Friday, January 2, 2009

In light of the current distress

How then should we live?

I've been a bit quiet here on the blog. It's not just the business of the holiday season. It's more the result of being in a reflective mood; eval'ing the way I've prioritized life and activities. You find time for what you love, no?

What do I love? What am I spending my time on? Where is my heart (ergo, treasure)?

Is my time being spent on stuff worthy of my love and life? Sounds like a question for the Preacher. "Vanity of vanities, thus saith the Preacher..." Ol' Sol wrote a whole book on that thread.

Speaking of preachers, we had an old friend, a preacher visiting from planet Houston, deliver the New Year's message last Sunday. He's past the 60 yr mark now and based on the quality of his life, character, and especially the evidence in his grown children's lives -- he is worth listening to.

(How'z that for an awkward, run-on sentence?) Parse it if you can.

He spoke from I Peter 4:7-10. It has been a encouragement to me this week and is along the lines my thinking has been developing -- turn anxiety into action. Thought I'd recap his sermon points here in case either of my readers might care.

What I took away from his preaching was to replace fretting with action: to make ourselves available to the Spirit's prompting to live love.

Peter 4:7-11 (New International Version)s
7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.
8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.

The question the Preacher posed to us was "In light of the current distress/end of all things being near -- how then should we live?"

He responded by calling attention to 5 points for action in the passage.
1. Let us be clear minded and self controlled v7
2. Devote ourselves to prayer v7
3. Have fervent love for one another (love that stretches to cover)
4. Use Hospitality v9, (The love of strangers) Heb 13:1
5. Serve one another. Use your gift(s). v 10

Finally, I'd add the next verse that completed Peter's paragraph.
I Peter4:11
If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it 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.

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