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1Peter  ◦   Chapter 4

1Therefore model yourselves after Christ, who, when tempted to save himself, chose instead to sacrifice himself and thus suffered in his human nature. So, be like Jesus: love others first, and say "No" to temptations to act selfishly. Your selfish nature will suffer, but you will be done with sin.2As a result, right now on earth, you will no longer live your life controlled by feelings, passions and desires, but rather you will live intelligently–choosing to follow God’s will–in harmony with the law of love.3You have surely spent enough time living like pagans and the ungodly who allow their impulses, desires and lusts to control them as they engage in orgies, debauchery, drunkenness, betrayal, and disgusting idolatry.4They think you are weird because you won't join them in debasing themselves, so they criticize and make fun of you.5But they will be speechless when they stand before God and have to explain to him why they rejected the Remedy — that he freely provided, and that cures all who accept it — whether they are currently living or dead.6This is the reason the good news about God has been proclaimed throughout all history–even to those who are now dead, but who were diagnosed while alive, as everyone is diagnosed–so that everyone could partake of the Remedy and have their character restored to perfect love, as God’s character is perfect love.

7The end of life as we know it on planet earth is near. Therefore, keep your minds clear and sharp, and maintain governance of yourselves so that you can always talk clearly with God.8Above everything, love each other completely, because love destroys sinfulness.9Be hospitable and cheerful when doing so; don't serve others sullenly or out of obligation merely.10All of God's children should be conduits of his love, distributing the resources they have received to uplift, nourish and bless others in the knowledge of God's love.11If you have a message to give, remember that you are God’s representative, so speak words that faithfully represent him. When you serve others, don’t rely on your own strength, but let God’s love flow through you to them so that it will be obvious that God is the one to whom praise is owed through Jesus Christ. To him be all glory, honor, power and praise forever and ever. Amen.

12Dear friends, don’t be surprised by the painful trials you suffer. Don’t think, "Why is this happening?"13but rejoice, recognizing that even though walking the healing path with Jesus is painful, it leads to joy as his glorious character is revealed in you.14If you are abused for being Christlike, be glad; it means that God's Spirit is restoring Christ's character in you.15Don't bring suffering upon yourselves by breaking the law like a murderer, thief, common criminal, or even a meddler in other people's business,16but if you suffer because you live like Jesus–don't be ashamed or disheartened. Be confident and praise God that you bring honor to Christ's name,17because it is time for right judgment to begin with God's house; and if it has begun with us, what will happen to those who close their minds to the good news about God?18And "If the healing process is agonizing for those who know God, what will happen to the ungodly–the sinners who reject God's healing Remedy?"19Therefore, those who suffer while complying with God's treatment program should commit themselves fully to their faithful Creator and continue to follow his good plan.