We’re so conscious of other people’s faults, aren’t we? As we deal with others, let’s be sure that the love of Christ is what motivates us.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again, radio friends, how in the world are you? Yes that cordial, but corny greeting establishes the fact that this is indeed your good friend, Bob Cook, and we’re back together again. You and I. The miles, drop away, and we’re together around the Word of God, I love that, don’t you? My heart warms just at the thought of getting into God’s word and sharing it with you.
Walking through 1st Peter, we’ve come to 1 Peter 4: 7, and you and I’ve been talking about watching unto prayer. Do you remember that? Watching unto prayer? Be alert as you observe what’s going on in life, but use it as an incentive and as a directive to specific praying. Watch unto prayer, why because prayer is God’s leverage in your human living. Prayer is God’s way of getting things done. And if you use what’s happening in life and what may happen as you foresee or plan if you use all of that as a springboard for practical praying, you then have God with you, in the work or in the deal or in the plan.
And Paul’s dictum is true “Ye are laborers together with God. You’re God’s husbandry, you’re God’s building. He uses different figures of speech there. Husbandry is a farm. You’re God’s farm. He wants to raise a harvest from your life. You’re God’s building, he wants a structure that will remain and be beautiful in your life. Invite God into the details of everyday living, would you? How long since you prayed over a grocery list, aside that is from saying, “Oh God, I wish I didn’t have to do this.” how long since you prayed over ordinary decisions, business decisions, household decisions, personal decisions? How long since you prayed over that? Well, many of you do, I know I’m not accusing anybody I’m simply asking, “Isn’t it important that we pray specifically over practical matters?” Watch unto prayer why, because God wants to work his purpose out through you, that’s why. And the more you commit your life to God, the more he can work out His eternal purposes in you, amen?
Now said he’d be therefore sober and watch unto prayer and above all things. Now, what is the most important thing? What is the most important thing according to Simon Peter? He says have fervent love among yourselves for love shall cover the multitude of sins. That word fervent relates to a kind of a bubbling boiling over kettle, bubbling up and boiling over.
Have fervent love among yourselves. Now, why? Because love will cover hide, overshadow the multitude of sins. What’s he talking about? Well, you’re dealing with Christians but Christians are human beings, they turn out to be very human, don’t they? Why does somebody always vote against something in the board meeting, the deacons meeting or the trustees meeting, why does he have to be that way? Well because he’s a human being and because that may be the only place where he can express his opinion, you don’t know. Why does somebody always have a critical word? Why don’t they appreciate how smart I am you say to yourself? We have to deal with human beings. Why is this person so apt to fly off the handle? You got a bad temper. Why is this person so eager to advance himself or herself, and you think, Boy, how proud they are. Why? Will they be in Heaven? Most certainly, they know and love the Lord Jesus. He died for sinners. And that’s what we are, we’re human beings and we have our full quota of faults. Don’t we? Multitude of sins.
Now, I want you to get a contrast here, we won’t get to discussing it for a while. I want you to see the contrast. Love will cover a multitude of sins, that’s verse eight. If you’re looking at your New Testament go down to verse 10, “Good stewards of the manifold grace Of God, Good stewards of the manifold grace Of God.” Oh.
Human nature has plenty of faults. Yes, multitude, multitude that’s a lot. What about God’s grace? Manifold. Where sin abounded, Paul says, “grace did much more abound.” Hey, you don’t just have to cope with people, have you discovered that? You see it’s kind of a bondage, it’s kind of a slavery to go through life saying, “Well I have to cope with this, I have to find out how to manage this. I have to see whether I can win this person over I have to see whether I can cope with this human frailty, this human fault that is in evidence.” It’s a kind of a slavery if you are constantly trying to manage the other person. It’s not to say that you should be gullible, my old boss Vick Cory at Scripture Press used to say, “You don’t have to have a high coefficient of gullibility to be spiritual.” No, you don’t have to be naÃ¯ve and gullible. I’m not saying that. I’m saying that where there is a multitude of human frailties and faults and shortcomings not to say sins.
The grace of God will cover it, and your approach to human frailty, has to be one, not of just coping, but of love. Not just coping with the person, but of love. Now, you do that in your own family, you know, you do. Every child you have is different, one child responds just to a look, another child has to have the application of the board of education or the seat of knowledge. They’re all different, and you take them as they come along and you deal with them. But you deal with them in love. Yes, you’re aware of their foibles, and faults. They show up early enough, don’t they? Yes. How early does temper show up in a little baby? Pretty soon. How early does selfishness show up in a growing child? Pretty soon. But you take them with their full quota of human shortcomings and faults and foibles and whims and you deal with them in love because they’re yours and you just love them. And that helps you through every day. Isn’t that true? Now that’s all that Peter is saying is you’ve got people that are human beings, don’t expect people because they’re saved, to be perfect. You’re in for a great disappointment if you expect that. Every one of us is fallible, every one of us is imperfect. Every person you ever trust except Jesus is gonna fail you somewhere or disappoint you somewhere.
Human beings are not perfect. We will be someday, thank God when we shall see him, we shall be like him for we shall see Him as He is, says John. That’ll be a great day, won’t it? All the imperfections drop away and clothed in the righteousness of Christ, we stand shining before the throne of God, hallelujah.
But right now, you have a new nature, born from above, but you also are a human being, you still have your human traits. So what do you do as you deal with these in others? He said above all, above all, it goes beyond planning it goes beyond smartness, it goes beyond a high IQ, it goes beyond anything you can mention, above all. This is the most important consideration in doing Christian work. Write it down in the notebook of your mind. This is the most important consideration in doing Christian work. What is it have that means to maintain, maintain, fervent love among yourselves? For love will cover a multitude of sins.
You see, your job and mine, among Christians, is not to point out their faults, but to help them. Paul said to somebody at the Philippi as he remarked that Euodia and Syntyche were feuding. Dr. Ironside use to call them, “Euodia and SoonTouchy.” You remember that?
Writing to the people at Philippi, he said to someone whom he called true yoke-fellow, he said, “help those women.” help those women, help them. Your job and mine is to help and encourage and bless, and you do that by the outpouring of divine love, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, Paul says in Romans 5:5. By the Holy Ghost who is given unto to us. You help people by the outpouring of divine love from your life, and that love then is focused into the individual situations through which you’re going. It’s not just a general, just a general sentimentality. We’re not talking about that. It is what, I think Dr. Dobson, called “Tough Love.” Love that knows the score and that sees the facts, but that accept the person for Jesus’ sake. Can you take that in today? Love said he will cover a multitude of sins.
I am aghast at my own deficiencies and shortcomings and failures and sinful tendencies. The older I get, the more I realize how much I need Jesus. How about you? Multitudes! There are more things that God has to operate on in me than I was aware of, let’s say, 40 years ago. I remember what Hilda Nilsen, my mother-in-law said one day when I talked with her. We used to call her Bemor, that’s short for Bestemor. Bestemor is Norwegian for grandmother. And the little kids coming along, couldn’t say Bestemor, so it got shortened to Bemor. And that’s what she was for three decades or more before she went to glory, Bemor.
So I went past her room one day, she was living with us, lived with us for 21 years. What an angel, what a blessed precious lady. And I went past her door and looked in one day into her room, and there she was sitting reading her Bible. She couldn’t read very well because she had glaucoma, but she would hold it up close to her eye, maybe 3, 4 inches away from her eye, and she would read the words, one by one, still cherishing the Word of God, and I interrupted her reading, I said, Bemor? You’ve been a Christian for a long time now, tell me what does Jesus mean to you? She thought a moment and she said, “Well the older I get, the more I need a great savior.” Precious response, isn’t it? Well, you’ll find that out. The multitude of sins. You got a lot for God to work on yet in your life. And so, indeed, have I.
But as we deal with others, my, we’re so conscious of other people’s faults, aren’t we? As we deal with others, let’s be sure that the love of Christ is what motivates us. Paul says, “The love of Christ constraineth us.” The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. How do you get there? How do you get to a place where you are full of love for another human being who may indeed be difficult or downright impossible. How do you do this? You prayed for him or her, and you keep on doing it, until God… The Holy Spirit fills your heart with love for that person and takes out the resentment. That’s what you do. You try that today and find out that the outpouring of divinely given love is going to smooth over many a situation which you couldn’t cope with by yourself. Good idea, huh?
Blessed Lord, help us today to deal with other human beings in the love that God can put in our hearts, I ask in Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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