Living to Radiate God’s Glory

“…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. “(v 11b)

Some Thoughts…

   Our joyful hope is expressed, not in mindless ecstasy, but in alert wisdom that seizes opportunities to serve the Lord.” (Edmund Clowney, p. 63 – see also Ephesians5:15-18).  With the realization of the imminent possibility of every breath being our last, it changes how we live.  And Peter gives us a good framework by which we can live full lives in the face of “the end of all things.”

1) It begins with a sober and practical mind-set in constant connection with Christ.  
  “be clear-minded and self-controlled so you can pray” – a clear-minded person is one who thinks simply and practically – like the old wise farmer who steadily gets the job done.  The word “self-controlled” is a direct contrast to the drunkenness (mindless ecstasy) lived out by those mentioned above – it means to be sober; to live with the understanding that it could all be over before the sun sets.  It is refusing to let the inconsistencies of life drive you into a panic and irrationalities.  Instead, being in Christ we pray with a sober and practical grip on life, not too rash in our reaction to cultural shifts, just steady and sober with a prayerful heart that stays alert to God’s activity.  But this is not a cold, calculated, and emotionally void existence in addition to sobriety, we are called to love. 

2) It builds momentum as we stretch ourselves out to love those around us. 
  “Love each other deeply.” – Above everything else, we are to love like Jesus – sacrificing personal gain and pleasure for the needs and welfare of others.  Peter tells us to “love deeply” – Literally, it says to be stretched or extended in love. Another way to say it is “keep love a constant” – And why?  The reason is to keep us in step with God’s heart of mercy as love covers over all kinds of sins.  We can find unity where there was division and patience where there was strife and intolerance. We are called to love like Jesus…and when we do, we find that we serve like Christ. (See Philippians2:1-11).

3) It moves even faster and in-vigorously as we serve each other in our giftedness.
   “Offer hospitality” – this is a gift of the spirit that we can give to folks with joy, refusing to fester over thoughts like “why won’t people do this for me?” or “they don’t deserve this!”  Instead, out of a heart of love, we serve. We open our lives up to others. We say things and do things that can only come from God, not from our own strength but from the resources of God’s mercy and powerful grace.

4) It explodes in God’s glory!
 “…so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.”  So, the whole reason for living this way is not for personal happiness, it’s not for bonus points in heaven…No! It is for God to be glorified! And when God’s glory is revealed, He becomes real to those who experience His glory.  We choose to live this way because we know the end is near when God’s all-consuming glory will be completely revealed and we want as many as possible to be ready for that day.

A Prayer…

Father, make me an instrument of Your peace.  Amen.