Late Monday afternoon, I stopped by the grocery store to get some bananas. There were so many people inside. I smiled and thought to myself, “It must be Christmas Eve.” Wrong. It was Valentine’s Eve. Oh my! I walked up and down a few aisles just to see what people were buying. The card aisle was p.a.c.k.e.d. The floral department was swarming with men picking up every possible kind of floral bouquet. Others had chocolate covered strawberries and stuffed animals in their carts.
“Above all, have fervent and unfailing love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins [it overlooks unkindness and unselfishly seeks the best for others].” ~1 Peter 4:8 (Amplified)
We are instructed, “above all,” to love one another. See also 1 Corinthians 13:13 – “but the greatest of these is love.” Kind acts and unselfish behavior need to be part of each day – when I’m standing in line at the store, sitting in traffic, talking to my husband and kids, or waiting on the phone to speak with a service representative. It doesn’t take long for me to become impatient, selfish, and provoked in these everyday situations. Ouch. I need to unselfishly seek the best for others – practice unfailing love – with great fervor.
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” ~1 Peter 4:9 (NIV)
The dictionary offers this definition for hospitality – “The act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward.” I have been on the receiving end of some amazing, “no strings attached” hospitality. When we moved to Dallas for seminary, the house we were planning to rent wasn’t quite ready for us to occupy the day we arrived in town. There were 5 of us sitting in the car with no place to live. We knocked on the front door of a seminary professor and shared our plight. They insisted that we stay with them for the next 4 days. What a humbling experience and a beautiful example of biblical hospitality!
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s grace.” ~1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)
If the gift of laundry was a spiritual gift, then I’ll tell you that my mother’s spiritual gift is laundry. She loves to do laundry and it’s wonderful thing when she visits our house. She serves our family well by completing this mundane task.
Do you know what your spiritual gift(s) is? Are you using your spiritual gift(s) to serve others? An important guide to making a difference in your church, at work, or home is to be plugged in and to utilize your spiritual gift(s) on a regular basis. God wants each of us to be good stewards and to use the gift(s) He has given us to serve the body of Christ. You may want to take this spiritual survey to discover your spiritual gifts – http://giftstest.com
Peter offers these 3 commands as an outline for how we should live each and everyday. To put it simply, we are called to:
- Love One Another – practice unfailing love with great fervor
- Offer Hospitality to One Another – without grumbling
- Serve One Another – as a good steward of God’s gifts