1 Peter 4: 7
Peter writes to these Jewish members of the early church, “the end and culmination of all things has now come near”. Our generation looks to the second coming of Jesus as the end and culmination. But, what had come near when Peter wrote these words? Remember, that the promise of the coming Messiah came through Abraham many, many years ago. The Jews had been waiting for that fulfillment and culmination for generations! And now, God’s promise and prophecy of a Savior is finished in Jesus! Jesus even said on the cross, “It is finished.”
So, the rest of this verse and the next few verses tell us how we shold now live as a result of our salvation in Jesus being complete……
Keep sober minded…sober minded being temperate and serious, not drunk in the flesh with “party spirit thinking”.
Be self-restrained…meaning to control self by determining to think and do God’s will instead of our own. Die to self. Live to Christ.
Be alert…..know that Satan, evil, and the world prowl around like a lion to devour us and often by using deception. Especially, be alert and attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God (Bible). \
Be serious minded and focused, disciplining yourself, and alert to God’s voice for the purpose and practice of prayer (meaning conversation, fellowship, and practicing the presence of God in your life…consistently and even continuously).
Good instructions here!
1 Peter 4: 8
“Above all things, have intense and unfailing love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins (forgives and disregards the offenses of others).”
Did you see how that verse begins….”Above all things”. This is really important!!!!!!
Have the character quality of intense and unfailing love. Know that real love is not “mushy passion” or grace defined as tolerance of error. Real love is baed on truth. Truth guides us to the best life. So, real love desires the best and therefore it corrects, admonishes, lifts up to infuse courage, as well as forgives, comforts, and hugs. And real love is faithful, even in tough times, especially in tough times….or times of conflict. It is passionately loyal and self giving. This kind of love forgives the person. It disregards the offense, meaning it lets it go and does not dwell on it mentally or emotionally. It disregards the hurt that accompanies offenses. It commits that hurt as well as justice to the Father who is in charge of the whole family. And then this love covers the multitude of sin. It does not speak about it again. This is truly a passionate, loyal, self-sacrificing love, first in obedience to God, His Word and His way, and also towards our brothers and sisters in Christ. As Jesus loves us, so we are to love one another. If you want more description of this kind of love, go to 1 Corinthians 13.
This kind of love is not natural. We need to learn it by the Holy Spirit. So, you know those in the world cannot give this kind of love, so do not expect it from them.
Notice in this verse, who we are supposed to love this way. Here, it does not say to love everyone this way. It says to love one another, your brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the unfailing love in the family of the Heavenly Father. There are levels and kinds of love in the world and in relationships. There are also levels of trust and loyalty in the world. We need to know how to set our boundaries in relationships.
In the world, we need to guard our hearts and minds. In relationships with people in the world, we need to choose wisely who is trustworthy. Do not commit your heart or close relationship with everyone! Jesus warns in Matthew 7:6, to be careful who you offer sacred things to…offering pearls to swine will only result in the pearls being trampled. 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns us to be careful of evil companions. In Matthew 10:14, Jesus told His disciples that if they were not received or accepted, and those people would not listen to the gospel message or it was rejected; they should shake the dust off their feet, keep their own peace and blessings from God, and move on to those who might hear. We do not hold onto hurt, bitterness, or offense, we continue to walk in love…..offering them the future option to seek us out should they have a change of heart or mind. We allow people choice because, in His love, God allows people choice. We walk away becaus accepting or entertaining their error only allows them to remain trapped in the world. Love and truth must walk together.
So many thoughts form one little verse!