“Generous or Selfish?” 9/20/2018 Posted by Don Merritt for “The Life Project”

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The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional

        Image result for picture love covers a multitude of sins

Posted by Don Merritt  for “The Life Project” @  https://lifereference.wordpress.com

Original post @  https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/generous-or-selfish-2/

Generous or Selfish?

The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

1 Peter 4:7-11

In approaching this text, you can go one of two ways. The first and most common way of looking at it is to analyze it line by line and word by word.  The second is to read it in its entirety and ask yourself what Peter is getting at. Both approaches should take us to the same place, but sometimes we become sidetracked in the details and forget why we are looking in the first place. Thus, for this lesson, let’s use the second and less common method.  What’s Peter trying to say here?

I think it is something like this: Set aside selfish things so that you may glorify God.

Let’s go back and check…

He starts by telling us that time is short, so let’s get serious: The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer Yes, this is an easy one… Then he reminds us to love one another with fervor.  Such love is never selfish, for selfish, ‘what I can get out of it’ love, is never “fervent.” This is even clearer when you read the second part of the sentence, for it points directly to forgiveness. Forgiving those whom we love fervently is a selfless act. Here’s how Peter put it:  Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

Then he tells us to be hospitable without complaint, and since the Greek word can also be rendered as “generous” it’s clear once again that Peter wants us to be selfless. Here are his words:  Be hospitable to one another without complaint. “Without complaint” seals this one for me, how about you?  He goes on to mention that we have each received a special (spiritual) gift from God, and then tells us to use it for the building up of the Body as good stewards, not for our own advancement.  As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Now it gets really interesting. If we speak, we are to speak as though our words were the Word of God, so I see that they are not just my own words, my own thoughts any more. If we serve, we should serve like we are serving from God’s strength and not our own.  This would seem to imply that we are to serve for God’s purpose, since He supplied our strength: whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; nothing of “me” here…

Finally, we have arrived at the “why” part, so that God will be glorified: so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Looking back to where we started, I’d say we got it just about right!  Living for Jesus in love is all about God and other people, and not at all about me. Lord, may each of us take this message from your Word to heart!

****************************************************************************

P.S. (from bruce)   If you’re not a “born again” Christian, is the Holy Spirit urging you to open this link ??  Here is the truth for this most important days writing, about how God’s grace is received to become a Christian in God’s eyes; through understanding and obeying the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ…   https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, please feel free to share this message of the cross with those in need…

Picture credit:  https://www.google.com/search?q=picture+love+covers+a+multitude+of+sins&rlz=1C1VFKB_enUS610US619&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjB8vmT38fdAhWRON8KHcuXDIEQsAR6BAgGEAE&biw=1205&bih=833#imgrc=uAh4aC0jo-hPqM:

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About Godsmanforever

I present posts about God's Word, with a personal focus on how God's grace is received through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ... Sinners must understand and obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ... See this link for more... https://godsmanforever.com/2014/10/26/the-truth-about-sin-10262014-by-bruce-reposted-from-7112013/
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