Text: 1 Peter 4:7-11
Theme: God expects us to discipline ourselves spiritually and work to glorify Him in these last days.
Key verses: “The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other…” (v. 7-8). “God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak…Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ…” (v. 10-11).
What God said to me: Dwayne, I love our times together. Good morning! I have much to show you and for you to do today. Go into your day with anticipation and humility, walking in my Spirit and dead to yourself. The theology of work and doing has gotten a bad rap in the past several years. The song, “We’ll work ’til Jesus comes” has been replaced with sweeter thoughts of sitting at my feet and enjoying my love and blessings. People should sit at my feet as Mary did. That is clearly the priority over being “cumbered about with much serving” like Martha. Yet, Martha’s service was needed to. Peter in this letter is emphasizing the doing side of serving me. Think about the breakdown of Ephesians. It starts with 3 chapters on sitting, but then comes chapter 4:1 that says, “Therefore, walk worthy of the calling…” At some point you gotta get up and walk. Sitting is great and of first priority. But once you’ve soaked in my presence, then take my presence to the world around you. Notice the progression in this passage. Peter said that even in the sitting, in the quiet times of prayer with me, you should be “earnest and disciplined.” You have a huge part to play in actively listening, actively praying in a consistent and intentional way. That is called doing. Which comes first, the being or the doing? Well, the being happened when I gave you a new heart and you became a new creation when you were a child. That came first for sure. But since then, it is your doing that is helping to produce your being. And in being you are more consistent and earnest in your work for me. Look again at this passage by Peter. He starts with the discipline of prayer then moves to speaking and helping. Those are outward activities that require you to work and sometimes even break a sweat. Those are classic examples of the doing part of Christianity. And you cannot and had better not try to do anything apart from me–“for without me you can do nothing,” as Jesus said. What you do you must do with the strength and energy I supply. So the strength is obviously lying dormant inside you because I live in you. However, my energy won’t come bursting out of you as you lie on your couch. You must get up and decide to allow my strength to control and empower you to do great things for my glory and honor. See you to it.
What I said to God: Thank You so much, Father, for speaking clearly to me today through Your awesome Word. I love You. I know I don’t always show it. (Thus, it’s bound to be questionable to You as to whether I really do love You.) You know my heart. Although it’s deceptive at times, You gave me a new heart and a new sanctified will to please and follow You. Please help me love You, not only with my disciplined prayers, but also with my daily activities and energies. Help me be Your servant and do Your will, for the end of the world is coming soon! Selah.