Summary: In light of the coming again of the Lord what is a believer to do?
Text: 1 Peter 4:7-11
Title: The Believer’s “To do” list.
“The end of all things is near. Therefore…”(v7a)
The title of today’s message is the Believer’s “To do” list. I could have called it “The Christian’s “To do “ list but I deliberately chose not to. “The believer’s “To do” is a better title because not every Christian believes the end of all things is near but ever believer does.
The believer’s to do list.
Four things every believer is to work on because the end of all things is near.
1. Our prayer life
“Be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.”
In order for the believer to have a prayer life two things are vital according to the apostle Peter. We must be clear-minded and self-controlled. Now if you ever struggled to have a decent prayer life this makes absolute sense. For we very soon come to realize that two of the biggest hindrances to having a prayer life are confusion in our minds about why we have to pray and secondly being so busy doing other things that we leave no time for prayer.
The simple truth is that if we were clear minded about prayer and had self-control we would pray more.Instead we often struggle with thoughts such as “if God already knows what I need before I ask why pray?” Or we are often confused about what exactly we should pray for?
Clearly no one is more delighted to see the believer of God confused about the subject of prayer than the devil. For the Devil trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.
“The Devil knows that prayer spells his defeat. He’ll fight you more to keep you from prayer than any other thing you do. Sometimes, he even encourages you to do other specific activities because he knows how fruitless they are.”
When you and I become so busy doing other church activities that we have no time for prayer we are destined to fail. Is it not still true that the secret to all failure is failure in secret prayer? Jesus said, “without me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
James tells us “that we have not because we ask not.” (James 4:2)
Look again at the two things vital for our prayer life and this time notice their order. “Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray”. Before the believer can have the self-control to pray he or she must first be clear-minded about the importance of prayer.
1. It is through prayer that the believer can love others deeply.(v8)
“Above all, love each other deeply.”
2. It’s through prayer that the believer can overcome the spirit of grumbling.(V9)
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
3. It’s through prayer that the believer can discover his or her spiritual gifts.(V10)
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received…”
4. It’s through prayer that the believer can serve others better.(V10)
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others.
5. It’s through prayer that the believer can receive a word from God. (V11)
“If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.”
6. It’s through prayer that the believer can receive strength from God.(V11)