1Peter4:1 – “Since therefore, Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking …”
V 4 – “.. they (non-believers) are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery …”
V 10 – “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, a stewards of God’s varied grace.”
Peter has no low standards. He calls people to think in the same way Christ thinks.
He also understands this isn’t easy, which is why I must “arm” myself with this thinking, not just “think good thoughts”.
The way I think should affect the way I live and this will be noticed by people outside the family of faith.
Not only should they notice it, they should be surprised” by it.
The ability to think and act in this way is not my own doing. It’s a gift from God.
The gift of grace and I must “steward” this gift as I would any other gift given by God.
Do I consider my thinking as a way of “arming” myself?
Or do I think about things just as way of acquiring knowledge or to just “get smarter” about something?
There’s a deeper level of thinking that prepares me for life. A thinking that is “the same way as Christ”.
He understood more than anyone that there is an unseen world we must be “armed” against in the day to day.
But this unseen thinking should become seen living.
Are people “surprised” by my actions and day to day life?
Peter just referenced in chapter 3 to “be prepared to give a defense to anyone who asks you the reason”.
Are people asking me why I live the way I live?
If not, why not? Do they see nothing different in my life versus the the world or other lives around them?
Peter stated simply, “they are surprised”.
Are they? If not, why not?
Am I trying to live in my own strength?
God gave me the gift of his grace!
Am I stewarding it for his purpose or abusing it to live like everyone else?
I wonder if it was verse 10 here that gave Bonhoeffer the profound idea of “Cheap Grace”?
He realized so many of us “abuse” grace because God is good.
He loves to give His children gifts. Grace chief among them.
I love to live an unchanged life. Knowing grace will be there.
But this considers grace far too flippantly … even “cheap”!
If grace is the greatest gift ever given … the very way of salvation and forgiveness of a holy God, then how can grace be taken lightly?!
I must steward God’s grace with as much reverence and honor and glory as I would every other gift from God.
And if I do this …
If I steward the greatest gift of the most loving Father, how could it not result in a life that people are “surprised” by?!
Father God, thank you that you are a giving God, but especially that you give grace.
Forgive me when I don’t steward it to your glory.
Forgive when I take it lightly, when I even forget it’s there.
Help me arm myself wth your thinking.
Help me know grace was the most costly thing ever.
It cost Jesus’ life.
Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice.
Help me love other with sacrifice.
To your honor and your glory.