Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
“Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!”
1 Peter 4:7-11
1 Peter 4:7-11
Since I began following Christ at 15, I remember consistently reading and hearing my pastors say the phrase “Live like Jesus is returning tomorrow, plan like He won’t come in your generation.” If I am honest, I fall short of that philosophy often. But more and more, especially in our current layered cultural moment, there is a growing sense of urgency to make every day count for the Kingdom – whether Christ comes tomorrow, in my son’s generation, or far into the future.
Why? Because, like Peter, I don’t want to take anything for granted. We’ve been given so much by God. We deserve none of it – zero. zilch. nada. Yet it is available to us – salvation, presence, grace, mercy, character, gifts and much more.
So Peter gives us a clear starting point on how to do this. And I’d like to challenge us all to put each into practice this week.
- Stay wide-awake in prayer. Remember, this is coming from the guy who kept sleeping in the garden of Gethsemane when Jesus asked him to pray. Then just hours later, because of intense cultural pressure, denied Christ three times because of fear of a child’s opinion. So, let’s just assume he learned his lesson and is speaking from experience. Prayer binds our heart to the Father, fills our heart with courage, allows for opportunity for the Holy Spirit to teach us, and fills us with His empowering presence.
- Love each other as if your life depends on it. He writes this to Christians scattered because of persecution who had every logical reason to be insulated and in survival mode. Yet he tells people whose lives might literally be on the line to look beyond that natural reality and love people as if NOT loving them would be their greatest threat. And not to hoard their love for those nearest to them, but to find people on the margins and have an open hand with them. Be opened handed with resources, with love-filled, God inspired words of encouragement – be generous with whatever you have.
If we can incorporate these two instructions into our daily life, “God’s bright presence will be evident in everything… and He will get all the credit as the One Might in everything.” Which is the whole point, isn’t it?