In I Peter 4 beginning in verse 8 we find these words:
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
I was sitting at lunch with my parents yesterday thinking I want to go home. Mom was having an odd day. It happens every once in a while, it's due to Parkinson's disease, it has affected her more like Alzheimer's than what we think of when we think Parkinson's. She was just not herself. I could feel resentment building inside. I kept a smile on my face and outwardly appeared to be a loving daughter, but inside I was becoming angry.
I prayed when I arrived home, I said God what is wrong with me today? Why couldn't I just blow off the remarks which got to me? I opened my Bible Study workbook to catch up, I was 2 days behind schedule. I had to laugh. The material covered was love...Godly love. I am not a Greek scholar, but I know I Peter 4:8 refers to Agape - Godly love. I looked up several verses pertaining to Godly - Agape - love for the lesson. If I had only studied the Word before lunch!
One of the greatest passages of the Bible is I Corinthians 13, here is an excerpt that hit me between the eyes after lunch:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Agape love, Godly love is what the passage is about, not the brotherly love we have for one another. As good as it is, brotherly love cannot compare with Agape love. I pray we are filled with His love - Agape - for the people in our sphere of influence today. Nothing can win people to Christ like His love.