Love Without Ceasing {Day 17}

Love
"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." ~1 Peter 4:7-9

Peter connects two integral aspects of the Christian life in this text: prayer and love. In verse 7 he exhorts believers to live self-controlled lives "for the sake of your prayers." In verse 8 he commands them to love fervently (or earnestly and without ceasing), because love covers the sins of others. This kind of love is sacrificial, not self-seeking and understands the gospel of grace. The definition for being "sober-minded" in the Greek is this:

  1. to put a moderate estimate upon one's self, think of one's self soberly

Culture has taught us to have the opposite of sober thinking. Instead, we've been told to do all things for the glorification of ourself - whether it be eating, exercise, working, traveling, etc. The way of the Gospel-centered life is to be selfless. Did you see that little word "less." The principle of John 3:30 should be the goal of our hearts: more Jesus, less me.

The more Jesus is evident in our lives and in our every actions, the more the world will see the power of the Gospel in and through us. Our prayers should be centered around the will of God and the advancement of the Gospel. Our love should spring from the love and grace we received at the cross. We have no room to ever hold another's sins against them. Just as God has forgiven us, so we should also forgive others.

Fervent love covers a multitude of sins. This is done but the power of the Gospel. Love gives up all rights to itself. Elisabeth Elliot once described love in a beautiful way:

“This love of which I speak is slow to lose patience - it looks for a way of being constructive.
Love is not possessive.
Love is not anxious to impress nor does it cherish inflated ideas of its own ideas.
Love has good manners and does not pursue selfish advantage.
Love is not touchy.
Love does not keep account of evil or gloat over the wickedness of other people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good men when truth prevails.
Love knows no limits to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that stands when all else has fallen.”

How can we be women who love without limits, pray with sober minds and give without complaining? By soaking in the grace of God through His Word everyday and keeping our eyes focused on the cross. It is here that we find true life.

seeking to love like this,

Gretchen