1 Peter 4:7-11 “7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen”
For the last number of weeks we have been talking about doing business and relating to others in light of Christ’s coming and how that relates to our own personal lives and the businesses we are involved in. In lots of ways this would indeed be a reversal of the many seminars and courses and even business leadership training that I have attended over the years where the main priority was to “crush your competitor” whenever you could, or “how to put them out of business” and many other titles that I am sure you also have heard of.
Yet Peter specifically tell us the opposite and that we are to love others with Gods’ love. We have talked about; Having Selfless Love toward One Another – Peter describes how we should conduct ourselves in view of Christ’s coming is that we are to have selfless love toward one another.
In light of Jesus’ words that at the end, the love of many will turn cold, Peter says that especially in the difficulties of these last days we must persevere in showing love toward one another. How are you going on that this week? A few times I didn’t make it myself and needed to reflect upon myself and seek the Lord for counsel!
Remember, it is to be with God’s love – not ours, it is from HIM, so if we are not seeking HIM daily, the question is “Can we make it with our own love?” The answer is clearly NO
We have talked about that it is a fervent love – The word that Peter uses here in telling us to love fervently is literally the word for being “stretched out”. Well as for me, I have been stretched this week that is for sure. Did I make it through, in some areas YES, in others NO, but I am grateful to the Lord for the stretching as it is HIS power working within me to accomplish what HE wishes to not ME. How did you go?
Did you love another fervently this week?, like an athlete who was giving their all in the final race of a competition? Did you see how you can meet their spiritual and physical needs? Did you show Christ’s love to those around us.
So this week in closing we talk about a “Covering Love”
The final reason that this love is special is that it is a “covering love”. Peter says, “Because love covers a multitude of sins.” I think that this statement conveys two basic ideas. First, when we say that our love covers someone’s sin it means that we forgive that person. In other words, we do not allow someone’s sin to become a barrier to our fellowship with them.
Whether that means we confront that person because of their sin against us or simply allow it to pass by. I think Peter says that if we can at all let it pass through our love for them then do so.
My wife is great and very good in this area of “Covering Love” because as a an ordinary guy / bloke / man / human being, whatever word you may wish to use, I am great at blowing it, often a few times a day and without her covering love I just would not make it. However by the power and strength of the Lord I make it through each day and learn some new things on the way, well at least I believe I do!
How are you going? Be honest with yourself and the Lord even if you put up a front to others, which is often what many of us do; daily I might add!
But how do we know when to confront an individual or to let an offense simply pass by. There are some general guidelines, but the Bible says that we must go with the spirit of gentleness understanding that we are capable of the very same things, and we must likewise understand that we too might have committed some wrong in the matter as well.
This is the second way that love covers a multitude of sin in that it helps another to overcome sin. Our God given love for others ought to cover over their sin so that there is no division in the body.
Are you willing to let God love others through you or will you scoff at His own love for you? What is impossible for us in the flesh is possible supernaturally through the Spirit of God. God just wants you to be willing. Let HIM take care of the details in showing love to others.
Peter says that the end is near – There is time for action but no time to waste. Don’t come to the end of your life and say, “I wish I had given more time to the Lord. I wish I had loved as He had commanded me.” Today is the only day we have. It is too late to neglect our business as Christians.
We have looked at a few ways that we should conduct ourselves as Christians in view of Christ’s return.
- Do not neglect your responsibility to pray.
- Do not miss the fact that we have no promise of tomorrow
- We need to have a controlled and sober view of our time here on earth.
- Don’t panic because Christ could return today.
- Don’t become slack in your prayer life because Christ might not return in our lifetime.
- Be controlled, be sober and pray.
- We need to show God’s love to one another.
Stop putting it off but ask God to allow you to love as He loves. Allow Him to work in you the fruit of the Spirit that is love. God’s love covers a multitude of sins. Let us be joined in this body by love, which Paul calls in Colossians 3, the perfect bond of unity.
Stephen for the Kingdom Builders Team