Tim’s Daily Bread Devotional 5.7.21

Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.

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, filmmakers have made 337 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. Just under one-third of all the apocalyptic films were made in the previous three decades, and there are already nine 16 months into the current decade. (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?

There is a lot of theology woven into hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “Lord, I want to be a Christian” I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul. Listen to this hymn on SoundCloud.

Lord, I want to be a Christian
In my heart, in my heart
Lord, I want to be a Christian
In my, oh, in my heart
In my heart, Lord, in my heart
Oh, yes, I do, yes, Jesus I, I, I want to be
Oh, Lord I want to be a Christian
Way down in my heart
Oh, in my heart
Yeah, in my heart
Lord, I want to be more loving
In my heart, in my heart
Lord, I wanna to be more loving
In my heart, in my heart, in my heart
Lord, I wanna be, wanna be more loving
Way down in my heart
Lord, I want to be like Jesus
In my heart, in my heart
Lord, I want to be just, just like Jesus
Whoa yes, in my heart
In my heart let it be so in my heart
For everyday and every way
I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be
I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be just like Jesus
Lord, I wanna be, wanna be just like Him
I wanna heal the sick, I wanna raise the dead
Even want Your people to be fed
By the words they hear that come out of my mouth
I want You to be in control
I wanna be, I wanna be, I, I wanna be, I, I wanna be
Just like You, Lord, just like You Lord, just like You
When people pass me on the street
I want them to know that You’re inside of me
When they see me on the stage
I want them to know the change You made
I wanna be now, I wanna be just like You Lord
I wanna touch them, I want to heal them
I want to give them whatever they need, Lord
I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna
I wanna be, I wanna be, just like You Lord
Like you Lord, just like You
I wanna just like You Lord
Wanna be, wanna be, wanna be
Wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be
It’s my desire

I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

Here’s more about this passage of scripture via Upper Room devotionals:

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