Sermon on April 24 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: 1 Peter 4 : 7 – 12
Most people like to speculate about the end times. How should we live out God’s grace as the end approaches?
If you would live as if it matters:
1. BE SOBER, NOT SILLY!
- Purity is not pretense (v7a) ‘… be clear minded and self-controlled’
Do not live in the world like pagans, trying to escape reality – live in a way that shows the power of God’s love.
- Purity is for prayer (v7b) ‘… so that you can pray’.
God wants us to be alert not just to pray, but to what we should be praying for – His glory.
‘If you think of God glorifying himself in history where in all of history has God most glorified himself? He did it at the cross of Jesus Christ… and it wasn’t by delivering Jesus from the cross, though he could have.’
(Dr. James Montgomery Boice)
2. LOVE LIKE CHRIST, NOT THE CULTURE!
- True love will endure much – and not bail out (v8a) ‘Above all love each other deeply’
Love God’s family like He loves you – He loves us despite what we are and keeps changing us to be Jesus.
- Fervent love will starve sin – and not feed it (v8b) ‘… because love covers over a multitude of sins’
When we love each other God’s way, our love will starve sin, so we can love what God loves and hate what He hates.
3. EMBRACE THE STRANGER, NOT JUST THE FRIEND!
- Caring for the outsider is being church (v9a) ‘Offer hospitality to one another’
Last day living won’t surround itself only with those with whom we are comfortable (Mat. 25: 35-40)
- Caring with joy is doing church (v9b) ‘…without grumbling’
4. SERVE WITH FOCUS, NOT WITH EGO!
- We must serve Jesus with what He gives us (v10a) ‘… use whatever gift He has received to serve others’
‘This is my church. It is composed of people just like me. It will be friendly if I am. It will do a great work if I work.’
(A church member)
- We must serve Jesus with all that He gives us (v11) ‘…with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ’
Aim to use your gift with all you are and with all the strength God provides – God uses relay-specialists as well!
Remember! The end will come, maybe sooner than we think! How will that Day find you, and us at IBC Brussels?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- How are clear thinking, self-discipline and prayer connected in the Christian life? How would clear–thinking help to shape our prayers?
- Why would Peter find it necessary to tell Christians (who know about love), to love one another even more? Discuss the difference between a love that is Christ-like and a love that is selfish? How do you understand the expression ‘love covers over a multitude of sins’?
- Have you experienced Christian hospitality in your own life? Think of some simple ways you could show this, even if you are single, or without many resources?
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Photo credit FreeImages.com/steph p