November 28, 2017

Living Means Loving

1 Peter 4:1-11

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

—  1 Peter 4:8-9

In today’s verses we’re called to a way of life based on what Christ has done for us. He submitted and suffered, and we now await his return, when he will “judge the living and the dead.” So Peter says, “Therefore, be alert. . . . Above all, love each other deeply. . . .”

In my Bible this section of 1 Peter is labeled “Living for God.” This reminds me of an old song 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” in these lines. He was someone who tried very hard but didn’t always succeed. Yet he did learn that “love covers over a multitude of sins.” Christ’s love covered Peter’s sins, and it covers ours too.

Peter says, “The end of all things is near,” and then he explains that we should remain alert, be in prayer, and focus on loving each other. In line with this he adds, “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Peter would have understood hos­pitality as more than greeting people before or after a worship service. It also means more than having just our friends over for dinner. What about newcomers and those who are not like us?

Living for God means that our relationships with others are expressed in self-sacrificing ways, including real hospitality without grumbling. It could have amazing results!

Lord, we want to show our love for you in all we do. Empower us with the love and warmth of your Spirit, we pray. Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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