“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
I Peter 4:7-11 NKJV
The end of all things is most certainly at hand. There are many things going on in our world that point to the increasingly obvious conclusion that the Lord is about to bring about those events and seasons that will mark the coming of the end of the age.
Because of this, we are faced with the reality that we can no longer approach this faith with frivolity, but with a seriousness, being sober minded, making sure that we perform our functions in the body of Christ efficiently and to the glory of God.
Back in I Peter this morning, a most timely passage, I find myself being reminded of the times that we are in, and the need to make the most of each moment, using the gifts the Lord has given me for the furtherance of the Gospel.
It is crunch time.
It is in this time, that each of us must examine ourselves, to present our selves to the scrutiny of the word of God and the Holy Spirit, that we be searched out for any motivations that do not glorify the Lord, or could cause instability in the body of Christ. The Lord is examining His church more than ever, and soon we will behold the falling away.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
Psalms 139:23-24 NKJV
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJV
We have been given a mission, a holy calling to take the divine message of God’s grace to people who have not yet tasted the salvation of our God. The work that we are called to, begins in the house of God, as we are to make disciples, those ready to go and tell, having been prepared.
Each of us has been given a gift, a godly contribution to assist the whole, in which we go about building up each member to be enabled to go and tell. In using that gift, we do so by the power of the Holy Spirit, as the Lord leads. I am an encourager, one who exhorts those on to better works.
Part of my gift is to encourage in the usual sense, but I am also to exhort, sometimes bringing affliction in love to those who are not fulfilling the mission that the Lord has set before them.
In all things we are to be gentle with one another, for the Lord is always aware, and He desires that we live in unity. I tell you the truth, there is coming a day when the Lord will not tolerate those who sow discord. Up to now we have lived under His grace, but soon He will destroy what He hates.
“A worthless person, a wicked man, Walks with a perverse mouth; He winks with his eyes, He shuffles his feet, He points with his fingers; Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually, He sows discord. Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy. These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that are swift in running to evil, A false witness who speaks lies, And one who sows discord among brethren.”
Proverbs 6:12-19 NKJV
Brothers and sisters, let us consider the severity of the times and recognize the brevity of the age in which we live. We know that the time is short, so let us walk as followers of Jesus, Christians who look after each other, who lift each other up.
We all come to this walk from a variety of circumstances, and we are all at different stages of maturity. Being mindful of this, may we be intentional in looking after those who may be weaker brethren, making sure that we did nothing to cause them to stumble. There is great penalty for the those who do not look after those weaker in the faith.
““Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!”
Matthew 18:6-7 NKJV
Let us be people who walk in humility, remembering the state we were in before we knew Jesus, and being constantly mindful that we must never think too much of ourselves. Let us also values the gifts of others, for the Lord uses many parts to complete HIs mission through us.
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
Romans 12:3-8 NKJV
Pray for each other, that each be able to use their gifts for the betterment of the whole, that we be able to reach those who are currently destined for hell. May nothing we do detract from the Gospel of Christ, and may all that we say be from God, as we share the truth of His word.
I tell you the truth my people, much may happen even by the end of this year, that will convince even the most cynical that the coming of the Lord is near. May we be ready to go and tell, having great confidence, walking in unity under the banner of our Lord Jesus.
Have a Blessed Sunday!
2 thoughts on “Crunch time”
“And above all things have fervent love for one another.” I wonder why Peter suggests this is the most important thing of it isn’t.
This blog is a fantastic combination of exhortation and encouragement! Thanks for your hard work, Bernie. I deeply appreciate your faithfulness and commitment.
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