November 16 - The End is Near

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 16 - The End is Near - 1 Peter 4:7-11

This is an amazing passage, one that is filled with deeper meanings as you look at the Greek, yet on the face of it, is still filled with so much truth. Take some time to read it through.

I once asked a close friend about the end of the world. He was an amazing Christian man and a man who had an intimate relationship with His Savior. He assured me that he believed that in his lifetime he would see the end of the world. And then he told me that even if the end of the world only manifested itself in his death, he would still see the end of this world in his lifetime. You see ... he knew his life extended beyond the earthen grave. He died several years ago and I'm thankful that I got to know him and hear his wisdom.

The end of all things is near. Whether it is our own death or the return of the Messiah, we don't have that much time. When you begin to add up the minutes and the hours, the days, weeks, months and years that are left in our individual lifetimes, we find that time is short and we cannot afford to squander what we have. 1 Peter 4:7 - " clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray."

Why do think that was important?

In 1 Peter 4:8, Peter discusses love - a deep love. There are three words for love in the Greek language: "agape - divine love; eros - physical love; philos - brotherly/friendship love." The word in this verse is 'agape.' This is the same love that Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. Love that is sacrificial, love that overlooks others sins and wrongdoings, love that comes from the depths of our soul ... the deep that calls out to deep.

Who do you need to love with this love?

1 Peter 4:9 speaks of hospitality. This gracious gift was something that was never questioned in Jewish society. Hospitality above all else was practiced. But, that didn't mean that behind a guest's back, the host wouldn't be murmuring and grumbling. Gracious, sacrificial giving.

What would change if we gave sacrificially?

The gift that Peter speaks of in 1 Peter 4:10 is the Greek word 'charisma.' The holder of this gift is a steward of the grace of God. Read what I just wrote again. The holder of this gift is a steward of the grace of God. There is no question as to whether or not each of us have received a gift, the only question is whether or not it will be used. As this verse goes on, it says 'faithfully administering God's grace in its 'various' forms.' The word 'various' is translated from the Greek 'poikolos' which means multi-colored or variegated. The word polkadot comes from this. God's grace comes through in many types - multi-colored/variegated - of gifts. Each of us has a gift from God. We are stewards. We can't hoard this or hide it. Peter is calling us out.

How will you use your gift this week?

The last verse of this passage (1 Peter 4:11) begins with a direct call to use the words we speak to speak the words of God. God's sayings (Greek: logia) are so much more important than our own. And yet, we barely know God's Word. How can we be certain that we are speaking it? Peter calls us to serve, using God's strength not ours. He isn't being kind or generous to us, worrying that we might wear ourselves out. He knows that when we set ourselves aside, God will be glorified.

Are you more important than God?

He ends this passage with a short benediction, actually glorifying and praising God. That's all I can think to do after reading these verses.

God is holy and is worthy of our praise.