"The end of all things is near.
Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen"
~1 Peter 4:7-11~
Verse 7: The end is truly near, and there is no strength in me to do what needs to be done to prepare the world for the coming of His Kingdom. I fail every single time I try to do good on my own. What a proud sinner I am. I do not seek Him in prayer as I should, therefore fear rules how I act. I see relationships crumble because of my doing, because I do not clear my schedule and exercise self-control by daily prayer. My focus is on me, myself and I because I don't praise God for what He has done, and don't lift up my family, friends and nation in their times of need. A lack of prayer impacts how you talk to others.
"Love covers a multitude of sins..." Haven't you found this to be true? Our Lord must be deeply saddened by how many friendships have been strained or broken in just the past month. He's told us how to prevent this from happening, why don't we listen?
"Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
My heart is set on keeping your decress
to the very end."
Why won't I do what God's Word says, instead of just hearing it and going about my life? His Word is my life, my heritage, my joy.
Yesterday my family spent the day at our good friends' house. Their open hospitality to us and others seems to be what Paul is talking about in verse 9. But I think my friend showed an even deeper application of that verse when she noticed a new girl at church and made her welcome, inviting her to sit next to her, even when it may not have been comfortable to do so. I was humbled to see this.
Verses 10-11: God gave me the gift of prophecy to use to edify my church family. That is not a bad thing. What is wrong is how I have abused that gift, speaking my own words in whatever way I choose. As a friend told me yesterday, often it is God's will for those of us with the gift of prophecy not to speak. When will I learn to wait on God? I get the feeling that wisdom spouted at the wrong time with the wrong heart motive is no better than foolishness.
"A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself,
but the heart of fools blurts out folly."
Bitterness, envy, and strife about words to no avail are still being argued today... God is not pleased. The answers to all of the questions are so simple... love God, and love others more than yourself.