1 Peter 4:11 KJV
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The speedy approach of death and judgment concerns all, to which these words naturally lead our minds. Our approaching end is a powerful argument to make us sober in all worldly matters and earnest in religion.
The nature of a Christian’s work, which is high work and hard work, the goodness of the Master, and the excellence of the reward, all require that our endeavors should be serious and earnest. In all the duties and services of life, we should aim at the glory of God as our chief end.
A man will be a miserable, unsettled wretch, who cleaves to himself, and forgets God; is only perplexed about his credit, and gain, and base ends, which are often broken, and which, when he attains, both he and they must shortly perish together.
But he who has given up himself and his all to God, may say confidently that the Lord is his portion; and nothing but glory through Christ Jesus, is solid and lasting; that abideth for ever.
The Lord considered the false prophets of Jerusalem as guilty of horrible wickedness, by which the people were made bold in sin. These false teachers would be compelled to suffer the most bitter part of the Lord’s indignation. They made themselves believe that there was no harm in sin and practiced accordingly; then they made others believe so.
Those who are resolved to go on in evil ways, will justly be given up to believe strong delusions. But which of them had received any revelation of God or understood anything of his word? There was a time coming when they would reflect on their folly and unbelief with remorse.
The teaching and example of the true prophets led men to repentance, faith, and righteousness. The false prophets led men to rest in forms and notions and to be quiet in their sins. Let us take heed that we do not follow unrighteousness.
A remedy against sin is care, or caution, it being impossible to maintain purity of heart and life. Time is a talent given us by God, and it is misspent and lost when not employed according to his design. If we have lost our time heretofore, we must double our diligence for the future.
Ignorance of our duty and neglect of our souls show the greatest folly. Drunkenness is a sin that never goes alone but carries men into other evils; it is a sin very provoking to God. The drunkard holds out to his family, and to the world, the sad spectacle of a sinner hardened beyond what is common and hastening to perdition. When afflicted or weary, let us not seek to raise our spirits by strong drink, which is hateful and hurtful, and only ends in making sorrows more felt. But by fervent prayer, let us seek to be filled with the Spirit and to avoid whatever may grieve our gracious Comforter.
Those particularly should be prayed for, who are exposed to great hardships and perils in their work. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith. By peace, understand all manner of peace; peace with God, peace of conscience, peace among themselves. And the grace of the Spirit, producing faith and love, and every grace. These he desires for those in whom they were already begun. And all grace and blessings come to the saints from God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Grace, that is, the favour of God; and all good, spiritual and temporal, which is from it, is and shall be with all those who thus love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and with them only.
It ill becomes any men, but especially men of God, to set their hearts upon the things of this world; men of God should be taken up with the things of God. There must be a conflict with corruption, temptations, and the powers of darkness. Eternal life is the crown proposed for our encouragement. We are called to lay hold thereon. To the rich must especially be pointed out their dangers and duties, as to the proper use of wealth. But who can give such a charge that is not himself above the love of things that wealth can buy? The appearing of Christ is certain, but it is not for us to know the time. Mortal eyes cannot bear the brightness of the Divine glory. None can approach him except as he is made known unto sinners in and by Christ. The Godhead is here adored without distinction of Persons, as all these things are properly spoken, whether of the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost. God is revealed to us, only in and through the human nature of Christ, as the only begotten Son of the Father.
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