Lesson 18

The First Epistle of Peter

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

4:7 But the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer. 4:8 And above all things be earnest in your love among yourselves, for love covers a multitude of sins. 4:9 Be hospitable one to another without grumbling. 4:10 According as each has received a gift, be ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the grace of God in its various forms. 4:11 If any man speaks, let it be as it were oracles of God. If any man serves, let it be as of the strength which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, whose is the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Today's Lesson 

Peter had been reminding these Christians that they serve the God who is Lord of the living and the dead. The gospel of God's grace has gone out to all men and now is the time to be of the same mind as Christ our Lord. Jesus suffered in the flesh for sin and then was set free from sin and death. In the same way, we who serve Him, suffer in the flesh even though we have been set free from sin and death by his death and resurrection.


Peter continues by reminding them that the end of all things is near. Christians live with the end in sight. Because the goal of our lives is fixed in heaven with Christ, this life does not offer anything for us that is worthy of comparison with the greatness of our inheritance. So our hearts should be always yearning for the next age and the next world. The end of all things is near and all that are in Christ will rejoice when it comes.


But until then we should strive to be sober and self-controlled. We should be like the athlete who concentrates until the very end so that he might achieve his best performance. It is not the time for laziness or looseness of thought. The most important quality we must strive for is to continue to work to love one another. Peter tells them that love covers a multitude of sins. Love is the glue that binds us together into the body of Christ. Love keeps us pulling in the same direction when problems come up.


Peter then turns to the gifts that each one of them has been given by God. He tells them that they are to administer their gifts to one another as good stewards of God's grace. The gifts that God gives us are to build up the body. Some people's gifts help the body of believers to grow. The gifts of other Christians help the existing body to be stronger. God knows the time for growing and the needs of the body and He distributed His gifts, as the body needs them.


That is why we are to be responsible in the administration of the gifts that God has given us. They are to be used for the greater good of all believers. No ones gift should be used in sinful endeavors. Such gifts that are abused end up being taken away. If your gift is the gift of speaking, then you should speak the words of God. If it is the gift of comforting people in need, do so with the love that God puts on your heart and never betray a person's confidence. If your gift is in service to others, then do so with the strength that God will give.


When we exercise our gifts properly, not only do we participate in the life of the body, but we also bring glory to Jesus Christ. Christ is honored when those who call on His name live lives that are worthy of His calling. We must always remember that our behavior reflects on our Lord and Savior. We must make it a point never to bring condemnation on His name. We should never be a stumbling block to the unsaved. Only Christ should be the stone over which they stumble, not our behavior.


Are you using the gifts that God has given you in the service of Christ? Does your life bring glory and honor to Jesus?


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