Good Stewards of God’s Grace – 1 Peter 4:1-11
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), 2 so as to live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God. 3 You have already spent enough time in doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4 They are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of dissipation, and so they blaspheme.5 But they will have to give an accounting to him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 For this is the reason the gospel was proclaimed even to the dead, so that, though they had been judged in the flesh as everyone is judged, they might live in the spirit as God does.
7 The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaining. 10 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 11 Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
What does the passage say?
V. 1- 6 All suffering we might endure, in this world, should be endured with the same intention of our Lord. We need to use it in a way to overcome the suffering, like Jesus did, and be more like him.
“so as to live for the rest of your earthly life[b] no longer by human desires but by the will of God.” v.2 NRSV
V. 7- 11 Peter tells the believers how to live in this world. The reason we need to discipline ourselves is because we don’t want to live according to the ways of the world. But instead, we need to live with love, hospitality and serving with the strength that our Lord provides
What does this mean to me/us
“If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
Peter says, “the end of all things is near.” What does this mean? I see it in a perspective on how people do what they want to do, instead of doing what God wants them to do. Justifying everything according to our will is a sign of the end. We have been living in this ‘end days’ for the past 2,000 years, and it seems to get worse.
For this reason, Christians need to live counter-culturally. God tells us to live according to God’s ways. Even though is might bring suffering. As we live with love, which is different from the love of the world, service, which is provided by our Lord, we will God’s working for hand in this world. We will see it first in our lives, as we are transformed in his image, and then in this world.
What does this MEAN to you?
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