Peter’s Blog

Rev. Dr. Peter Holmes

Peter Holmes, BA, MDiv, DMin is the Minister of the Congregation at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church.

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Walking Together – Monday

Walking Together – A Daily Devotional
Monday, November 25, 2019
Today’s Texts Micah 7:11-20; Matthew 14: 22-36; 1 Peter 4: 7-19; Matt. 20: 29-34; Psalm 144

Focus Text: 1 Peter 4: 7-19
The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining. Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. 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. To him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker. Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name. For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?” Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good.

“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins.” As he wrote these words, Peter had a strong sense that the second coming of Christ was at hand and that therefore all Christians should keep their houses in order. He believed that order started with love. When Peter wrote that love covers a multitude of sins he meant that we must be slow to anger and quick to forgive and not be broadcasters of others’ faults and weaknesses. One can’t help but think of 1 Cor. 13 where Paul writes, “… Love is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” However, because 1 Cor. 13 seems to be reserved for weddings we may fall into the trap of thinking it was written only for wives and husbands, but Paul wrote those words for the church and especially for those in the church who were not getting along.

When Peter wrote, “Love covers a multitude of sins,” he too was writing to the church. He prefaced those words by echoing the words Jesus had spoken in the Upper Room, “Above all love one another.” Not only does this mean we forgive a multitude of sins but also that we take no delight in and gossip over another’s downfall, and that we quietly pray for our friends and enemies alike and hold nothing back in love. It is not easy, because some of those sins may involve times when someone stepped on our toes or trampled on our pride, but Peter instructs us to let go. It doesn’t mean we can forgive all sin – only God can do that but we can pray for help in that good work. And of course there are some sins we must not turn a blind eye to, but even in those times when we need to be tough, we must seek to ensure that we are driven only by love.

This text also reveals that Peter was painfully aware that some of his readers were suffering persecution for their faith. Nonetheless he instructed them to pursue love and not vengeance or hatred. The only way I know to triumph in love in the face of such obstacles is to cling to Jesus and to the cross and let the words of Jesus ring true in our hearts and allow them to speak through our lives, “Father, forgive them they know not what they do.” Christ’s redemptive work on the cross covered all sin. Thanks be to God.

Prayer

Gracious God, you know us better than we know ourselves. Search our hearts and see if there be any unclean way in us and forgive us that we might live in the love of Jesus. Thank you for your love and forgiveness poured out on the cross and extended afresh with every sunrise. O Lord your mercies are new every morning. Even so may your love and mercy echo through our lives that those lost in the shadows might look to your new day, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen