In Light of the End…

“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.

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you… But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.  If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you… If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name…

“Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.” 1 Peter 4:7-16,19

We all know the clock is ticking. We are closer to death and eternity today than yesterday, and are called to live on a heavenly time table, with forever in view. In light of the end of life as we know it, whenever and however it comes, in light of our seeing the Lord Jesus face to face, how are we now to steward God’s grace and spend our time? (1 John 3:2-3)

By being self-controlled and sober-minded: faithful, ordered, and alert. By being continually filled with the Holy Spirit, squeezing out room for drunkenness on pride, emotion, or wayward affections. By being prayerful, turning to and relying on the Lord. (Psalm 121:1-2; Romans 12:12; Ephesians 5:15-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17)

By actively keeping on in genuine and generous love toward others. By exercising patience, kindness, humility, forbearance, forgiveness, honesty, courtesy, hopefulness, trust, and perseverance among those around us. By putting away arrogance, boasting, and resentment, instead building up with encouragement and truth. These are possible as we follow the example of Christ Jesus and allow Him to love through us. (John 13:15; Romans 12:9-10; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15; 1 John 4:19)

By extending hospitality and grace. By offering time and an open heart to listen and value, and an open home that welcomes, refreshes, and consoles. (Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2)

By exercising God-given gifts to build up and bless the church, our communities, our workplaces, and our homes. By energetically implementing skills for the work He has ordained for us to do. (Romans 12:5-8; Ephesians 2:10; 4:11-16)

How will we adjust our agenda in light of limited time, and the hope of facing our Lord? Do we flag in apathy or sloth, or entrust our strength and zeal to the Lord we will soon face? Serving with eternal perspective is subversive in this world, and may draw criticism and rejection, but doing good pleases the worthy Creator. (Romans 12:11; Hebrews 12:12; 1 John 3:2)

Lord, in light of the end, may I be thoughtful and intentionally faithful today. Help me live out Your character and show forth Your glory.

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