Thursday in the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

1 Peter 4:7-9

How to Live in Light of the End

If you knew that the Lord was coming very soon—within a year or so—would it change the way you live?  The right answer is that it shouldn’t since you are living a God-pleasing life right now.  But if indeed a change needed to take place in your walk before the Lord, what would such a walk look like?

Peter begins saying that “the end of all things is near.”  Since the coming of our Lord and his death, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of Power, the world is living on borrowed time.  Everything in Scripture has been fulfilled but his return and gathering of his chosen ones.  When he shall do this, only God knows; however, that does not change the fact that the trumpet may blow any second and “the clouds be rolled back as a scroll.”  The Apostle wants us to live in the light of this reality.

And how does one so live?  Peter answers: “Be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.  Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”  I don’t know what you might have been expecting, but here it is.  It seems such a simple answer, and yet so profound.  “Be self-controlled” speaks to what he said just before “no longer living for human passions.”  The Christian is to leave behind the old life and take up the new, put self to death and live to God out of love for God.  It is such sober and godly living that makes our prayers effective for others, for even the man born blind knew that “God does not listen to sinners” (John 9:31).  And we do not mean by this some stoic lifestyle, for we shall be compassionate and not without feeling.  But by shedding sinful passions, we make our lives more available for God’s grace whereby we may bless others.  And there is something wonderful about Christian love, that is, love inspired by Christ himself, and it is simply this: As Christ’s love covers our sins, so we cover the sins of others as we love and forgive them.  Indeed, it is in the sharing of this kind of love that we are most Christlike.  And such love does one more thing: It serves the brethren through hospitality.  Hospitality is not valued today as it was then.  Ancient and Medieval Christians would not recognize us.  And remember, we might entertain angels (Hebrews 13:2).

So, this is how one should live in the shadow of our Lord’s return.  You need not become a street preacher or missionary.  You need not sell all you have and give to the poor (unless the Lord has so called you to do).  You need do what Peter says here—and that’s a tall enough order.  And we start today!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

Leave a Reply