June 7, 2018
1 Peter 4:7-19 The Message (MSG)
It seems like everywhere I go there are always opportunities to wander from practicing the love of God. The fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, thoughtfulness, faithfulness, and self-control—are being tugged on within me to be released so I may remain in the shalom (wholeness) of God. Love and self-control are like bookends that bind all the fruit together. I must reach for love and a greater portion of self-control with each trial or challenge. When someone is impatient with me, the Spirit tugs on me to release patient love in return. When someone is unkind to me, the Spirit tugs on me to release kind love in return. Every day I must choose whether or not I will retaliate. Can you relate?
In our lesson today, Peter speaks to my heart. I am reminded God’s family will taste judgment in such a manner. In order for a judgment to be made and test of character must be experienced. So whatever you may experience each day, choose to remain in the love of God and be prepared to exercise that spiritual fruit for his glory. God is watching; He knows what he is doing. It’s preparation.
1 Peter 4:7-19
7-11 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!
Glory Just Around the Corner
12-13 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
14-16 If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!
17-19 It’s judgment time for God’s own family. We’re first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message!
If good people barely make it,
What’s in store for the bad?
So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it.
Prayer: Lord, your Word reminds me the world will know we belong to you because of our love for others. So, continue to help me love you and others more faithfully. In Jesus’ name. Amen.