The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
While no doubt meant to be read slowly this passage fires off orders like a machine gun! The phrase ‘at hand’ we tend to interpret as being imminent but, in the light of its use in the Bible, means that God has it in His hands and it will surely come to pass. We are to be prepared but in the meantime live rightly. Peter fire off the following:-
- Be self controlled and sober minded. It is interesting that he relates this to our prayer life. I suspect that he means if you want to be heard let these characteristics mark your life. If you are dissolute you cannot expect God to listen.
- Love one another. It will enable you to forgive others’ sin and get on in unity as Christians.
- Being hospitable opens up possibilities for understanding, encouraging, and rich friendships. It should be a pleasure not a burden to share hospitality. We are to reach out in friendliness to others – maybe ask them in for a cup of coffee!
- We all have gifts. Use them to serve God and fellow believers. Whatever we do, Peter challenges us, to do it for the glory of God the Father and His Son.
Prayer: Thank you for these reminders of how we ought to live for You.