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1 Peter 4:7-11

Author: Scott David Foutz

Text: 1 Peter 4:7-11
Title: Surviving the Times
Proposition: We are called to grow in spiritual love and unity despite the condition of the world
	          around us.

Intro: Childhood fire: Not overcome... but had a strategy
	Peter: the end of all things is near: Not to be overcome by worldly attitudes/circumstances
	Strategy to survive the times: intact and to the glory of God

I. Pray Sincerely for One Another(7b)
	A. Two-fold result of prayer
		1. brings you closer to Jesus, the heart of the Christian experience.
		2. aids and blesses those you pray for
	B. How are we to pray more effectively?
		1. clear-minded: thinking/evaluating situation maturely despite fears and anxieties;
			- avoids hasty or prejudiced judgments.
		2. self-controlled (sober); forbids mental laziness which lulls into sin; 
		      - expect God's work thru prayer; 

II. Love One Another Deeply (8-9)
	A. Above all: supreme importance of love (1:22; 2:17; 3:8)
	B. Deep love is difficult: "Agape at full stretch" (Read Marshall,143)
		 1. covers a multitude of sins:
			- major offenses/actual apologies
			- minor irks (cf.1 Co 13:5 "wrongs")
		2. where love is lacking, every word/action viewed with suspicion/misunderstanding 
			- root of bitterness (Heb 12:15)
		3. where loves abounds small/great offences are overlooked/forgiven
	D. example: hospitality without grumbling
		1. Hospitality (Ro 12:13; Heb 13:2; church leaders 1 Tim 3:2; Tit 1:8)
		2. without grumbling due to its demand upon us (Ex. 16:7-9)
		3. "Xtian hospitality is making people feel at home, when you wish they were home."

III. Use Your Gifts for One Another (emphasis not "use" but "how" to use) (10-11)
	A. Each one's gift 
		1. Each believer contributes
		2. One's "Gift" , i.e. "Grace" (charismata\charis = love, the gift, the manner given)
	B. Administering God's grace to others = serve others (and being served by others' gifts) 
		1. gifts of speech: as speaking the very words of God
			- responsibility to faithfully communicate what God lays on your heart to say
		2. gifts of service (action): in the strength God supplies
			- responsibility to faithfully carry out what God lays on your heart to do
 	C. What results? that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ

Conclusion: This congregation needs to:
	a. Pray sincerely for one another
	b. Love one another deeply
	c. Use our gifts for each other

     There in your local church is Wayne, who doesn't know much about hygiene and 
is frankly "smelly". Laurie wears you out with her incessant talking. Cathy is 
unspiritual. Fred doesn't get along with Evelyn. Joe treats his wife badly. Gene is an 
immature teenager, never knowing how to act with courtesy or discretion. Hilary 
often grumbles. Irene has a different set of interests and values (she can't come to 
the Tuesday evening prayer meeting because it clashes with the local Amnesty 
International group). And so on it goes. There is Kevin, to be sure, who is really 
quite saintly, but rather a drab person. None of them is easy to love at full stretch. 
(There is also, of course, myself, and I appear in other people's list of difficult people 
for similar reasons).

But love is the answer to the problem.
Love covers over a multitude of real and imagined offenses.


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