Read 1 Peter 4 today. I had not initially intended to read 1 Peter 4, I was going for Acts, but my hands opened to 1 Peter 3 which we’ve been studying in church so I decided to give it a read-through. At it’s conclusion I pressed on to 1 Peter 4 and God spoke quite loudly amid the silence of the moment.
Feel free to checkout 1 Peter 4: 1-11 on your own, but I wanted to include here what all He taught me though the passage.
1 Peter 4: 1-11
*NASB translation of God’s word
*(my understanding of scripture)
Forward: Paul is writing to Christians.
Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh (hence the cross),
arm yourselves also with the same purpose (that suffering is not uncommon to Christ-followers),
because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin (think about the power of that statement in light of the cross – and yet he still had no sin, chose no sin),
so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. (So therefore, when we are in Christ we are to follow Christ’s example in not living for the lusts of men, but for God. The power of that statement carries such a great weight – a lifestyle worthy of pursuit)
For the time already has past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. (AKA your past has held enough sin for a lifetime and you’ve had plenty of opportunity in the past for sinning)
In all this, they (mankind, and especially those not in Christ) are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation (Christ-followers are not – or should not be- indulging in the same sins of the past),
and they malign you; but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (Refocusing us on the end-picture that all will stand before God therefore we should seek no personal revenge or spend further time dwelling on the hurts from those who are not in Christ mocking those in Christ. That’s just the world and all in the world will stand in judgement and receive a reward for their faithfulness or a retribution for their wrongs.)
For the gospel has for this purpose been preached even to those who are dead (the gospel has been preached to those not in Christ for this very purpose…),
that though they are judged in the flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God. (So through Christ all are given the opportunity to refute the flesh, despite being stuck for the time being in he flesh, and pursue God. We are already sinner by merely being in the flesh – who out there has not committed a sin? – yet we are given the chance to live in the spirit and rise above our fleshly lifestyles.)
The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgement and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. (Never thought of needing to be of sound judgement and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer, but it makes sense that if you spend less time asking God for forgiveness of your own actions then you are able to spend more time praying for others.)
Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (When you view someone in love, regardless of where they stand in regards to the cross, you see their fallacy and it is easier for your heart to focus on their need for Christ instead of the disgust of sins.)
Be hospitable to one another without complaint. (Oh how many times I have been hospitable to another and later complained in my mind about their ungratefulness, how shallow and how totally missing the point of hospitality. Hospitality is not earned, it is merely a gift without an expectation.)
As each one has received a special gift (fruits of the spirit and talents given us from God),
employ it (your gift) in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (Don’t be selfish in holding onto your gift, but use it to serve others – as was it’s purpose.)
Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; (talk about a harness for the tongue. Could you imagine if we all spoke under such pretenses?)
whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; (how often I have served by the strength of my own hands only to reach exhaust and no longer be useful in furthering the gospel because I’m so focused on self when tired. )
so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. (What we put into our relationship in Christ speaks volumes about the authority and glory that should be given to Christ and Christ alone. For we are being watched constantly by those looking to make excuses for running from the faith. Oh that we might glorify God and keep it afresh on our minds to glorify God no matter what may come.)
– Thank you, Lord, for your teaching this morning. Thank you that you still choose to use this broken vessel to share your Truth. I’m so not worthy, yet still you want me. Thank you, Lord.