Love is the last faith supplement Peter gives us in his list, but is definitely not the least important for us to grow in!
“Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.” (2 Peter 1:5-7)
This love is different from brotherly affection. In my last post, I explained that brotherly affection means cherishing our fellow believers. Love is much more than that.
Of course our minds instantly think of 1 Corinthians 13: “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (NLT)
That is a whole lot more than mere affection for one another! We are told that love is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), but we are also instructed to “…consider how to stir up one another to love…” (Hebrews 10:24 ESV). If it depended wholly upon the Spirit, we wouldn’t need to encourage one another to grow in love. It’s a product of our obedience to His leading, and submission to His work in our lives. We work on it together!
It is the love Jesus spoke of in John 13:34 when he told his disciples, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (NLT) And how did He love us? By laying down his very life for us.
Loving one another may involve actually losing our lives for them, but more often it involves choosing to act in their best interest. Paul writes, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:12-14).
Love is a choice. How will you choose to love today?
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