1 Peter 4:7-9 NIV
“The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
I believe that anyone living in 2021 who has any knowledge of the Scriptures, especially with regard to prophecy concerning these last days before the return of Christ, should see that the end of things is near. For, the Scriptures teach that we should know it by the signs of the times.
Since the end of things is near, we should especially be spiritually alert and serious-minded so that we can pray. And we need to pray much for wisdom and discernment so that we don’t fall into any of the devil’s traps and end up following after lies instead of the truth.
For, we live in an age of much deception, much twisting of truth, and much intended disinformation for the purpose to confuse, to anger, to incite and to instill fear in the hearts of the people, and to turn them one against another. For, the rulers of this final earthly kingdom intend to divide us to conquer us.
And many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are being led astray by these enchanters and con artists who have captured the hearts of the people. And they blindly follow them, some of them very worshipfully, and many are not even willing to consider that they may be being lied to.
But we are in dangerous territory when we blindly follow other human beings, thinking that they are going to rescue us from something or save us from evil and tyranny. Humans are not the answer to our problems! Only God can save us. He is the only hope for our future which produces change in our lifestyles in order to bring him glory and honor.
And when this says we are to love one another deeply, this is not talking about fleshly love, but Godlike love which prefers what God prefers, which is what is holy and righteous, pure and honest, and upright and trustworthy. This love hates what is evil and it clings to what is good.
Thus, when we love one another with this kind of love, this is not talking about covering other people’s sins in the sense of helping them to hide them or ignoring them as though they don’t matter. We are especially to help our brothers and sisters in Christ out of any captivity to sin, and we are to snatch people from the fire and save them (Jude 1:23; Gal 6:1-2).
1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so 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.”
God has called every believer in Jesus Christ to his service, to go where he sends us, to do what he has called us to do, and to say whatever it is he commands us to say. And all this is for the glory and praise of God, for the encouragement of the saints, and for the salvation of human lives.
Each one of us has been gifted of the Holy Spirit with various spiritual gifts which are also for the glory of God, and for the encouragement of the body of Christ, and for the salvation of souls. And God has also given each of us a personal assignment, a part within his body which is specifically for us (See: Rom 12; 1 Co 12-14; Eph 4).
Although we are all different parts we form one body, and we are all necessary to the proper working of the body in building one another up to maturity in Christ Jesus, our Lord. So, not one of us should neglect our callings or be negligent in utilizing the gifts we have been given.
And the thing we need to understand about these spiritual assignments within the body of Christ and these spiritual gifts is that they are of the Spirit of God, and they are the working of the Spirit of God, and they are not of our human flesh. These are not natural talents, in other words.
So, if we are teaching the Scriptures in the power of God’s Holy Spirit, using the spiritual gifts of teaching and/or prophecy, we don’t choose what to say or how to say it. For it isn’t us doing it. We must be led by the Holy Spirit in what to teach and in what to say or it is us, not the Spirit of God doing it.
But let me say this here. 1 Corinthians 13 teaches us that we know in part and we prophecy in part, but when the perfect (Jesus) comes, the partial will pass away. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face (when we see Jesus face to face). Now we know in part, but then we shall know fully.
So, just because we operate in the power of the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit is speaking through us, it doesn’t mean we know or understand everything there is to know or understand. But, as Paul said, we have this ministry in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. So, we take no credit for ourselves, but we give all the glory to God for everything that he accomplishes through us.
1 Peter 4:12-19 NIV
“Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And,
“’If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?’
“So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
When we are operating in the power of the Holy Spirit, providing it is the power of the Holy Spirit and not “another spirit” that is not of God, other Christians who tend to shy away from anything having to do with the gifts of the Spirit may not understand us, and they may reject us.
For, there are many Christians today who believe some or all of the gifts of the Spirit no longer exist, and so they reject mostly the miracle gifts or the ones that can’t be done in the natural, thus reducing our ministries to be done in the power of human flesh, and not in the power of the Spirit.
So, they may insult us. They may call us names or accuse us of things we are not guilty of doing. They may think we are out of touch with reality or that we are hyper-religious, or that we are “hearing voices,” if we say the Holy Spirit speaks to us.
But if we are convinced of our calling, and if we are not going against the word of God, but we are teaching truth and righteousness, then we need to just continue to do what God has called us to do and leave our persecutors to God. And we need to trust that God is using us for his purposes and for his glory and that other humans are being touched by what God has called us to do. For many need to hear the truth, and many lies are being spread.
There’s a Stirring
By Annie Herring
There’s a stirring deep within me
Could it be my time has come
When I’ll see my gracious savior
face to face when all is done
Is that his voice I am hearing?
‘Come away, my precious one’
Is he calling me?
Is he calling me?
I will rise up, rise up
And bow down
And lay my crown
At His wounded feet
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