1 Peter 4
1 Peter 4:1-19
Paul gives Christians several commands in these 19 verses:
- Arm yourself with same purpose – to suffer in the flesh as Christ did
- Live no longer for the lusts of men but the will of God
- Be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer
- Keep fervent in your love for one another
- Be hospitable to one another without complaint
- Employ gifts in serving one another as a good steward of God’s grace
- Keep on rejoicing when you suffer for Christ name
Paul exhorts Christians to expect suffering for Christ’s name. Our attitude toward suffering should be:
- Be determined to do God’s will
- Don’t suffer for evil but for Christ
- Keep praying, keep loving, keep serving
- Glorify God
- Don’t be surprised
- Keep on rejoicing
- We are blessed
- Don’t be ashamed
- We suffer according to the will of God
- We entrust our souls to our faithful Creator
Paul teaches us about the judgment to come:
- Those who live in the lusts of men and malign Christians will have to give an account to God
- God will judge the living and the dead
- Judgment begins with the household of God
- What will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
- What will become of the godless man and the sinner?
- We are no longer to live for the lusts of men but the will of God. This is an every minute of every day kind of application. Will I do what I want or will I do what God wants? For me, that looks like intentionally going to bed earlier so I can have a good quiet time in the morning. For me, that looks like not reading a good novel this week but spending more time praying for the Gateway camp.
- Keep fervent in your love for one another. How do we do that? What does that look like? How do I not grow apathetic or indifferent to the people God puts in my path, particular at church (since this is a love one another command)? How do I love people well?
- I should be employing the gifts God has given me as a good steward of the grace of God. Am I doing that? What does that look like this fall as I start a new part-time teaching job? Where and how should I be serving at Trinity this fall? With whom should I be investing my time?
- Rejoice and glorify God in the midst of suffering. Hmmm… that sounds a lot different than my usual grumble and complain in the midst of suffering. God is really going to have to help me.
Lord, thank you that you are always with us… in good time and in times of suffering. Thank you that following You and doing your will has eternal impact. Thank you that our suffering is not in vain. Lord, I ask that you help me to lay down the lusts of men to do the will of God. Help me to get to bed earlier so I can have good time with you in the morning. Help me to do all the things You have asked me to do before I chill out. And Lord I want to fervently love people at Trinity Church but I don't even know what that looks like. Would you give me your love and heart for all people at Trinity and would you give me words and actions that reflect your heart?
And God, as we move into fall, I pray that you would show me how to use my gifts and show me where to serve and who to serve. I want to be a good steward of the graces given to me. Wherever you ask me to serve, when I speak may it be with the utterances of God and when I serve may it be in the strength of God. And lastly Lord, help me to change my attitude during times of suffering. The sufferings you have given me are small; working hard for the Gateway camp, dealing with relational difficulties among people, being heart-broken for those kids who don’t know Jesus… but still I complain. Change my attitude so that I glorify You and rejoice in You.
One more thing… “What will happen to the godless man and the sinner?” The question isn’t answered in these verses, but what will happen is not good. So I cry out to You, Abba Father… by your grace and your mercy that you would rescue the godless man and the sinner. Rescue the kids at Gateway Summer Camp out of the dominion of darkness and draw them into the kingdom of your beloved Son. I plead for your mercy and I ask that you would continue to pursue each child in a thousand different ways and that You would draw them to yourself. Let them become a part of your household. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Posted on Tue, August 11, 2015
by Brian Landers