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Christian Community

We Christians have special responsibilities to one another. The apostle Peter sets out three of these for us in 1 Peter 4:8-11.

      1. We are to love one another. Love is the distinguishing mark of a Christian. So we are told to have a fervent or an intense love for one another. This kind of love “covers a multitude of sins.” It causes us to overlook each other’s failures, faults, and weaknesses and helps us to be more understanding and more forgiving of one another.

      2. We should show hospitality. We should joyfully help each other with food and lodging when necessary. The word hospitality literally means “friendly to strangers.” In the New Testament world lodging places for travelers were rare and the accommodations were poor. Inns were generally filthy and immoral places. So opening one’s home to a Christian brother or a traveling missionary or pastor was a vital part of a Christian’s responsibility. Jesus received this kind of hospitality from Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Bethany. And the apostle Paul often stayed in the homes of Christians such as Lydia, Jason, Aquila, and Priscilla. 

      3. We should use whatever abilities or skills we have for the glory of God. Every Christian has certain abilities, skills, and gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:4, 9, 28). We are stewards or managers of these gifts for God. 

      Peter singles out two such gifts as representative of the many gifts of God. The person who has the ability to speak should be so surrendered to God that God is able to speak his word through him. And the person who has the ability to render practical ministries should recognize that his ability comes from God and he should do it in the spirit of devotion to him. The end of all ministry is that God should be glorified.

      Preaching or teaching is not to be done to display the preacher or teacher but to bring the people face to face with God. Service is rendered not to bring thanks and prestige to the giver but to turn people’s thoughts to God. Glorifying God is always our goal.

      We owe these three things to God and others. Let’s begin doing them today.



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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

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