“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” Amen. 1 Peter 4:7-11
We never know what a day will hold, nor when our end will come. Peter had seen his Lord be crucified, and his fellow apostle, James, was martyred, with Herod’s intent that he, Peter, would be next. He had a clear understanding that the times were tough and time was limited, and therefore, it was imperative to stick to right priorities. Stay alert, and be about loving one another, and keep being about it. There would be suffering– his whole letter testified to that– and there would be sin, but it was vital that the church keep loving one another to the extent that sin would be covered, needs would be met, the church would be uplifted, and God would be glorified. (Acts 12:1-4)
Do I love in such measure? How often do I let the stresses and weights of the days lure me to get bogged down in the temporal, and away from looking to the big picture and God’s overall purpose in things? What precludes my self-control and thinking soberly? What criticisms and excuses do I allow to stand in the way of my genuinely, generously loving my fellow believers? Am I willing to let love be bigger than petty sins against me, and bigger than my comparing others’ sin against mine? Can I see Jesus so clearly and love so largely that I do not see sin at all? It’s hard to stay angry with or bitter against someone you are praying for and actively loving. Do I find myself grumbling at interruptions and efforts demanded of me, or happy to oblige, welcoming God-ordained opportunities to extend attentiveness, refreshment, grace, time, kindness to others? Do I hoard my gifts for selfish use, or offer them with abandon, saying ‘here am I, send me’? (Isaiah 6:8; Romans 12:6-8)
And inspiring every duty, every act of love, am I seeking God’s glory above all? He is the one Who calls, supplies, rules, and gives purpose to everything, and He as the Source should be the End. (Acts 17:24-28; Philippians 4:19,20; Colossians 3:17)
“Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee;
Take my moments and my days,
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love;
Take my feet and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only, for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee. Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.” ~Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)