days so that I may know how frail I really am.