1 Peter 4:7-8 – “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” NKJV
I do not mean to make light of that phrase and the answer is Yes and No. We could all get along but we won’t all get along because we are not all believers. We do not all have the love of God shed abroad in our hearts. Even when we are we don’t always get along as is evidenced in the many different denominations, sectarian schisms, and divisions in the Body of Christ and within local churches not to mention those outside the church.
The admonition of Peter here is that “the end is near” so we are to be serious or sober or sound in mind and judgment and watchful or aware so that we know how to pray and pray fervently. Intercession is a vital part of the life of a Christian of any age but in these last days it is even more important. He then gives us another directive that sadly is overlooked or excused by much of the Body of Christ – “have fervent love for one another.”
That is love that is “burning and constant.” It is a never fading love and one that “covers a multitude of sins.” It doesn’t excuse sin or justify sin but love covers it in that it takes the sinner or brother/sister in Christ and reaches past the flaw to bring them to restoration. Restoration to Christ if that is the need or restoration in our relationship if there is offense. If we practiced this passage of Scripture we would see a unification of the church in such a way that it would send shock waves through the world and produce a revival and harvest like we have never seen.
I’ve heard people brag about “running their preacher off” as though that were a good thing. I’ve heard people brag about “starving their preacher out” as though that were a good thing. I’ve heard people, Christians say, “I don’t get mad I get even” as though that were a good thing. When people tell me “I can forgive but I can’t forget” I always tell them God doesn’t expect you to develop Divine Amnesia he expects you to make a conscious decision to not allow that event to be a factor in future decisions and actions on your part.
He expects you to love with UNCONDITIONAL LOVE or AGAPE LOVE and that is only possible through the work of the Holy Spirit. I cannot love you unconditionally without divine help. My humanity would step in and although I do not have a large overbearing ego I do have one as do you. I am not prideful but I do have pride and have to deal with it from time to time as do you. Our humanity hinders our ability to fervently love each other and should identify to us the need for diligent fervent prayer for the help of God to allow Him to LOVE THROUGH US!
There was a time in my life that if someone disagreed with me I considered them an enemy or an adversary. If someone did something to me I would retaliate and give them back double what they gave me. Then when I was rescued from myself by the Lord I realized that my actions and attitude were producing a harvest that I did not want to continue in my life and have diligently sought Him to help me LOVE. My greatest concern is the condition of my heart toward fellow believers and my fellow man. If God gets me right I can impact the lives of others in a positive and powerful way and even if they do not turn to Him I will have manifested Him and His love to them.
We need to realize that not everyone will agree with us, like us, or even love us but we can LOVE like Jesus! So as you go through this day ask the Holy Spirit to help you in that regard!
May God be with you as you go through your day!