by Kimberley Pfeiffer
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Live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires but by the will of God (1 Peter 4:2).
Have you ever had to make the call, ‘Enough! I’m done!’? Has life ever felt like you are on a train that you can see is going nowhere, or worse, going somewhere you don’t want to go? If this is where you find yourself, this reading is for you.
We are encouraged to remember that Christ has suffered for the whole world, yet in today’s reading, we are called to take on suffering, too, because ‘whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin’ (1 Peter 1). How good does it sound to be finished with sin?
Here, Peter says that as a Christian, you will need to be prepared to suffer. The suffering he is referring to is in fearlessly rejecting old habits and behaviours and entering into a new life – the life that God has called you to grow into, according to his will.
This text is also extremely practical. It says that you should be ‘serious and discipline yourself for the sake of your prayers’. Here, he is saying that now you have been given access to God and have received the gift of prayer, don’t take it for granted. Reorder your life so that the precious gift of faith in God is paramount. By putting God first, you allow for God’s love to flow through your relationship with him and into your earthly relationships.
So, discipline yourself to remain in Christ. Go to church to hear the word and receive the sacrament, read the Bible and pray and let go of the things that threaten to hold you back. If you are able, hang out with Christians. You may be invited to enjoy some Christian hospitality. You may also come to realise that all Christians are imperfect, simultaneously saint and sinners, just like you. But you’ll also discover that, like you, they are being transformed daily by Christ as they grow in faith in God and in love for others – a love that ‘covers a multitude of sins’ (1 Peter 4:8). It is good to realise that all Christians are on their way to their heavenly home – no-one has arrived. Knowing that the victorious work of Christ is finished on the cross and that the end of all things is near, we can find hope as we continue on the journey leading us into God’s glory.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for extending your grace to all people and by your mercy revealing to us your will for our lives. Send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us so that you may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ. To him belongs the glory and power forever and ever (1 Peter 4:11). Amen.