Text: 1 Peter 4:7-11 | Listen to Message
If you’re a follower of Jesus, you’re a steward. You have the privilege and responsibility of managing the business and the numerous resources that God has entrusted to you. You don’t have to create your own job description, and you don’t have to come up with your own resources; you simply invest in and with what God has already given you.
This is how you love others eagerly and consistently from the heart. This is how you cover a multitude of sins committed against you. This is how you show hospitality without grumbling. And this is how you serve others in word and deed.
Love, forgiveness, hospitality, service – these things are hard work! And they’re even harder when we’re asked to do these things for unpleasant or ungrateful people.
So how do we love like this? How do we forgive like this? How do we welcome like this? How do we serve like this? And how do we do all of these things, not for our own glory, but to draw attention to and celebrate God’s glory?
First, we must see in the Gospel that Jesus has freely given us all of these things. We love because he first loved us. We forgive because he first forgave us. We extend hospitality because he first welcomed us. We serve because he first served us.
Jesus gave grace to us, not when we were bffs. Not when we were worthy. Not when we’d already proven ourselves or had earned it. Jesus gave grace when we were sinners. Enemies. Ignorant and ungrateful.
If we see this truth that Christ loved us at our worst – just because he loved us – how can we withhold this love from others?
But what if we don’t have it in ourselves to love continuously and authentically? What if we don’t have it in ourselves to overlook the way that person aggravates and offends us? What if we don’t have it in ourselves to open our home and our refrigerator to all kinds of people? What if we don’t have it in ourselves to serve those who don’t even try to serve us?
Pump the brakes. Who said anything about having to find these things within ourselves?
And this brings us to the second thing we must see in the Gospel: that the Spirit of Christ is continuing to be the source of this grace through us to others. That’s what it means to be a steward of his grace. We don’t have to manufacture it on the spot; we just need to learn to direct his grace toward people in need!
See, it’s his love at work in and through us. It’s his forgiveness. It’s his extravagant welcome. It’s his grace gifts.
This is why Peter says Jesus gets the honor and the glory! Everything has come from him, it works through him, and it’s ultimately to him. May our neighbors find hope and healing as we serve them with the grace of Jesus, and may Jesus Christ be praised!