O LET ME NE’ER FORGET!

WEEK SEVEN, DAY ONE, COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE COMPANION

WEEK SEVEN THEME: HOSPITALITY

DAY ONE THEME: BIBLICAL HOSPITALITY

SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter 4:7-11 (CEB)

“The end  of everything has come.  Therefore, be self-controlled and clearheaded so you can pray.  Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins. 

Open your homes to each other without complaining and serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God’s diverse gifts.  Whoever speaks should do so as those who speak God’s word.  Whoever serves should do so from the strength that God furnishes. 

Do this so that in everything God may be honored through Jesus Christ.  To him be honor and power forever and always.  Amen.”

THE WORD OF GOD FOR THE PEOPLE OF GOD – THANKS BE TO GOD!

SOAKING IT IN: What do we do when life as we know it and prefer it ends or at least drastically changes (say…like the Covid pandemic) and we must move forward, onward? 

This scripture selection starts off with “The end of everything has come.”  I am not sure with just this much information what has happened, but it is certainly clear that what was is now no longer the same.  The end has come.   So what do I do – what do we do?  Obviously I am still around and still functioning… but what do I/we take those next new steps? 

For me, the first clue here is to be self-controlled and clearheaded.  Life has become devastating, but I need to maintain a clear head and have self control.  My fight or flight may be engaged, but I must go beyond that and stay grounded.  But not only am I to do that, I am to do that so that I can pray.  If I am fearful and panicking, I won’t have what it takes to pray.  Here I must call on the Holy Spirit, dwell in the Holy Spirit, whose gifts include self-control, to allow me to be lifted beyond my circumstances so that I can call on the One from Whom all my help comes. 

In the meantime, while I wait on God’s path, I am to sincerely love.  Really!  So the end is here, and I have to keep a clear head and have self control and pray AND I have to love.  Really!  The scripture explains that love brings about the forgiveness of many sins.  In other words, whatever has happened and however it has happened, sincere love – like the love we receive from God – will smooth out the relationships at hand and allow for the healing and renewal to come.  As we open ourselves up to this loving approach, we will see more clearly how to open our homes and hearts and our resources to any in need.  We will serve each other and use our God-given giftedness to make a way when there seems to be no way. 

God goes before us and behind us every day of our lives, and it is in these most difficult moments that God provides in ways that we cannot imagine.  It will supercede our understanding and amaze us as we let go — in all things — and become the vessels God needs us to be in this world when the “end of everything” occurs. 

As God’s children who love ourselves because God loves us first and loves us without requiring the first thing from us except to accept this great love, we then love and pray and be the vessels who allow such love to flow to everyone with full joy. 

From my childhood I remember the words of the hymn, “This is My Father’s World”. Amy Grant revised for how it a bit from how it reads in the hymnal and in the lyrics posted, followed it with a verse of scripture… It speaks to times when we are distressed and lost and not sure what the next steps need to be:

THIS IS MY FATHER’S WORLD (Amy Grant Lyrics)

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas
His hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass
He speaks to me everywhere.
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass
He speaks to me everywhere.

“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you HOPE for.”

This is our Father’s World – however it may change – whatever may happen – and we are here for His good purposes.  As we grow into His likeness, our burdens are light and our ways are bright.  Thanks be to God!

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