As I have studied Peter’s first letter, I have been thinking a lot about where we live, as strangers – people who have a different sence of place. But this paragraph and the next are reminding me that Christians also have a very different sense of time.
Life is not merely cyclical. God has a plan, and He is bringing His plan towards a conclusion. So when Peter says in 4:7, “The end of all things is at hand;” people who subscribe to the “on and on” view of life must think his words very strange. Do we really stand on the precipice of change, in which a new world will dawn whose look and operation will differ significantly from the world in which we now life? Are we living our lives with that kind of hope and expectation?
If this is true, then how should we live? Several options are possible: 1) run and hide; 2) eat, drink and be merry; or, 3) make the most of the time that we have. The third option is the one that Peter advocates. He admonishes these mis-placed, yet God-placed believers to spend themselves completely, and joyfully, for others in the remaining, difficult days.
Why? For God’s glory. And when we serve for God’s glory, we are not investing in a dying world or in an uncertain future. We are banking on the one thing that is more sure than anything else, that God is real, and that He is glorious.
At one time there was such a thing as the “gold standard” – that every dollar was backed up by gold. Peter is advocating a “glory standard” – that every act of every pilgrim life is to be done for God’s glory. That’s a good investment, both now and forever.