“The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.”
In 1 Peter 4:1-6, Peter exhorts the believers to be armed with the mind of Christ so that they can face suffering in the same way He did, without sin. In verses 7-11, he exhorts them and us to live with an end-times readiness mindset. This starts with being sober-minded about the realities of remaining sin in our flesh, a world that wants to seduce us to sin, and an enemy of our soul, Satan, who wants to destroy our faith in Christ. Therefore, we need to be watchful and prayerful lest we enter into temptation.
The second thing that Peter exhorts us to do in preparation for our Lord’s return, is to love one another earnestly. “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly…”
You’d think that Peter would say: “the end of all things is at hand, sell all you have and go preach the gospel”. But instead he says love one another earnestly. Jesus said that our love for one another will be a demonstration of the gospel to the world, and proof of our being disciples of Christ (John 13:34-35).
Peter then goes on to tell us what this love does in action. 1) This love covers a multitude of sins. It is quick to forgive and overlook minor offenses. This by no means is saying that we should gloss over serious sins in our brothers and sisters’ lives. No, that would not be loving them. Instead, we are to help them see where they are sinning against the Lord and to exhort them to repent. 2) This fervent love is demonstrated by showing hospitality to one another. This means we are to open our homes and have fellowship with our brethren over a meal or a cup of coffee. This is countercultural here in the US, where people keep to themselves. 3) This love is demonstrated by us serving one another with our gifts. Each one of us has been given gifts and abilities to be used for the glory of God. Prior to coming to Christ, we used our gifts and talents to serve ourselves; but now that the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, we are to use them to serve the body of Christ, while at the same time looking for opportunities to meet the various needs that come up. We praise God that many of you are doing just that. You are serving in one capacity or another in the church, and without you, the church ministry would not be able to continue.
At the end of verse 11, Peter gives us a motivation to live this way, and it is this: ”in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
This kind of living will bring glory to God and exalt our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the chief desire of every child of God. May the Lord help us to glorify Him by living soberly and loving one another earnestly.