The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:7-10 NIV)
The end of all things in near! Every generation since Jesus has, to one degree of fervency or another, shouted from the rooftops, “The end is near!” Today is no different. This blog, however, is not about the return of Jesus in that sense. I want to apply this passage in a personal way to you and me.
What I want to remind us is that the end of all things is near – for you and me. Life is short. It really is. I occasionally remind myself that I’m at that stage of life where I have more history than I have future.
Peter gives us some wise and practical advice as we live with the end in mind. He said the end is near, therefore let’s do the following five things well:
- Make wise choices. Don’t make lazy or impaired decisions but be clear-minded. Knowing God’s Word and his ways will help with this. Seek out mentors who have a track record of success in the areas you want to grow in.
- Be prayerful. Don’t be “holier than thou” but rather seek to live a life of intimacy with God. Include him in every aspect of your life, not just the church stuff. Realize your need for God. He longs to be involved in your life!
- Love deeply. Don’t be easily offended rather be forgiving and gracious. Speak kindly to each other and speak kindly about each other. Grow in the Jesus kind of self-sacrificial, other-focussed love. You need this; people need this.
- Be hospitable. Do random acts of kindness to those in your world and you’ll be amazed at the sense of community that you will create as a result.
- Serve each other. Be a contributor not just a consumer. Help us break the back of an egocentric spirit by blessing people with your time, treasures and talents.
It is interesting that Peter didn’t say, “The end is near therefore put on a sandwich board, go to the main intersection shouting at people, ‘Repent!’” Here’s what I know: as the church gets better at these five qualities, the grace and anointing of God is going to be so attractive to onlookers they will want to join in!
So, the end of all things is near for you and me. How are you doing in these five areas then? Measure yourself on a sliding scale to see where you are in each of these five. Then think about what you need to do to move up that scale.
(This article was first published in revivalmag.com)