February 28, 2016
Prayer, Love, and Grace
Eric Palac, one of our youth directors, continued our series through 1 Peter, Hope Is Here. Looking at 1 Peter 4:7-11, Eric encouraged us in the way of prayer, love, and grace. These are vital elements in the life of every Christ-follower. Peter knew this full well, and encouraged the believers to whom he first wrote to be prayerful, to love one another, and to serve one another with the grace that God had given to each one.
In prayer, we are to be both alert in sober-minded. Peter had learned this lesson the hard way when he failed to stay awake while Jesus agonized in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. Alertness in prayer helps us to avoid temptation and sin. As Eric said, prayer is essential to our transformation.
While love is one of the most common commands of Scripture, it is also incredibly difficult to obey well. Love is contrary to our sinful nature. We are prone to selfishness, but God tells us to love, and that love must be sincere. It is so fundamental to God’s way of life, Jesus tells us, that the world will know that we are his followers by our love for another.
God gives us grace in our times of need, and his grace is always sufficient for whatever we are going through. But we must also give grace to one another through using our spiritual gifts for the benefit of the church. As Peter knew, and as he told these early churches, the way to overcome persecution and opposition is through prayer, love, and grace.
(Note: Due to technical difficulties, only the second half of Eric’s message was recorded.)