Scatterlings live for the will of God – a sermon on 1 Peter 4 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.
What do you live for? What’s your aim in life? What do you want to achieve? Is it to pass your final year in school so you can get out of the house into the big wide world and ‘do your own thing’? Is it to get a rich husband or a great-looking wife? Is it to get married, have the typical average family of mom dad and 2.5 children? Perhaps your aim in life is to have a job that brings in the big bucks so that you can buy everything you want. Or is it perhaps to make sure you have enough money so you can retire in style – or at least in comfort? What is your aim in life?
And where does God fit in in all of this? Often we hear of people saying that we need to make sure that God also has a seat at the table of our lives – meaning that we need to consider God in our decision making. And of course that is true. But beloved, God doesn’t need to be given a seat at the table of our lives – no, He owns the table! He owns the table, and that means that our lives need to reflect that too. It isn’t about paying lip-service to what the Word of God tells us. It isn’t about superficially naming God as Lord – in a sense that’s just giving Him a seat at the table. But He owns that table – and that demands a real response, a heart-felt response, a living response from each one of us. It demands our all, not just bits and pieces of our lives.
And this is what Peter is talking about in this part of his letter to the scattered and exiled believers – the scatterlings. He’s already given them much instruction in the first three chapters of the letter, but here he makes a very crisp point when he explains that those who believe in Christ ought to live for the will of God. He reminds them that they are to live for the will of God because they are done with sin (because of Jesus). Verses 1-2 tell us about living for the will of God. Verses 3-4 tell us about sacrificial living and verses 5-6 tell us about the coming judgement.