We have in these few verses some very pithy admonitions. We will look briefly at each one (using the NKJV). May the Lord exercise our hearts to obey them, for His honor and glory.

Verse 7: “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” The apostle had just been speaking of how all unbelievers shall “give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (verse 5). In light of this solemn truth (that judgment is near), we that are saved should be “serious and watchful in our prayers.” This means we should be “sober and alert” as we give ourselves to “prayer.” It is very possible that as Peter wrote these words he was painfully reminded of the time he fell asleep when the Lord told him to “watch and pray” (see Matthew 26:40-43).

Verses 8-9: “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.” The apostle now turns from the attitude we should have towards OURSELVES to the attitude we should have towards ONE ANOTHER. We should be known, first and foremost, for our LOVE FOR EACH OTHER! Jesus said in John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you LOVE ONE ANOTHER; as I have loved you, that you also LOVE ONE ANOTHER. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER.” Our love for one another should be “fervent,” which means “intense.” Our love for one another “will cover a multitude of sins.” This conveys the thought that we will not expose the sins of our brothers and sisters. This does NOT mean we will simply overlook their sins, but we will do all that we can to shield them from the world. To broadcast their sins would be “airing our dirty laundry” before a corrupt world that is ever ready to condemn the believer for his/her flaws and failures. And our love for one another will lead us to be “hospitable to one another.” We will be ready to open our homes to our brethren and share with them what the Lord has blessed us with. At the time Peter wrote this, Christians were being persecuted severely and inviting fellow-believers to your home may have been risky. Yet love would compel those with food and shelter to give their brethren the “room and board” they desperately needed. We may not be living in such dangerous times, but there is still the need to display our love by being “given to hospitality” (see Romans 12:13).

Verse 10: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” We are not only to show our love to one another by opening our home to them, but by sharing with them the spiritual gift the Lord has given to us. Believers are members of the body of Christ and each one has been entrusted with a certain gift (see Romans 12:6-8; 1st Corinthians 12:4-11, 29-31 and Ephesians 4:8, 11). The gifts we have are a “stewardship” from God and we are responsible to use them for the blessing and edification of other believers (see Ephesians 4:12-16).

Verse 11: “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” If our gift includes “speaking” (preaching or teaching), we had better be sure we are God’s mouthpiece, which means we are giving the right message at the right time for the right people who need to hear it. All ministry should be done through “the ability which God supplies”; that is, in dependence on Him alone Who has supplied us with the gift and the power to use it. If we do, God will receive the glory He deserves. As wonderful as it is to be used of God to be a channel of blessing to others, our primary goal should be to bring glory to Him alone! (242.7) (DO)