“But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” ~ 1 Peter 4:7-9
Peter says the end is near and because of that Christians should remain alert, continue in prayer, and focus on loving each other.
In my Bible, this section of 1 Peter is labeled “Living for God.” It reminds me of an old hymn that begins, “Living for Jesus a life that is true, striving to please him in all that I do.” I think Peter would have appreciated the word “striving” here because it seems a lot like the word, “fervent.” These words give us a picture of an athlete straining to win. They speak of perseverance and intensity. Love is fervent, and Peter was fervent. He tried hard, but he didn’t always succeed. Yet in his failures, Peter learned that love is also forgiving. He learned “love covers over a multitude of sins.” Jesus’ love covered Peter’s sins, and His great love will cover yours and mine as well. Should we not also cover and forgive as Jesus does?
Love is fervent and forgiving, and it is practical and demonstrated with attitudes that glorify God. The practical application taught here is to show hospitality to one another – without grudging. Peter understood hospitality as more than greeting people before or after church services; more than having friends over for dinner. Real hospitality is expressed in self-sacrificing ways without grumbling or resentment.
Fervent, forgiving, practical, glorifying God – true Christian love will create strong bonds and have amazing results because true Christian love always points others to Jesus!
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” ~ John 13:35