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SERVICE OVER SUFFERING

EPISTLE OF 1 PETER  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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FIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF SERVICE IN THE MIDST OF SUFFERING

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1 Peter 4:7–11 ESV
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
In April 1831, Charles Simeon was 71 years old. He had been the pastor of Trinity Church in Cambridge, England, for 49 years. One afternoon his friend Joseph Gurney asked him how much he had surmounted persecution and outlasted all the great prejudice against him in his many years of ministry. He said to Gurney:
My dear brother, we must not mind a little suffering for Christ sake. What I am getting through a hedge, if my head and shoulders are safely through, I can bear the prickling of my legs. But let us rejoice in the remembrance that our holy head has surmounted all his suffering and triumphed over death. Let us follow him patiently for we shall soon be partakers of his victory.
{Review theme and focus of study}
Discouragement often sets into the church in the midst of persecution. Peter sets out to help believers faced with persecution and suffering and exhorts them (and us) to stay the course. Along with that exhortation, also comes encouragement and a regular focus upon Christ. We continue in that same focus and theme today.
QUESTION: What does it look like to serve one another in the midst of persecution and suffering?
{Suffering can often lead to self focus. Peter is encouraging the opposite…focus on others over yourself and your problems.}
Notice with me five characteristics that help us to focus on serving and not on suffering:

1. STAY SOBER-MINDED (7)

1 Peter 4:7 ESV
7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
a. This is a command from Peter
a. This is a command from Peter
b. The idea of both words is to be sensible and self-controlled
c. We might say it this way…keep your head in the game!
2 Timothy 4:5 ESV
5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
1 Peter 1:13 ESV
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2. SHOW LOVE TO ONE ANOTHER (8)

1 Peter 4:8 ESV
8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.
a. “Earnestly” means literally, “to stretch out.”
a. “Earnestly” means literally, “to stretch out.”
b. This is agape love which is a sacrificial love at its core
c. This kind of love then, overlooks the weaknesses of other believers
d. This kind of love allows us to serve and help without any bias (cover v. cover-up)
e. Cover is present active. Means that we continue to cover sin in this way.

3. SHOW KINDNESS TO ONE ANOTHER (9)

1 Peter 4:9 ESV
9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
a. Be kind to one another without complaining is the idea
a. Be kind to one another without complaining is the idea
b. Complaining is never right
c. Complaining affects the attitude and a wrong attitude affects actions

4. SERVE ONE ANOTHER (10)

1 Peter 4:10 ESV
10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
a. We use our gifts to serve
a. We use our gifts to serve
b. We need to know what our gifts are
c. Each member of the body is given a gift to help the church
d. We must be good stewards of those gifts
e. We must serve in God’s strength (11)
300 Quotations for Preachers Not Too Much Service, Not Too Much Contemplation

No man has a right to lead such a life of contemplation as to forget in his own ease the service due to his neighbor; nor has any man a right to be so immersed in active life as to neglect the contemplation of God.

AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO

5. SPEAK GOD’S WORD (11)

5. SPEAK GOD’S WORD (11)

1 Peter 4:11 ESV
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.
a. All ministry of God’s Word must be done with God’s Word as the means
b. All confrontation of sin
c. All counseling about sin
d.
John 17:17 ESV
17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
300 Quotations for Preachers Mortification Must Be Done by the Spirit

All other ways of mortification are vain; all helps leave us helpless. It must be done by the Spirit.

JOHN OWEN

CONCLUSION

300 Quotations for Preachers “True Religion Is a Habitual Recollection of God and Intention to Serve Him”

When some people talk of religion, they mean they have heard so many sermons, and performed so many devotions, and thus mistake the means for the end. But true religion is a habitual recollection of God and intention to serve him; and this turns everything into gold. We are apt to suppose that we need something splendid to evince our devotion, but true devotion equals things: washing plates and cleaning shoes is a high office, if performed in a right spirit. If three angels were sent to earth, they would feel perfect indifference who should perform the part of prime minister, parish minister, or watchman.

JOHN NEWTON

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