The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:7-11 NIV)
It’s so interesting to me that here we see Paul writing to Timothy in c. 62 A.D. that “the end of all things is near”. It gives me a sense of God’s timing, certainly.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:14 NIV)
I don’t spend a lot of time trying to understand God’s great plan for the end of this world – but I do spend some time trying to work on the instructions Paul sent to Ephesus to encourage Timothy, and now to encourage me.
I don’t think it’s happenstance that prayer is the first instruction. The more time spent praying, communicating with the Father through his son, the more I’m able to follow the other instructions. See: Creating a desire for prayer without ceasing
Love each other deeply: My epiphany on this point came one day looking at my kids. I love them more than I think words can possibly describe. Reading through my Bible, I realized that each of us is a child of God. He loves each of us more than I love my own children. He expects me to love each of you the way he loves me. My best earthly example is to love every person I meet the way I love my own children. Better, if I can manage it. Because perfect love is able to cover any sin – to overlook any offense.