1 Peter 4-Part 4
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
LET IT GLOW
This is the year of the Olympics. I admire those athletes who have worked intensely and with dediction, practicing their skills, preparing to meet the competition head on. They want to give it their best, their all while performing at their event. It's usually a once-in-a-lifetime occurance. (An exception was a lady who won a gold medal five times in five different Olympics.) Should I have that same attitude towards life? Am I giving my all serving Jesus in this one life I have? Aren't I commanded to love all people, inspite of whatever they are or have done? Above all else, am I loving? To what extinct am I loving others? If I come in contact with another for only a moment, do I show them the love of Jesus? Let's see what Peter says about it.
Fervent means stretched out, intent, earnest; charity is love going forth from your soul and taking up its abode as it were in ours; it's your love to us; love, affection, or benevolence. (Thayer's Lexicon)
Webster's Dictionary defines fervent as being hot, glowing, earnest (serious, sincere, zealous).
Is my love for others stretched out? Is it sincere and earnest? Or is it conditional-I love you if you do this and that?
If these are the last days, how much more important is it to love those you are going to spend eternity with? (Guzik)
My love is not just to be toward my family and friends, enemies and others, but especially toward the saints, Christians brethren in Christ.
John Gill says love is to be:
- mutual and reciprocal,
- warm and fervent,
- not luke warm nor indifferent,
- but is to be constant, continued, and perpetual,
- the sum and substance of the law, and fulfilling of it,
Christian love means that we treat others the way God treats us, obeying His commandments in the Word. (Wiersbe)
Jesus told us the two greatest commandments were to love God and love thy neighbor as thyself. (Matt. 22:39) The latter comes from Levitcus 19:18. A description of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13. If we don't have love, we are nothing. Which is the greatest, faith, hope, or love?
Jesus taught us a lot about love-who to love (enemies, those who use us, neighbors, brethren) and how to love (with all our heart). He is my example, so I am to do the same as my Master Teacher.
The question is, "Am I doing it?"
LET IT GROW
The last part of our key verse refers to what was said in Proverbs 10:12, Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
If a person has true love for others, his shortcomings will not be obvious. (Falwell)
Love does cover a multitude of sins, both the sins of the one loving and the sins of the one who is being loved. (Guzik)
Where love abounds in a fellowship of Christians, may small offences, and even some large ones, are readily overlooked and forgotten. But where love is lacking, every word is viewed with suspicion, every action is liable to misunderstanding, and conflicts about-to Satan's perverse delight. (Gruden)
John Gill says that the blood and righteousness of Christ covers sins, the sins of God's elect.
- thinks no ill,
- does not take sin up, improve and exagerate them,
- takes no notice of injuries, offences, affronts,
- overlooks them, bears them, forgives them,
- never rakes sins up and sees them any more, which prevents much scandal, strife, or trouble.
Christian love is forgiving. It doesn't condone sin, but it doesn't spread gossip and slander around, does it?
Fervent and forgiving love-that's what I want. It's source is Jesus Christ. He exemplified it when He died on the cross in my place. He committed no sins, but have and do. He payed the price so I could have a relationship with the Father God and an eternal home in heaven. Now that is love!
How can I show Jesus that I love Him? I can show my love by obeying His Word and the Holy Spirit, loving God, and by loving others.
LET IT GO
Leave the jealousy, revenge, unforgiveness at the foot of the cross.
Forgive others and have a fervent love for them unconditionally.