Together in Christ: 'Right-angled Living' — 1 Peter 4:7-9

Monday, March 20, 2023

The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

— 1 Peter 4:7-9 NLT

Key Thought

The first Christians lived in expectation that Jesus was coming soon. [1] Since His resurrection, Jesus has stood at the door of history, ready to step across the threshold of eternity into our world and return to bring God's children home to their Father. [2] This imminent coming of Jesus changed the way these early disciples lived, and should change our living, too. [3] Always being prepared for our Lord's return goes back to Jesus' teaching. [4]

In today's passage, Peter reminds us of three actions that must be present in each of our lifestyles as His followers:

  1. Be earnest in faith, seriously committed to ongoing prayer.
  2. Loving each other, especially demonstrating "deep love for each other" that leads us to forgiving one another.
  3. Cheerfully practicing hospitality, especially toward those in need.

These three spiritual virtues empower our fulfilling Jesus' two great love commands. Earnest and disciplined prayer focuses on our relationship with God and follows the example of our Lord Jesus and His regular practice of prayer. Loving one another and practicing hospitality builds the family of God on earth while also obeying the teaching of the Lord Jesus.

What I find most refreshing about Peter's teaching is his emphasis that this must be the lifestyle of every believer in Jesus. It is not the domain of a unique group of the super-spiritual or clergy whose job is to pray. Peter's command to pray is for us all as Jesus' disciples. Sharing love with others and practicing hospitality to those in need are not solely the responsibility of the organizations we may support (although these organizations can be helpful and worthy of support). Still, we must be part of each of our discipleship.

Jesus wants our relationship with our Father in heaven to be genuine and part of our daily walk as His followers. Jesus wants our relationship with people to include time spent caring for those less blessed than us. In these ways, we reflect the character and love of God both vertically (our prayer life with God) and horizontally (our hospitality and love shown to others). I have found a way to keep Peter's teaching (and the way of life he learned from Jesus) fresh in my heart: to remind myself that I am called to right-angled living!

[1] Paul uses the Aramaic (the language of Jesus) term Μαράνα θά (marana-tha "our Lord come") as part of his close to the Corinthians — 1 Corinthians 16:11. This word appears to be part of the early church's prayer life and said in expectation of the Lord's imminent return — Philippians 4:5; Hebrews 10:37; James 5:8-9.
[2] Philippians 4:5 NIV; Revelation 3:19-20.
[3] 1 Thessalonians 5:1-8.
[4] Luke 12:35-40, 21:34-35.

Today's Prayer

Dear God, you have blessed me so richly spiritually and physically. You have made me Your child and given me the Holy Spirit to pray to you with openness and tenderness. So, dear Father, I ask for Your guidance and power to help me live with the right angle in my life. I want to deepen my vertical connection with You as God and Father. I want to bless others with the love you have lavished upon me as I share that love through hospitality as I live in a proper horizontal relationship with others. I ask for the Spirit's help to keep me properly aligned with this right-angled approach to my life and love. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 22:36-40; John 13:34-35
  • 1 Corinthians 13:1-13


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Illustration of 1 Peter 4:7-9 NLT — The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.