It is early morning in our little home in Orlando, Florida and our little Basenji dog is curled in the chair beside me. I have a fresh cup of creamed coffee and I see the sun’s rays reflecting off my neighbor’s many-armed oak. The crepe myrtles are in pink and white bloom, and the mosquitos though small this summer, rise in great clouds of persistence, the rains coming early with humidity constant.
First Peter 4:7-11 opens on my lap and we see eight admonishments Peter gives for preparing for “The End of ALL things is near.” It was as real to them and perhaps much more so, 2,000 years ago, as it is for us this day, except we are seeing the biblical and global signs now.
- Be clear minded;
- Be self-controlled;
- Love each other deeply;
- Offer hospitality without grumbling;
- Use your gifts to serve others;
- Faithfully administer God’s grace in its various forms;
- Speak…as one speaking the very words of God;
- Serve…with the strength God provides so that in ALL things, God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
Here are eight instructions Peter gives to show us God’s will in our daily living. How very many more we have added to the daily tasks of life, crowding out and in many cases, extinguishing how Christ expects His Kingdom to be advanced by the simplified lifestyle He has set down. We choose our own stresses.
Early believers lived with overt persecution and entertained no consideration of NOT being in the last days of human governance on earth. Yet, societies have continued up until and past as I write these words, some rather horrific scenarios.
Millions have been slaughtered by man’s and women’s caprice just this 20th century, far more than all the wars combined in centuries past. Death and Hell will ride the pale horse of Revelation 6 when the Seal is opened, but it has begun (1973). Hell for the unsaved rides right behind Death, scooping the millions into its voracious mouth of finality.
We are given simple attitudes to have. Some keep us sane; the rest keeps us related rightly to other believers. The end of both is to bring an awareness to our God which, in an obvious way, benefits all who are embraced by it.
There is nothing mentioned of savings accounts, retirement sites, paid mortgages, higher education, fine clothing, and worldly ambitions being satisfied. Those are complications of a money-crazed idolized society which must own things and forget people.
Just to be ‘clear-minded’ encompasses an enormous set of parameters including the obtainment of truth, classical literature, historic blunders, and conquests, recognizing error in doctrine, the absence of anything addictive or medicaments or witchcraft—without guile. That is a pure, sensitive heart to the Holy Spirit.
When ALL other elements of the soul as the emotions and self-will are subdued, the mind is able to emerge. We are to be clear thinkers, not tainted or blinded by inner or outside factors. What an awesome task in our Laodicean generation to be ‘clear-minded’.