A Love that Transforms (1 Peter 4:8-10)
1 Peter 4:8-10 (NASB) 8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Be hospitable to one another without complaint. 10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Our memory verses this week are elaborating the principle expressed in verse 7, “to be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.” Peter shares the need for Love, Hospitality, and use of Spiritual Gifts to serve one another.
The believer is to love with the ultimate love, the love of fervency. And note: fervent love is to be put before all else. It is the most important duty of the believer. We are to strain every ounce of energy in our minds and hearts to love.
The most wonderful thing happens when we love each other with a fervent love: a multitude of sins is covered. What does this mean? First, it means that when we love, we are not hating and reacting and sinning. Second, it means that when we love, we are living with a forgiving spirit and we are forgiving others, not living with a sinful and unforgiving spirit. And third, it means that when we love, we are more likely to reach those who do evil toward us and thereby to win them to Christ and to a life of love and ministry upon the earth.
Believers show hospitality and we do it ungrudgingly. The early believers had to open their homes to one another or else the church would have had difficulty surviving.
It is almost impossible to maintain a loving and caring church and a dynamic ministry unless believers are fellowshipping together in their homes. In fact, Christ taught that we are to use our homes as centers of Christian love, fellowship, and outreach. Believers are to open our homes without grudging, that is, without murmuring or complaining. When we do so joyfully we can expect great things of God.
What would happen if we began to set up a home within every community for Christ, a home that was a center for love, fellowship, worship, and outreach?
We use our gifts ministering as good stewards of God. The word “gift” (charisma) means the very special ability given to the believer by God. Note that the gift is from God; it is not a natural talent. The believer could not have attained nor secured the ability himself. It is a spiritual gift; that is, it is given by the Spirit of God for spiritual purposes. It is given to the believer so that he can fulfill his task on earth. Believers are to use their gifts serving and ministering to one another. Every believer’s task is to use his gift to build up believers in the church and in witnessing and ministering to the world.
If for no other reason, these verses should inspire us to join a connection group and practice love, hospitality and use our gifts to build up the group.