Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: July 1st, 2012

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Fifth Sunday after Pentecost: July 1st, 2012

These devotionals are to help you prepare for each Sunday to come in the Christian Calendar.* 

[7] The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. [8] Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. [9] Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. [10] As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: [11] whoever speaks, as one who
speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who
serves by the strength that God supplies—in order
that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus
Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and
ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:7-11 (ESV)
        In light of some extraordinary realities, Peter calls his readers to what seems to be rather ordinary life. Beginning with “the end of all things is at hand” and ending with an exclamation of praise “to him belong glory and dominion forever and ever,” these verses remind us that what is of primary importance for us (“above all”) are normal everyday expressions of faith: loving one another earnestly, showing hospitality without complaint, using the gifts that God has given to us to serve the community that God has provided for us.

       Gospel transformation and obedience sometimes involves dramatic and extraordinary demonstrations of faith. In the verse immediately following these, Peter writes of a “fiery trial” that is to “test” his readers (v. 12). Yet more often than not, obedience and a transformed life involves the humble, simple, and profound kindness of hospitality, the generosity with which we treat those we disagree with, and the daily willingness to use our gifts on behalf of those whom God has put in our path. Good stewardship of the gifts of “God’s varied grace” means using them to serve others. Why? “In order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus.” Even our ordinary, everyday acts of kindness are glorifying to God, just as much as perseverance in any “fiery trial.” In some ways, the constancy and seeming ordinariness of joyful hospitality, of love that overlooks sin, and of daily service is a greater challenge than any one trial we could face. But we can do it by the power of “the strength that God supplies.”

       Have we put into our lives regular patterns and habits for daily obedience? Have we looked to be faithful with little before asking to be faithful with much? Have we asked God to help us to be faithful with today, without a longing for tomorrow, so that to him might be “glory and dominion forever and ever”?

 
John C. Lin, Downtown Lead Pastor

Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect** from The Book of Common Prayer

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