Almost 20 years ago my family memorized this passage, together (complete with hand motions), for our upcoming trip to Italy. It is a deeply rich collection of exhortation which still pack a big punch every time I read it. I hope it’s a sort of “life verse”, in that it greatly impacts the way I live my life.
“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” (7)
We’ve been circling the “end of the world” drain for the last 2000 years. God’s people are charged to think clearly, critically and strategically, remembering Christ will return anytime. We are the representatives of God’s kingdom on earth, and this task is not to be taken lightly. As verse 3 also implies, we’ve already wasted enough time living like nothing’s matters.
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (8)
Carly recently wrote about this concept of overlooking the offenses of other’s whenever possible. We can’t get caught up and obsess over our shortcomings. Love keeps us picking each other back up so we can keep running!
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (9)
Hospitality is a huge family value and has become a central part of my philosophy of ministry. I don’t think it should be as optional as people tend to make it. This is not a condemnation, but a challenge for all of us to continue finding ways to love our friends, families, neighbors and communities through being hospitable.
“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.” (10-11)
Our God functions under many titles, such as master, Lord, husband, maker, friend, savior, etc. When we work, it’s by Him, through Him and for Him, using His power and resources. Don’t forget you’re not alone!