Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 8 October 21:
1 Peter 4:8, 9 — Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
God’s greatest commandment for us is that we love Him and one another. So, your primary goal each day should be to grow in love. There are many verses in the Bible describing the attributes and requirements of love – probably a good idea to memorize these verses so they will remain on the forefront of your mind.
Today’s readings tell us love requires hospitality without grumbling. How are you doing on that one? This is particularly difficult because often people won’t treat you well in return for your hospitality, generosity, and graciousness; you will often suffer maltreatment from those to whom you are showing kindness. In fact, unwavering hospitality will remain impossible for you if you are attempting to demonstrate it from your own strength of will. Only through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit will you be able to love this way: We must serve “by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”
“For this is why the gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does…. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:6, 10) When, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we demonstrate unnatural, supernatural love and hospitality, we are not demonstrating and proclaiming our personal “goodness” but rather the power of the Gospel; what is clearly impossible for us brings glory to Jesus – “To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11) Loving hospitality is a gift of grace, undeserved by those who receive it; but we don’t produce the hospitality we give, we only transfer what we have received from God to others: “as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10) “With respect to this they are surprised….” (1 Peter 4:4) Your shocking display of love and hospitality will certainly stand out, be misunderstood at times, even ridiculed, but it will be a powerful testimony to the love of Christ. And when you suffer in your hospitality, you will have a special fellowship with Christ, growing only closer to Him –
- 2 Corinthians 1:5 — For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
- Philippians 3:10 — …that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death….
- 2 Timothy 1:8 — Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God….
- 2 Timothy 2:3 — Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
- Hebrews 13:16 — Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
- 1 Peter 4:13 — But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
- Luke 9:23 — And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking…. live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.” (1 Peter 4:1, 2) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…. We have the mind of Christ…. Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:16; 1 Peter 1:13) Prepare your mind, arm yourself to love today by setting your mind on Christ, His will and His grace. Don’t attempt to produce grace but rather to show grace, the grace of God which has been given to you – share it. Don’t hope in your strength and goodness but rather His strength and goodness. And be prepared to give an answer to anyone “who asks for a reason for the hope that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15)
- John 1:17 — For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
- Acts 11:23 — When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose….
- 1 Corinthians 1:3 — Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 15:10 — But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
- 2 Corinthians 6:1 — We appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.
- 2 Corinthians 9:8 — And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 — But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 8 October 21: Let God’s grace overflow from you to others today, and show unwavering hospitality without grumbling, even internal grumbling.