In our life time there has been an amazing bike racer named, Lance Armstrong. Lance started a foundation called, “Life Strong” that was designed to raise money for fighting the disease of cancer. Many people purchased bracelets that had those words, “Live strong” embedded in them. It was a reminder to them of the battle to fight against cancer every time they saw the bracelet.
Peter gave a very strong challenge to us to “Love strong.” He said, “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves; for charity shall cover the multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:7-8).
We hear a good deal today about the “end of the world,” and while I don’t think the world is coming to an end, I do believe the open door of opportunity we have enjoyed is closing. Because of that, I believe we Christians need to wake up and serve God now while we have the time. Peter reminds us of this very thought in this verse. It is time to be serious about our service to God, and to stop planning to do something, and actually do whatever it is God touches our heart to do.
There should be an urgency in our Christian lives! However, balancing that urgency are five clear words of direction … “have fervent charity among yourselves.” As we realize the importance of the days we are living in, we ought to love each other more. I’m not talking about a romantic love; I am talking about the charity that is described in I Corinthians 13. The kind of love that is patient and kind; that does not envy and is filled with jealousy; a love where a person does not exalt themselves, but others instead; a love that behaves wisely; a love that does not look to satisfy selfish desires, but lives for others; a love that is not easily upset, or holds grudges; a love that thinks the best of others rather than the worst; a love that rejoices in truth, not sin; a love that puts up with a lot, believes strongly in others, demonstrates hope, and continues.
“Fervent charity” will demonstrate itself in these qualities. Will you plan to love others this way today? Will you continue to live selfishly, thinking only of yourself and your desires? Find someone who feels unloved, and make a huge difference in their life today.
“We are not here to COMPETE with each other, but to COMPLETE each other.” – Bill McCartney
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