“7 The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 8 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.”
1 Peter 4:7-11 NLT
What would you do if you knew the world was ending soon? Would you have a bucket list of things that you wanted to get done before you die? I’d think of traveling, eating all the stuff that I’m not supposed to eat on my diet, and spending a lot more time with my family. What would your Bucket List be? A marathon? A hot air baloon ride? Get on a JumboTron by doing something stupid?
Peter says that since we know the end is coming soon, we should prepare for it. He doesn’t offer a bucket list like we might think however. Peter says that the way to prepare for the end of the world is to be earnest and diligent in prayer and more importantly that we should be continuing to have a great love for the church. He encouraged the early church to prepare for the end by enduring through sufferring in prayer and to focus on eternity. Peter teaches that it is in the times of suffering that we long for Heaven. It is times when our heart is broken and when our wallet is empty that we begni to yearn for the Lord to return. That is when we long for Heaven. Peter knew that good and easy times tend to pull our hearts away from wanting Heaven. When facing the greatest challenges, we tend to focus on Heaven more than we would normally.
In time of suffering, loss, with persecution and problems, we are freed you to participate in ministry unhindered. The church has gone into persecution such that they had already started to run. They had gone underground. So much of my time is absorbed with stuff and things. When stuff is taken away, it frees you to minister to others. Peter says that your Bucket List should be to use all that you have to bring glory to God. Stuff is not necessarily bad it just clutters your life. If there is a stripping away and we start losing possessions and stuff, you become free to do what you wanted to do already.
Holy Spirit, increase my heart for You and my desire to be close to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.