“Love At Full Strength” ( 1 Peter 4: 8-9, NEB ) by Carley Evans

Peter calls us to “lead an ordered and sober life, given to prayer” because “the end of all things is upon us.” (1 Peter 4:7) Even above this ordered life, however, Peter urges us to “keep [our] love for one another at full strength.” This brotherly love – at its full strength – “cancels innumerable sins.” Perhaps this is partly true because Jesus recognizes our love for Him in how we treat one another.

Paul says, “I will show you the best way of all.” (1 Corinthians 12:31) The best way is love. Paul reminds that “if [we] have no love, [we] are none the better” even if we “have faith strong enough to move mountains.” (1 Corinthians 13:3) Above all else, “love will never come to an end.” (1 Corinthians 13:8) “There is nothing love cannot face; there is no limit to its faith, its hope, and its endurance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)

Let us love one another.

“A Hidden Life” (1 Peter 2: 24) by Carley Evans

Because Jesus dies while bearing our sins in His body, we are to live to righteousness rather than to sin. “For [we] have died, and [our] life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Colossians 3: 3)

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.” (Colossians 3: 12)

“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4: 8)

Jesus’ love covers a multitude of sins. Our lives of sin are hidden in Christ; our sins being nailed with His body to the tree at the Mount of Olives. Now we live as “God’s chosen ones,” seen by Him “holy and beloved.” Now, we are called back to “the Shepherd and Overseer of [our] souls” (1 Peter 2: 25) by way of Jesus’ sacrifice and our acceptance of His gift of salvation. “According to His great mercy, He causes us to be born again to a living hope through [His] resurrection.” (1 Peter 1: 3)

Our lives are hidden; and we are “born again” to righteousness — a righteousness purchased for us by Jesus Christ.