1 Peter 4
SURPRISE! Every day we see more and more evidence that our society is becoming more and more ungodly. We see this in the promotion of things like critical race theory, demand for the right to murder unborn infants, and a total lack of morality or control in the entertainment offered for our consumption. Even more shocking is that so many people can't believe you're not for those kinds of things, but Peter warned this would happen 2,000 years ago: people "are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you (v4)."
We often express shock when we see these viruses pop up in various aspects of life, but Peter reminds you that you ought "not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening (v12)." Rather than being shocked and full of righteous indignation each time you turn the news on, "rejoice, inasmuch you participate in the sufferings of Christ... if you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed (v13-14)." This chapter closes out with the reminder that the best reaction from those who suffer according to God's will is to "continue to do good (v19)."
BE THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING: Most of the time the recipient of a gift is the one who benefits from the gift the most. You've been given a spiritual gift, and even though your life will be blessed because of it, you're not the one who should benefit the most from the gift. Rather, "each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others (v10)." How are you using your gift to serve others? For help with that, review our Spiritual Gift Catalog and take the Spiritual Gift Challenge.
SUNDAY'S COMIN': Peter makes an amazing claim in v11. Words that are spoken to a group of assembled Christians are "the very words of God." That means that as you gather with fellow believers this Sunday to hear God's Word preached, you will be hearing God speak directly to you. Don't miss out on that opportunity!
ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, GO: Verse 13 marks the second of three times Peter tells you to prepare your mind for action.
1st time: 1 Peter 1:13
Prepare your mind for action by setting your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you when Jesus is revealed.
2nd time: 1 Peter 4:7
The end of all things is near. Therefore, prepare your mind for action so that you may pray.
The best way to prepare your mind for action is to read God's Word each and every day.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Your faithful Creator (v19) and the one who provides you strength to serve Him (v11)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will enable you to rejoice even as you participate in the sufferings of Christ (v13)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: