1 Peter 4:7-19 Stay Focused On God's Purposes

            STAY FOCUSED ON GOD’S PURPOSES
            1 Peter 4:7-19          April 22 2007

    Peter wrote these verses in chapter 4 to challenge
    these Christians not to grow weary in serving or in
    glorifying God. The apostle hinted that an even
    greater persecution could arise to engulf them. We
    cannot be sure what kind of persecution Peter had
    in mind or what its source would have been. Our
    ignorance of Peter’s exact reference however , is
    not important. The early church faced many violent
    attacks on its life and witness. Peter’s point was
    to remind these that suffering for the sake of their
    Lord and their witness to Him was not foreign to
    the Christian life. Whatever happened, they were
    to live for the glory of God.

    1. Serve with God’s Strength (1 Pet. 4:7-19)

1Pet. 4:7   The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear
minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 4:8  
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over
a multitude of sins. 4:9   Offer hospitality to one another
without grumbling. 4:10   Each one should use whatever
gift he has received to serve others, faithfully
administering God’s grace in its various forms. 4:11   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.

    The end. . . Is near. (Jas 5:9). Therefore. Anticipating the
    end times, particularly Christ’s return, should influence
    believers’ attitudes, actions and relationships (2Pet. 3:11
    -14). Clear Minded. Christians are to be characterized
    by reason; are to make wise, mature decisions; and are
    to have a clearly defined, decisive purpose in life. Self-
    controlled. (Gal 5:23. Pray. 1 Pet.3:7; Luke 18:1;
    1Co 7:5; Eph 6:18; 1Th 5:17; 1John 5:14-15).
     Love each other deeply. (1Th 4:9-10; 2Pet 1:7; 1John
    4:7-11). Love cover over. . . Sins. Love forgives again
    and again (Matt 18:21-22; 1Co 13:5; Eph 4:32). Offer
    hospitality. (Rom 12:13; 1Ti 3:2; 5:10; Tit 1:8;
    3John 5-8). Use whatever gift He has received. (Rom
    12:4-8; 1Co 12:7-11). Very words. The Greek for this
    phrase is used to refer to the Scriptures or to words
    God has spoken (Acts 7:38; Rom 3:2). To Him be the
    glory.(1Co 1:26-31; Jude 24-25).

    2. Share in Christ’s Sufferings (1 Pet. 4:12-14)

1Pet. 4:12   Dear friends, do not be surprised at the
painful trial you are suffering, as though something
strange were happening to you. 4:13   But rejoice that
you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that
you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 4:14  
If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you
are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests
on you.

    Dear Friends. Or “Loved ones” (1 Pet.2:11). Do not
    be surprised at the painful trial . (1 Pet.1:6-7;
    2:20-21). Rejoice that you participate in the
    sufferings of Christ. (Col 1:24). Peter once rebelled
    against the idea that Christ would suffer ( Matt
    16:21-23). Insulted becase of the name of Christ.
    (Matt 5:11-12; John 15:18-20; Ac 5:41; 14:22; Rom
    8:17; 2Co 1:5; Php 3:10; 2Ti 3:12).

    3. Seek God’s Glory (1 Pet. 4:15-19)

1Pet. 4:15   If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer
or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a
meddler. 4:16   However, if you suffer as a Christian, do
not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
4:17   For it is time for judgment to begin with the
family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the
outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 
4:18 And,     “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 4:19  
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should
commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue
to do good.

    Judgment to begin with the family of God. The
    persecutions that believers were undergoing were
    divinely sent judgment intended to purify God’s
    people. The outcome. . . For those who not obey the
    Gospel. If God brings judgment on his own people,
    how much more serious will the judgment be that
    he will bring on unbelievers!

    Summary:

        No matter how difficult life may be, there is a
    job to do; and we must be faithful. Take time to pray.
    Show love to the saints. Use your gifts and talents
    to serve others. The Lord who gave you the ability
    will also give you the strength to use it for His glory.
        A "fiery trial" was about to come to the church .
    Peter told his readers to expect it , use it as an
    opportunity to witness for Christ, and in all things
    seek to glorify God. The trial came under the Roman
    emperor Nero who accused the Christians of burning
    Rome. The church to day faces persecution. Are you
    prepared?