Gifted to Love
Read 1 Peter 4:1–11
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Peter says, essentially, “Christ suffered for you and has given you new life, so don’t go back to who you were before. Love and serve one another!” In this way, we bring glory and praise to God. It is so easy to go back to what we’re comfortable with and what our culture promotes. Just think of the messages we see all around us. Of course wild living is easier to fall into than service and love for others! But we’ve been freed and saved, given new life and covered with grace because of Christ’s sufferings. And we’ve been gifted with a special ability by the Holy Spirit. If we ever wonder how to sync up with God’s will, we must look at love and service. In these, we find God’s will revealed to us by the Spirit.
- What are the actions or attitudes of “wild living” you’ve held onto into your Christian life? Why are those hard to release even now?
- How have you experienced God’s grace as you’ve used your spiritual gift as an act of love? How can you begin to use that gift more as a way of receiving God’s grace and loving others?
- What is God seeking to draw your attention to through today’s passage?
God, thank You for new life in Jesus! Thank You for saving me and bringing me close to You. Now I want to use the gifts You’ve given me to serve and love others. Help me get out of my own self and look at what others need. Give me opportunities to serve and to do it with the joy that arises from the truth that I am saved and freed and loved! Amen.