Love, fervent love

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

1 Peter 4:8

Love, in one form or the other is the subject of most literature and song, and for good reason, it is the thing that makes for life. A loveless life, is no life at all, and we feel most alive when we know love. It is something we feel we know well, and most would think they are experts in it in some way or the other…even if it is about what is not love.

And yet, humankind is not the best qualified to truly define love, for its very core is divine in nature. The Bible tell us, ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:16), and we only love because ‘He first loved us’ (1 John 4:19). True love is not for mere mortals, we can only partake of it as we are found in Him. We can only truly love, when we are filled with Him.

The Lord Jesus Christ is both love, and the perfect gift (John 3:16) of the Divine love. He sets our benchmark, and indeed is the very definition of love. Too often we have tried to define it according to our own ways, limiting it to something we can only do in our own strength, and without God. Sure we can imitate aspects of His love, for we are all made in His image, but the love that truly reflects His heart, that is only possible by Him, and through us, when we are His vessels.

So, what is our response?

• Prayer, repentance, and devotion – being filled with Him

• Love Him who first loved us

• Getting ourselves out of the way, and allowing God to love through us by His Spirit

• Act out of love

• Trust in God, believing in His goodness and His love

• Have an eternal perspective

• Accept that suffering and persecution are part of this journey

To have fervent love, is to have God with faith, hope, and love. This is the love that heals and saves. If we are to do good works that bring lasting life, they can only be done with love from above, and by faith in God, otherwise they will become dead works…and a loud clanging bell.

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins. (Proverbs 10:12)

He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends. (Proverbs 17:9)

let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:20)

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)

We love Him because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

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