“God’s Word as a Mirror”

1 Peter 4

7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

God’s word is like a mirror. May we this morning look into this mirror and see ourselves in the light of God’s word.

We must be very close to the Lord’s return even as Peter said that the end is near. How much nearer aren’t we then?

The devil knows his time is short and he works but wants us to sleep.

They experienced persecution and so do we today.

In their day it was the time of the evil emperor Nero who declared war on the Christians. Peter himself paid with his life, not long after writing this.

He says because it’s the end times you need to be of sound judgement and sober. This is sorely lacking among Christians. They don’t have discernment and test things in the light of God’s Word.

People are confused. They don’t know what is right or wrong. They don’t know what God expects of them. They hear what people say but they don’t hear God and so they are confused.

To be sober is the opposite of being intoxicated with alcohol or drugs. But you can be intoxicated even without taking alcohol or drugs.

It could be something you hear and you’re under that influence.

But you must be sober that you can hear God speak to you and so that you can pray.

How many times do we go to pray but we’re not sober but in turmoil and therefore we cannot hear God speak to us.

James 4

1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.

3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

We see here that prayer won’t help if you’re intoxicated by your own desires and pleasures.

Many Christians pray and tell God what they want and they only look for God’s approval. Prayer to them is not a time to seek God’s will but to seek God’s approval for their own will.

8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

If there’s no love towards your brother you take everything he says in the wrong light. You’re very harsh in your judgement of your brother but lenient on yourself.

It’s the wrong way round. We should be harsh on ourselves but lenient on our brother.

It doesn’t mean we cover sin where it should be dealt with. The Bible tells us how to deal with it. But many times we criticize and even slandar our brother because he does something in a different way than we would have done. We view the matter in a very serious light and think that he has done something terrible, whereas he didn’t even do anything wrong.

Where there’s no love we criticize, slander and break down that brother. We have this crazy idea that we can uplift ourselves by trampling on another.

9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

Wouldn’t it have been easier if the verse was a bit shorter and didn’t include “without grudging”?

We can be hospitable and act as if we’re happy to see someone but complain in our heart or after his visit.

10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

If we would only use the talent God gave us we would make a difference in our community.

People who don’t use their talent complain a lot. But use your gift and you would suddenly find meaning in life.

Even if it’s a small talent use it faithfully. If you’re faithful in what God has given you He will give you more.

On the other hand some think their gift is their own and feel proud over it. Such people also complain when others ask them for help.

In this verse we also see that we should use it to serve others. We often forget that and think it’s for our own benefit.

How can you use your gift to benefit others as God’s word says?

Some say God’s grace is so great that it simply covers sin. But God’s Word says:

Titus 2

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

God’s grace teaches us to part from sin.

When you forget yourself you start to do things others will remember.

11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God.

This is a great challenge. It’s a high standard. That’s what God requires of us.

Some have got what is called the “gift of the gab” – to always know better and have the last word. It’s not a gift any Christian should have. In fact a person who speak a lot of empty words sin a lot.

You cannot do any of the above in your own strength. You can only do it in His strength. It forces you into a very close relationship with your Lord. You must abide in Him. (John 15)

You need to be constantly at the Lord’s feet praying for strength to live this life. Without God it’s impossible to live this life. You must abide in Him daily.

Finally why should we do all these things? “11 That God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”