1Thessalonians 5:2 states, “For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” How should we be ready for Christ’s return? In Part One, I explained why the New Testament writers thought the end was close. In Part Two, I describe how the Apostle Peter thought we are to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ and how to complete our life’s race in victory. Part Three clarifies why you are to stay alert and sober-minded for the purpose of prayer until Christ’s return. This post explains why love identifies a real Child of God and how love covers many sins.
Matthew 24:44 states, “Therefore, you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” How should we be ready for Christ’s return? 1Peter 4:7-10 tells us what we must be doing when Christ returns.
1Peter 4:7-10 (NIV) states, The end of all things is near.
―Therefore, be alert (ESV says, be self-controlled; NAS says, be of sound judgment) and
―of sober mind so that you may pray.
―Above all, love each other deeply (fervently; earnestly) because love covers over a multitude of sins.
―Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
―Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
What does it mean to love each other deeply?
To love each other deeply is to love like God. He sent His only Son to be like us in every way and suffer the same temptations so He can help us endure and escape (see Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:14-16; and 1Corinthians 10:13.) God loves us so fervently that He asked His son to pay the penalty for our sin by being the perfect lamb and die on the cross for all humanity’s sins. John 1:29 states, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” Because God made us in His image, we can love as He does. But we can’t, why not?
How are we to love deeply and fervently?
When you love fervently, you love with great intensity of spirit, feeling, and enthusiasm. How many people do you know that love like this? I know I don’t. Why don’t I and most of humanity love others deeply? I can speak for myself that I don’t love with great intensity because of my soul’s wounds. I have put a guard up around my heart because I endured a lot of hurt from sinful people. Yet, when Jesus comes back, He is looking for people who love others fervently. Why? Because love covers a multitude of sins.
Sin is doing evil when we forsake God and disobey His loving, protective commands. He commands us to love (Luke 10:27 and Matthew 22:37-49.) 1Corinthians 13:3-7 tells us, “If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4) Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. 7) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” The only way we can love as God loves is to purify our hearts from the hurt and offenses imposed on us by those who did not love us and sinned against us. I wrote a post on how to love from a pure heart called Love From a Pure Heart. I also wrote two posts on why and how to purify your heart WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL? and Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul.
Why do we sin, and how does love cover sin?
Genesis 4:7, “sin is crouching at the door, and its desire is toward you, but you must rule over it.” God is telling Cain to rule over or master his thoughts of anger and jealousy, but he didn’t and killed his brother Able.
Anger is not a sin because God gets angry, and He is perfect.1 Anger indicates you are offended by a perceived unfairness or unmet expectation. The term offended means to feel irritated, annoyed, or displeased because of someone’s sin, negligence, or disregard. Ephesians 4:26-27 states, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” We, too, must master our angry thoughts so we don’t act on the sinful desire to punish. More than that, we must master angry thoughts, so Satan does not influence our thinking. All sin begins in your mind as a temptation to give in to fleshly desires or to seek justice for an offense.2 LOVE COVERS SINS BY FORGIVING AND NOT HOLDING AN OFFENSE AGAINST THE OTHER PERSON. Proverbs10:12 states, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” And Proverbs 17:9 states, “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.” God’s love forgives our sins so that we can forgive others their sins and cover them with love. Read my post called WHY MUST YOU FORGIVE.
When Christ returns, will He find you loving people by forgiving them and not taking up an offense against them? Love is challenging because it involves sacrificing our right to punish when we think we have been mistreated. 1John 4:8 states, “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” God will know only those who love Him and loves other people. Read my short book on this website to begin transforming painful memories that prevent you from loving with fervency, 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories.
1. God’s anger: Numbers 22:22; Judges 2:12; and Revelations 14:10.
2. Hanscom, Joyce, Unseen Battles For Your Mind-not yet in published.
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