1 Peter 4:11 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 is making it clear that behavior that occurred before accepting Christ is different than behavior after accepting Christ. The world lives according to earthly desires and they do not understand when a Christian does not live in the same manner. But, beyond a behavioral change, a heart change must occur. We won’t change our behavior until our heart changes.
We are to love each other and pray with an alert and sober mind. We are to speak and serve in a manner that praises God. It His voice, His breath and His strength that allows us to serve.
When I read this it really convicted me because as much as I know this to be true, I don’t always act in this manner. When I pray, I often pray in a lazy way. Like a check off a “to do” list. Or last minute. Waiting until something happens. My prayers are not always at the beginning of a journey but often in the middle or end. Prayer must be made in a way that honors God. Alert and Sober. As part of an on-going conversation and not just on an as needed basis.
I tell often tell people we “get” to serve, we don’t “have” to serve. But sometimes, that’s not how I feel. When I read the verse about serving, I immediately thought of our set-up and tear down team. It’s Friday evening. Often, I’m tired or I have other things I would prefer doing. It is monotonous. Set-up along with putting up the signs on Sunday morning is not a glamorous job. In fact, it can be quite frustrating for a variety of reasons. It’s a hard connection to make when you are setting up the den and all you want to do is go get something to eat or just about anything else on a Friday night. But, that fact of the matter is I have been slapped in the face every now and then to remind me of the importance of serving even in some of the most simple ways and most mundane areas. I know many people that have attended our services because they saw a sign. Several members have come to Christ because we set up an inviting environment and they felt welcomed. I am quickly re-reminded that I am not serving for myself but serving so that others can see Christ and come to know Him. I am also reminded constantly that the little things are important to Christ and I never know what will bring someone to step into the church.
Father, this verse serves as a great reminder that I am to serve with you in mind and through your strength. There are no little ways to serve you. It is all serving you to further your kingdom. May I never forget that.