1 Peter 4 … Consider His Fervent Love

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins, (4:8).

In the Greek, Fervent describes something that is intense, perseveres without ceasing, is constant and continuous. And Love (agape) is not a feeling; it is a decision of the will involving commitment and sacrifice in laying aside the concerns of self for the good of another.

And I couldn’t help my thoughts that emerged. The demands Peter put on these unfortunate, scattered believers seemed so relentless, and the pressure unbearable.

Arm yourselves for suffering. Expect abuse to be piled on because you believe in Jesus. Keep your head in the midst of the persecution. Don’t complain and serve with all your strength. Bear up with joy because it’s great for your faith. Oh, yea, and above all, unceasingly, intensively, sacrificially be more concerned with the needs of others than your own, even if it means you have to overlook their wrongdoings to do so.

And feeling as though these were goals so beyond my reach, I heard myself ask, “Who can really live like that?” It’s a high calling and in reality, an impossibility in our human abilities.

The truth is, when things get tough, especially unjustly tough, our first reaction does not typically resemble rising above the injustice in selfless audacity. It is more likely that we give our strength to focus on how wrongly we have been treated. It’s human nature; or should I say, sin nature.

The New Testament epistles give a great deal of attention to how we are to live as followers of Christ in a world that is diametrically opposed to His Ways and His Word. But predicating every exhortation in godly living is the reality of Who Christ Is and what He has accomplished for us, that we would follow Him and His purposes for us in this life.

Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, (4:1).

And the sufferings of this life are meant to discipline us to follow Him in His Ways and His Word. But maybe like me, you feel more like a failure than a faithful follower.  But He has been so faithful to give us all we need. So, rather than considering our own feeble attempts to keep fervent in love, we will consider His Fervent Love that radically transforms our capacity to live and Love like Jesus.

Consider His Fervent Love

He is the Only One Who Is Faithful, the Only One Who Is Able to Keep Fervent in Love. He is the source because He Himself not only Loves Fervently; He Is Fervent Love.

The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love, (1 John 4:8).

  • His Fervent Love is Endowed as Everlasting
    • The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying,
      “I have loved you with an everlasting love;
      Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness,
      (Jeremiah 31:3).
  • His Fervent Love was Granted in the Gift of His Son
    • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him,” (John 3:16-17).
  • His Fervent Love Led Him to Lay Down His Life
    • “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:12-13).
  • His Fervent Love was Demonstrated in His Death
    • But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, (Romans 5:8).
  • His Fervent Love is Proven in His Presence
    • Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
      36 Just as it is written,
      “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
      37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 8:35-39).
  • His Fervent Love is Manifested in His Mercy
    • But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (Ephesians 2:4-5).
  • His Fervent Love Chooses us as His Children
    • See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him, (1 John 3:1).

How do we respond to His Fervent Love?

Such Love, so Fervent; and so very undeserved. And shouldn’t that be all the incentive we need to follow His example? For how can we withhold from others what we have so undeservedly received ourselves? And while the demands may feel relentless and the pressure unbearable, they are not. He only calls us to do what He has enabled us to do.

His enabling power begins as we fervently love Him.

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him,” (John 14:21).

As we fervently love Jesus, He discloses His Fervent Love that Loved us first, enabling us to follow Him in obedience and in His Fervent Love for others.

We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also, (1 John 4:19-21).

Let us commit our wills to follow Jesus, that we would live for the will of God and His Fervent Love for others.

Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God, (4:1-2).

As we follow Jesus, let us entrust our souls to our Faithful Creator, that we would be more concerned with doing right in keeping His Fervent Love than in being right ourselves.

Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right, (4:19).

Oh, that we would follow His example; rather than being  consumed with our own concerns, let us be willing to sacrifice for the good of another. And in so doing, He will enable us to obey His commandment and walk in His Fervent Love.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:12-13).

Because the truth is, at the end of this life, what else will matter except that we followed Jesus Who followed the will of His Father to cover our sins by His Fervent Love?

Blessed are those whose lawless deeds have been forgiven,
And whose sins have been covered,” (Romans 4:7).

Let us never forget that predicating every exhortation in godly living is the reality of Who Christ Is and what He has accomplished for us. He is only asking that we follow Him and His purposes for us in this life.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins, (4:8).

As we depend on His Holy Spirit to lead us, let us follow His Ways and His Word that others would know we are His. And let us pray that as we keep fervent in our love for one another, others would also be drawn to experience and understand His Fervent Love.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another,” (John 13:34-35).

Let’s Grow Together!

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