For the month of February we have been studying 1 Corinthians 13 by way of cross referencing the various Love is and Love isn't statements. It is a powerful thing to consider the supporting scripture to age old verses... especially on the complex issue of LOVE. Today I want to wrap-up this 20+ day journey with a closing look at the eternalness of love and the pursuit we are all called to avidly run after.
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:
- 1 Peter 4:7-10
I love 'absolute' statements in the Bible, they carry such power. Do you see it here? Above all... as if everything else is important but nothing is more important than (or even equal to) what comes next: KEEP loving one another. But wait. I put a period there. However, it keeps going, doesn't it? Above all, keep loving one another earnestly... aka, without ceasing, devotedly, not giving up. And yet it still doesn't stop! Instead, God, through Peter, goes on to suggest WHY he wants us to keep on with this loving one another earnestly thing: because love covers a multitude of sins.
One little action has such a HUGE impact. But really, this is exactly what Jesus modeled, isn't it? That while we were still sinners, Christ showed his love by dying for us. Death on a cross. A symbol of shame in it's time became a symbol of love... covering a multitude of sins. Not a few sins. Not some sins. No, a multitude of sins.... many many many.
So here, in Peter, we are told the what, the why, and we are even offered a few examples of HOW: show hospitality without grumbling and be good stewards as we serve one another with the varied gifts God gives... humbly issuing them out to others... light on the lampstand style.
We are to do be in regular pursuit of loving acts and loving others. period.
In the whole of our study in 1 Corinthians 13, this message brings us full circle because it casts our gaze back to where the whole theme began:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
LOVE, there is no greater commodity in the Christian walk... nye... in all the world. All else we do is for not if it is not underpinned with true, genuine, for-the-glory-of-Christ centered LOVE. If it means this much to God, well, the answer is easy: it should mean that much to us. Love... pursue it, live it, give it, become it.
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