Every Sunday, I’d like to share with you a scripture from the week.
This week, I share with you 1 Peter 4:1-11:
Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,arm yourselves with the same way of thinking, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God. For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.
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.
Over the past couple weeks this chunk of scripture has really struck me. It’s challenging, raw, and a bit difficult to hear. Peter challenges his brothers and sisters to this:
- Arm yourself to suffer in the flesh, as Christ did. Be prepared, this is inevitable.
- Live no longer for your human passions (living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry), but for the will of God.
- Remember and be prepared to give account to the Lord (“him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.”) for all that you have done.
- Be self-controlled and sober-minded.
- Keep loving one another earnestly.
- Show hospitality to one another without complaining.
- Use your gifts to serve one another.
- Speak as a child of God, speak his good word.
- Serve through the strength God will supply.
- In all you do glorify God through Jesus Christ living and active in your life.
So there’s a lot of things to strive for this week. But, as Peter mentions, love covers a multitude of sins – both our owns (through Jesus Christ) and those others have committed against us. So this week, lets choose to love without limits.
Currently, I’m reading “The Meaning of Marriage” by John Piper and was challenged yesterday by something he said. In my own abbreviated terms he said: if you don’t like someone and you treat them that way, you’ll grow to not like them even more. If you don’t like someone and you choose to treat them with love, eventually you will find you truly are loving them and your dislike for them will dissipate.
It’s like the fake it ’til you make it – but let’s not fake it. Let’s let Christ love for us, through us, to those who are especially difficult to love.