Summary: A sermon on 1 Peter 4:7-11 on service (Most ideas taken from fellow Sermon Central Contributors, Thanks!)
Sermon for 8/19/2007
B. Vs. 7 says that the end is near. William Miller came to Christ in the mid-19th century. It was a time when, much the same as today, there was a keen interest in the prophecies of the Bible, especially concerning the return of Christ. Right after his conversion, Miller immersed himself in the book of Daniel, and after 14 years of study, he announced Jesus Christ would return to earth sometime in 1843 or 1844. He eventually nailed down the date to October 22, 1844. On the morning of October 22, 1844 thousands of people gathered on mountaintops and in churches. Others were in graveyards, planning to ascend in reunion with their departed loved ones. When the day passed uneventfully, many Christians grew disillusioned. The unsaved became cynical. The event became known as “The Great Disappointment.”
C. No man knows the day nor the hour when Jesus Christ will return but he is coming back, we can count on that.
D. If the Lord doesn’t return soon, something else will happen to us. Certain monks of the Middle Ages had human skulls in their rooms, inscribed with the Latin expression, "memento mon" (remember your death). It was a morbid practice not the sort of thing likely to catch on today -- but it served a useful purpose at that time. It was intended to remind these men of the temporary nature of their lives and to help them establish the right priorities in the here and now in light of that fact.
Thesis: Since the end of things is near how should we live now?
I. Pray (1 Peter 4:7)
A. In a recent Good News Journal- Christians are too busy for God, says the finding in a new “Obstacles to Growth” study. The “Obstacles to Growth” study gathered information from 20,000 Christians in nearly 140 countries. According to the study, more than 4 in 10 Christians worldwide say they “often” or “always” run from task to task. 6 in 10 say it is “often” or “always” true that a hectic life keeps them from going deeper in their walk with God. The main problem here is in priorities.
B. Many Christians claim that they are too busy to pray and read their Bibles.
C. This thought that the end is near should help us to realign our priorities . We need to share our lives with God and the best way to do that is to spend time in prayer and in the Word. We are going to heaven and we will meet our Savior there. What a nervous day that will be for some Christians because they barely know him.
D. I have always preached about having a devotional time. It has meant so much to me and it can mean so much to you. If we do this, a lot of these other issues will be easy.
1. It is through prayer that the Christian can love others deeply.(v8)
“Above all, love each other deeply.”
2. It’s through prayer that the Christian can overcome the spirit of grumbling.(V9)
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
3. It’s through prayer that the Christian can discover his or her spiritual gifts.(V10)
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received…”
4. It’s through prayer that the Christian can serve others better.(V10)
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others.
5. It’s through prayer that the Christian can receive a message 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 Christian can receive strength from God.(V11)
“If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides…”
7. It’s through prayer that the Christian can bring praise and glory to God.(V11)
“So that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.
II. Love (1 Peter 4:8)
A. This thought is echoed in the OT. (Prov 10:12 NIV) Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.
C. “A friend is someone who knows everything about you, and still likes you anyway.” That is a summary to verse. True Christian love will overlook a person’s shortcomings.
D. God takes us from where we are and begins to share his love with us, and we begin to grow in our capacity to love. Some by nature are more loving that others but as C.S. Lewis said, "God is in the business of making bad people good, and good people better."
E. (Eph 4:32 NIV) Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
F. We are to overlook everything including habitual and damaging sins in other Christian’s lives. No, look at (James 5:19 NIV) My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back,(James 5:20 NIV) remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.