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)
1 Peter 4
This morning when I was getting ready for the day, I was thinking about creating a network of talented and knowledgeable Christians who strive to glorify God through their abilities. The world constantly ridicules Christians as uneducated. I know that God often chooses to use our foolishness and simple faith, but I think that we as Christians need to do a better job of being a light to the world. One good way of accomplishing that is by demonstrating the gifts that God has given us for His glory. This passage also talks about being self-controlled and sober-minded. These attitudes affect our prayers, since God is eager to have our wills align with His. I am learning more about the value and necessity of prayer in my own life. Father, thank you for the life and talents that you have given me. I want to glorify you with everything that you have given me, especially my salvation. Thank you for inviting me to spend time with you in prayer.
Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered. Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. (1 Peter 3:7-8)
1 Peter 3
One of the things that I am the most grateful for at the beginning of this year is my wonderful girlfriend. This chapter talks about how a wife should adorn themselves with a gentle spirit, and she has exemplified every trait of a godly woman. I also want to love her as Christ loved the church. I want to understand her deeply and fully. She is also my sister in Christ and deserves all of my respect and honor. As I demonstrate my love for her, I also must demonstrate my love for the rest of the body of Christ through sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart and an open mind. These are all gentle qualities that God is all developing in me. He has provided many relationships and opportunities for me to learn those lessons. I just need to be open and obedient to His working in my life. Father, thank you so much for the girl you have brought into my life. Thank you for making me a part of the body of Christ. Please continue to develop the gentle qualities of love that are essential in my relationship and in my service in the church.
Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (1 Peter 2:13)
1 Peter 2
Last night, I spent several hours talking about values, interests and a very difficult past situation with a good friend of mine. As we were talking, there was much sorrow at the consequences of certain decisions, but also rejoicing in the grace of God. Because of His grace and forgiveness, I am able to live in freedom. This is not a way of covering up my mistakes or ignoring consequences. God provides genuine freedom, not just from consequences, but from the bondage of sin. He has transformed me into His likeness so that I am able to live a holy life that is glorifying to Him. I am His servant, and I want to live a life of surrender to Him. Father, you extended your grace to me when I deserved your wrath. Thank you for the freedom found through transformative power of your love. May my life be one of service and gratitude to you.
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)
1 Peter 1
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are saved from ourselves and are being sanctified through His spirit towards holiness. But we are still living in a world that refuses to believe in the existence of God and does not acknowledge His authority. Therefore, we need to be set apart from the world and lead holy lives. This can be very difficult in this life, but the future hope is that God will save us from this world by taking us to be with Him. In the meantime, I must be diligently waiting for Him and actively obeying Him. Father, thank you for saving me from myself. I know that you are going to take me out of this world to be with you. Please help me to prepare my mind for action and be sober minded that I may live a holy life in this world.
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. (James 5:11)
Faith is living in accordance with the word of God with full assurance that His promises are true because we have personally witnessed His faithfulness. Job remained steadfast and faithful. His faith was strengthened even more when he encountered God personally. I can attest to the fact that God has been faithful to me in so many ways. I should live to glorify Him, knowing that He will never let me down. Father, thank you that you keep your promises. Help me to remain steadfast and to glorify you in all that I do in my life.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:1-3)
Yesterday, I spent a lot of time talking with my cousin about some family issues we have been having. It is sad to see how our family has been divided over conflicts. My girlfriend and I were also talking about arguing and how we wanted to avoid conflict. We shouldn’t ignore conflict, but we also should not seek conflict. In both of these scenarios, the best way to reach a resolution is to have selfless love for each other. Arguments start when we are selfish and want something from someone else. Often we look for things from other people that only God can provide. Father, thank you that you are faithful to provide everything that I need when I ask you. Help me to run to you when I am in need instead of looking to other people. Please give me selfless love for others.
From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:10)
What I say has a huge impact on people. Especially if I aspire to be an educator, the cost of each of my words is very important. I can choose to praise God with what I say. I must not be careless with talking to others. If something does not edify or glorify God, I should not say it. God had been bringing attention to how I use my words lately. He blessed me with some conversations with my brother and cousin. He has reminded me of the cost and result of everything I say. I received a book about words that heal for Christmas and I read the first chapter about words for the church. Father, may my words be seasoned with the witness of your love and grace for me. Please remind me to weigh each word carefully before I speak so that you would be glorified.
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:14-17)
Genuine faith requires action. If I believe that God will provide for me, I should live in such a way that demonstrates that. If I have faith that God forgave me of my sins, I will forgive others as I have been forgiven. Faith is not genuine unless I reorient my life around the truth. What I know in my head must be engraved on my heart so that I earnestly desire to obey the will of God. Father, please give me faith that evokes my emotions to obey you wholeheartedly.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6)
God promises that if we need wisdom, He will give it to us when we ask. It would be foolish not to ask God for wisdom, which is strange because it is wise to ask for wisdom. But asking God for wisdom should be done through faith and without doubting. Sometimes, if I am not sure what to do, I complain about it to God, but then make my own decision based on my own desires. I am not trusting that God knows what is best for me. Since God has been faithful to bring me to where I am now, I know that He will be faithful to provide for all of my needs in the torture. Father, thank you for offering me your wisdom. Your ways are higher than my ways, and you always know better than I do. You have provided for me and drawn me to you. Please give me wisdom and help me to depend on your word rather than my own wisdom.
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:7-8)
Faith depends on what we know about God from a combination of personal experiences and stories from other people. There are so many examples of how God has kept His promises, and we can take comfort in knowing that He is faithful. He has also promised us many things through His word. We know that because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He will keep His promises. To live with faith is to completely reorient my life around the constancy of God’s promises. Father, thank you for being constant and for revealing yourself to me. Thank you that you desire to be known, and you have made yourself known. Thank you for your many promises that you have given me. I know that you will be faithful to complete every single one of them. Please help me to live with full faith in these promises.