Bible Reading: 1 Peter 4:1-11

“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.” (1 Peter 4:7-8).

We live in the end times. This is not something mystical or superstitious. The end times mean the climactic work of redemption has already been accomplished in Jesus Christ. Jesus has died on the cross, He has resurrected and ascended into heaven, and the Spirit has been sent at Pentecost. The end times mean Jesus could come back at any moment. And so, Peter calls the church to be “self-controlled and sober-minded”, be prepared for action, and live knowing the temporality of our time and the grand mission to which we have been called. 

As Jesus ascended into heaven, He said to His disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The expansion of God’s kingdom and the witnessing of His gospel is our duty in these end times. 

Peter lays out the underlying principle for the application of our duty. Reiterating Jesus’ words, Peter commands us to “love one another earnestly”. This is a calling to love one another within the body of Christ. Jesus said we must love one another as He has loved us (John 15:12). The extent of Jesus’ love is the greatest humility to lay down His life for us. He came to serve us, the undeserving, that we might know God. 

And so, to love one another is a calling to serve one another. Peter says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10). Everyone has at least one spiritual gift from God to serve others. We must seriously discover and develop all the gifts that God has given us. Learning our gifts is not for the sake of bettering ourselves or boasting in pride. In humility, God calls us to use our talents to serve one another and love the church. When we love one another, the love of Christ is witnessed to those around us and the outer world. 

Introspect ourselves. How much do we think about loving one another? Loving one another is not just loving our friends. It loves the whole body, including those who might be weak or outcasted. Loving is not solely for the sake of a relationship where we can gain trust, respect, and many other things back from the other person. Loving is sacrificial love so that others might grow to know God. Jesus sacrificially loved us so that we might be able to know God. How often do we pray for the whole church? How often do we pray for our local church and the global church? 

God has given us all spiritual gifts to serve Him. These gifts are for sacrificial love. These gifts are to serve the church. Have we seriously considered what our gifts are? As we study in school and learn new things, are we diligent in equipping ourselves and developing the gifts God has given us? Our gifts vary from those who speak publicly to those who care personally. There are a variety of talents that God has given us. Some have more, and some have less. Nonetheless, we are all called to develop these gifts so that we can use them to love another and display the love of Christ to the world. 

These are the end times. Our mission is for the kingdom of God. Our King could be coming back any moment. Let’s surrender our lives and be serious about these matters in our everyday lives. 

Lord, thank You that You have won over sin and death. You have ascended into heaven, and You sit at the right hand of God as our mediator. Thank You that we have been justified in Your blood. Thank You for Your ultimate sacrifice, which displayed Your greatest love for us. Lord, please help us to be serious about Your kingdom. Help us to love one another as You have loved us. Help us to stay focused on You and help us develop our talents for You and Your church. Help us to love one another every day. Help us to love Your whole church every day. In Jesus’ name, amen.