PREPARATION FOR THE END TIMES
Wednesday, 15 August 2018
1 Peter 4 : 1-19
"The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer." -1 Peter 4:7
The last days are coming closer as we perceive so many natural calamities and the pervasive and moral confusion in the world today. Each decade has its own struggle and more so as the enemy is targeting the younger generations. What did Apostle Peter mean when he stated that “The end of all things is near ….”? 1 John 2:18 also says "It is the last hour…" From the time that Jesus left this earth until now, we've been living in "the last days." The Bible states the destiny of all things is to be subjected to the rule and reign of Jesus Christ on His return (Revelation 11:15). It was in this sense that Peter made his assertion regarding "the end of all things."
It is interesting to note that when Apostle Peter speaks about the end of all things being near, he instructs us to be prepared for the purpose of prayer. It is not for us to have a big bank balance, fortified houses, agricultural land or the like, to ensure the security of our generations but to prepare ourselves to be effectual in our prayers (1 Peter 4:7). Why? So that we, the body of Christ will not fall into diverse temptations and allow the trials and cares of these times to make us to fall away. Of course, we must work and save for future, but our priority must be as Jesus Himself told the disciples: to watch and pray so that we would not be taken unawares (Matthew 24:36-44). If Jesus needed to pray all night long, how much more so us! (Luke 21:37).
Peter further goes on to expound on godly living to ensure that we do not hinder our own effectiveness in prayer (1 Peter 4: 8-11). He calls us to simply be the body of Christ (Church – Eph. 1:22-23) in the fullest sense.
So how are we to prepare ourselves?
Be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer (1 Peter 4:7):
Sanity – an attitude that gives us an internal sense of control with respect to what is going on within us; Seriousness – an attitude of undivided attention with respect to what is going on around us. Both are required for purposeful prayer (James 5:16)
Fervently love each other (1 Peter 4:8):
Love – covers all sins; Hatred – stirs up strife (Prov. 10:12). Being in a church with different types of people, will bring in conflicts and if we don’t learn to cover it with love, very soon it will turn to slander, hatred and bitterness. Be quick to forgive and move on.
Cheerfully give to each other (1 Peter 4:9):
Loving means giving! Learn to give now when we have plenty. During tribulations it is the mutual giving that will sustain us (Rom.12:9-13)
Be good stewards of the gifts God has given to serve (1 Peter 4:10):
Gifts are given for the building up of the church so use it for the common good of all (1 Cor.12:7). Do not exalt or look down on the ministry of another.
Share the sufferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:12-19):
Christ is not just the sovereign King of glory in the end– He is the sovereign King of glory now!! And with this as our confidence, let us endure suffering in this fallen world we live in. Even Jesus who was sinless was severely persecuted.
Let us prayerfully await the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ so that when we stand before Him we too will rejoice with Him when His glory is on full display before the world.
Think On: “…Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21: 34-36 NLT)
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