As and So -- the Method of Ministry
1 Peter 4:7-11
But the end of all things is at hand: be you therefore sober, and watch to prayer.…

You and I can only give large sums of money to God's service, as God makes us wealthy. It is so in earthly things, and surely it must be so in spiritual things. If we are living in the fulness of God, then the promise of Jesus Christ shall be fulfilled in our case — "Out of our belly shall flow rivers of living water." If, on the other hand, we are straitened in ourselves, then what wonder that our life should be unprofitable, and that we should scarcely to any degree minister the gift, simply because we receive it so scantily. But when I look again at that word "as," another thought occurs to me. It strikes me that we have not only there a law of proportion, we have also a law of quality, qualifying the bestowal of the gift. The gift is bestowed by the hand of Him who is an example to us in giving, as well as in every other respect. As we receive, so we are to give. There ought to be a certain God-like liberality in our efforts to distribute the favours with which God loads us. But further, that word "as" seems to teach us more than this. Not only have we received the gift freely, but we have received it wisely; that is to say, God, in bestowing the gift upon us, exercised a wisdom which belongs to His own nature, preparing us for its reception, and bestowing upon us just the gift appropriate to our state. Are we not too often very clumsy in this respect? We get into a kind of stereotyped way of working for God. I cannot but feel that, if we would minister the gift as the Lord would have us minister it, we require greater delicacy of touch, keener discernment of human character, and a fuller appreciation of God's different methods of dealing with different souls than are commonly to be met with.

(W. H. M. H. Aitken, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.

WEB: But the end of all things is near. Therefore be of sound mind, self-controlled, and sober in prayer.

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