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Constant Love

Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 NRSV

You've heard me mention the movie Princess Bride before; there is a quote from one of the main characters, Inigo Montoya, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." Often when we talk about love, I wonder if we truly comprehend its meaning. We accept God's abundant love extended to us through Jesus Christ, who offered his body as the living sacrifice for our multitude of sins.

While we believe and are willing to accept this grace for ourselves, we sometimes fall short of showing that same love to others. Before I go on, let me say love doesn't mean condoning. We must never accept sin but must love the person–even the repeat offender. That person who wittingly or perhaps unwittingly gets under your craw, we are to constantly and earnestly–without the feeling of superiority–forgive them in love.

There are two sides to this coin; sometimes, we are on the receiving end of the sin, and at other times we may be the offenders. As recovering sinners, we are not to abuse God's grace. Yes, God's love for us is abundant. He is faithful when we are not and offers us complete forgiveness. However, we are not to willfully test the limits of His love (Deut. 6:16) to the multitude of our sins. Don't keep doing the same thing repeatedly with the expectation of forgiveness. Likewise, we should not assume nor abuse the limits of love for each other.

We demonstrate God's love towards each other through our words–those verbalized and those unspoken–and our actions. Peter continues in verse 11, "Whoever speaks must do so as one speaking the very words of God; whoever serves must do so with the strength that God supplies, so that God may be glorified in all things through Jesus Christ."

God, help us to love each other as you love us constantly. May we not abuse your direct grace, not your grace shown through others. May all our words and actions uplift and be examples of your glory for the world. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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