Devotional – Friday, November 13, 2020

The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers …

1 Peter 4:7

I have spent the last three years listening very intently to Reverend Dr. Chisham’s sermons, amazed not only by the content of his sermons, but at his ability to deliver them. Truth be told, I find myself a wee bit envious of his ability to write well-written messages and state them in such well-timed fashion. As an educator who also gives content-driven “sermons,” this hits home for me, given the amount of time I have for lecture and the content that I must cover in the time allotted.

Over those three years, since my new-found faith has since been renewed, Reverend Dr. Chisham has made some touching sermons. I can remember one powerful sermon when he spoke of his hearing-impaired sister and another sermon when he spoke of the most important message that Jesus Christ ever gave — that of true, unconditional love for one’s fellow man, regardless of individual differences. Last Sunday’s sermon, however, touched me like no other of his that I can vividly remember.

In a time of chaos, including accusations of fraudulent election protocols, finger-pointing and, unfortunately, social media that has further divided a once-great nation, I have found myself at bedtime each of the last three nights thinking about Reverend Chisham’s message from last Sunday morning. I am far from an expert on the return of our Savior, Jesus Christ, but many of the warning signs outlined in the book of Revelations do seem to be coming to fruition.

Addressing persecuted Christians living in five regions of Asia Minor, Peter writes in 1 Peter 4:7 that, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” It is important to note that Peter wrote this nearly 2,000 years ago, so perhaps the “end” has been near for some time. So, what do we do? Panic? Isolate ourselves? Take on one last wild tryst with our significant other prior to it all coming crashing down?

No, Peter tells us to pray and to be strong-willed and clear in thought when doing so. We should be careful about how we live. Our ability to think clearly is impacted by our choices, so self-control is of paramount importance. Basically, we must know that we are doing it wrong if we lose our faith in our God and if we don’t put our trust in Him that He has all of this current chaos under control. This is exactly the premise of Reverend Chisham’s sermon last Sunday. No matter how one feels about last week’s Presidential election, the truth is the only position of power that really matters is that of our God.

Over the last year or so, I have felt myself growing more and more irate that things are seemingly devolving into deeper levels of madness. I have prayed every morning, afternoon, and night that there may soon be peace amongst all of us. I have prayed that we would, once again, become unified under a greater good. As I wrote in last week’s devotional, I pray that our country returns to the status that it once was decades ago.

None of these things will ever come to pass if we do not acknowledge and change our ways. We must be humble. We must be compassionate to one another. We must be open to healthy discourse and seek to understand each other’s opinions, feelings, and positions and not chastise others for their differing points of view. We must reject sinful and harmful platforms, ones that corrupt the minds of our children. But most of all, we must realize that all of us are better when we trust in our God. Not just me. Not just you. All of us. Every single one of us. Simultaneously. We must encourage the naysayers and those who are resistant.  

We are blessed by God with the ability to reason, to love and to be a steward of God’s ultimate plan. Jesus Christ will inevitably come again, as God’s Holy Word promises. Before he gets here, let’s show God that we are indeed worthy of a final resting place in His kingdom and help others to meet us there. Amen? 

Offered by Dr. Trey Earle

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