Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 5.7.22

By May 7, 2022Daily Bread

Good morning!

I hope this day finds you and your family well. I invite you to take a few moments with me to read and reflect upon today’s scripture selection — and to carry these thoughts with you into your day.

Today’s Scripture:  1 Peter 4:8-11 (Common English Bible)

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. 10 And serve each other according to the gift each person has received, as good managers of God’s diverse gifts. 11 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.

 

Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today

The first verse in today’s reading begins with the words “above all…”  It begs the question:  above what all?  What comes before this?  The first seven verses of this chapter have to do with how Christians should live in the light of the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Verse seven says, “The end of everything has come. Therefore, be self-controlled and clearheaded so you can pray.”

Most Christians in the first century believed that the end of all things was very near (like some Christians believe today).  They lived with a sense that the world as they knew it would end at any time.  The writer of 1 Peter thought it was imminent and even proclaimed that “the end of everything has come.”  Given that, the verses that follow express how people of faith should live knowing that time is short.

No one knows when or how the world will end.  (Matthew 24:36)  We’re fascinated with the idea of the end of everything and all the questions the idea raises.  According to Wikipedia as of this writing, filmmakers have made 345 films having to do with the end of the world.  The site lists every film by decade.  The numbers probably say something important about what people are thinking.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_apocalyptic_films#Pre-1950)  This doesn’t include books and TV shows.

One of the questions raised in most of these films is some version of If you knew you only had so many days to live, what would you do?  On an individual level, people seldom know when or how their lives will end.  Through my years as a pastor, I have known many people who have made very intentional decisions about their lives following a terminal prognosis. Reflecting on their journeys prompted their friends and family to ask If I knew I only had so many days to live, what would I do?

The Bible has a kind of urgency about it.  It is constantly calling us to live each day with purpose.  Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to number our days so we can have a wise heart.”  A person with a heart of wisdom lives each day knowing that our days are finite.  There is a certain kind of urgency in that.  Today’s scripture prompts some good questions:  How will I live today?  What will I do today?  Will I show sincere love to others?  Will I receive and give forgiveness?  Will I practice hospitality to others (and do so without complaining)?  Will I use the gifts God has given to me to serve others?  Will I honor God with my life?

 

Hymn: “Lord, I Want to be a Christian,” African American Spiritual

1 Lord, I want to be a Christian
in my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be a Christian in my heart.

2 Lord, I want to be more loving
in my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be more loving in my heart.

3 Lord, I want to be more holy
in my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be more holy in my heart.

4 Lord, I want to be like Jesus
in my heart, in my heart.
Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.
In my heart, in my heart,
Lord, I want to be like Jesus in my heart.

Thank you for sharing this moment of your day with me, with God, and with these reflections on a portion of scripture.  I hope you will carry these with you throughout your day and night.

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

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