7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
Jesus’ suffering – a moral choice. From a human point of view, it involved a foolish decision. Jesus could have escaped the cross. But from God’s perspective, it was an act of submission to God’s will and the outcome of Jesus’ obedience shows that doing God’s will brings blessing.
Morality — choosing to do the will of God. What kind of life is God’s will for us? With our minds cleared of confusion and armed with self-control, we are to choose to love each other deeply and serve each other faithfully with our spiritual gifts.
Summary of Suffering; 4:12-19.
- Don’t look at suffering as something foreign to Christian experience. It isn’t.
- Realize that it is a great privilege to share Christ’s sufferings, and rejoice.
- Remember that the outcome of suffering is blessing, although this may not be apparent until Jesus comes.
- Accept persecution and insults for your faith as a blessing, and respond by praising God for the privilege.
- Do nothing criminal or petty, so you will never deserve suffering as a punishment.
- Know that God’s judgments are purifying for us, but mean destruction for those who do not obey the gospel.
- Commit the situation to God when you experience suffering, and continue to do good.
[Morality is doing the will of God. moral vs immoral. It’s time to wake up and examine my life. Remember how my uncle lived. How different his life was from those of others. Swanson, Bruce Hunt, Swallen etc. – lived their lives in obedience of God’s will. Suffering – given.
What is my spiritual gift? It should be used to serve others, not to indulge myself. To love them deeply by doing so. It is the will of God.
Writing, painting, journalism]