How does the phrase, “The end of all things in near!” make you want to respond? I’m not sure how most people think, but I imagine a wave of panic, stock-piling supplies, and people generally freaking out. Without a doubt, the Bible often speaks in these terms. In fact, these are the first few words of the passage I’m preaching on tomorrow (1 Peter 4:7-11). In studying passages like this, I’m always surprised at how the Bible says to respond. In essence, believers are told to bring glory to God through your lives in light of this reality through four practical things that I think are worth sharing here.
Stay Calm and Chive On! Oops, no, I got that wrong! We are to stay calm and PRAY on. When the topic of prayer comes up, I tend to feel a little convicted. I’m not one to beat others up for their inconsistent or lazy prayer life. None of us prays as we should. But that being said, prayer is a wonderful lifeline of communication we have with God. In light of the end of all things, we should seek God in prayer with sound judgment and sober spirit. How would your life change if you began to pray a little more consistently?
Keep fervent in your love for one another. There is much to be said about this, one passage that I keep going to is 1 John 4:7-5:3 where the word “love” is mentioned about 32 times! Loving is something that God wants us to do and I’m convinced that we who have trusted in Christ are to be in community with other believers. We need to be connected in a local church body where we can actively love one another. There is really nothing that brings me great joy as a pastor than when I see, or hear about, members of Valley Baptist Church loving one another sacrificially.
Be hospitable. I should say, without complaining, be hospitable. When was the last time you opened up your home to someone? You know, this doesn’t come naturally to me, but over the years I’ve worked very intentionally to be hospitable because I believe it’s something that God wants his followers to do. A few months ago, I read a really good blog about “The Art of Hospitality” and I highly recommend the tips found there. There is no greater place to share the love of God with others than in your home.
Have you trusted in Christ as Savior? Did you know that you were given a special gift to use to serve within the body of Christ? You were according to 1 Peter 4:10! I believe many local churches aren’t thriving to their full design because so many believers are withholding their gifts that God has given them to serve at a local church. I can’t encourage you enough to really plug in and commit to a local church family where you can serve. It’s good for you, it’s good for the local church, and ultimately God is glorified in a huge way when you start serving! If you’re a part of Valley Baptist Church, go to our “Get Involved” page and see how you can get plugged in!
Growing in maturity. The thing I love most about these four things is they are so practical in application. By stepping out in prayer, love, hospitality, and in service we grow in our walk with God. In serving Him, we find true joy and peace. My prayer is that you would step up in purpose with your walk with God!