“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NKJV)
Fervent love is a choice, and it comes with effort. The word fervent means “to be stretched,” and has also been used to describe a runner, straining toward a finish line.
Some versions render the thought as a command to love earnestly. Earnest love endures with patience and forgives the unforgivable. It is an echo of the love we receive from God. In the Jesus Storybook Bible, Sally Lloyd Jones calls it God’s “never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.”
Practicing this kind of love for one another is really the only way for us to be “the church.” This Sunday, as we prepare to gather for worship, let’s ask God to give us fervent love for one another. Anchored in the bedrock of our awareness of how much we have been forgiven, let’s strain to pass on that over-the-top love to others.
Grateful for God’s love and forgiveness,