11 Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking
the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength
that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things
through Jesus Christ. To him belong the glory and the power forever
and ever. Amen.
Identifying a single
purpose to Christian life on this earth isn't an easy
task; God calls us to do and be many things during our
lifetimes. We are stewards, friends, children, leaders,
followers…but what is it that God wants for us?
We as a church are an
interceding community – a fellowship that loves and prays for its
members continuously. By the act of intercession, we are called to
love each other without reservation, as God loves us. Intercession
reminds us that we cannot live in community with whispered
intolerance or misunderstanding; praying for our family is wiping
the community clear of condemnation. As an interceding
community, we are to “love each other deeply, because love
covers over a multitude of sins. ” (1 Peter 4:8). When giving
and receiving the Kiss of Peace every Sunday, we are purposefully declaring that we
live in the love and peace of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Being lighted to
lighten each other is fundamental in building our Church, but that
light does not live in the church – it lives within us. The light
of Jesus, living in us, is meant to be shined brightly before
others (Matthew 5:16),
not snuffed out at the church doors.
In 1 Peter 4:11 we
read, “if anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the
very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with
the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be
praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the
power for ever and ever. Amen.” Peter distinguishes two broad
categories of gifts: speaking and serving. Armed with both of these
gifts, Christians are called to speak and be light. Each word we
say is to be in accordance with what God himself would speak and
every task we carry out is to be done with grace and
These gifts are not
free; the responsibility that encompasses these gifts can be
daunting and arduous. Being a light is cumbersome and a true test
of patience, “but rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the
sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his
glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13). We are called to serve through God’s
strength for a reason; we cannot do it alone. Inspiring those
around us to recognize the full glory of God is not a one-man job.
Our purpose is only fulfilled by God’s grace and love – the same
grace and love we are called to show our fellow man.
Father, we praise you for
your son Jesus, who taught us how to love. Thank you for your
uninhibited love; may we see Jesus in the people whose paths we cross
and may we be reminded to love them boldly, like you. We pray for the
wisdom to discern what words to say, the strength to serve
wholeheartedly, and the courage to live a life of praise. Reignite our
fire today and everyday so we may see your work being done. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What would our universal
church look like if we spoke, served, and praised like our Lord?
Take extra care to be someone’s light today.
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