Relationships & Grace

John Tilton

"Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." (1 Peter 4:8-10)
Not only does Peter encourage the Jewish Christians to persevere through the persecution they were experiencing in Asia Minor, but he prompts them to be fervent in their love for one another, proclaiming that love can cover over sin. Wow, if we are able to love, grace can flow. If we can't show love, God cannot bestow his love and grace. Thus, Peter's prompting is all about relationship, and then continues in verse 9, encouraging the Jewish Christians to be gracious to one another. His prompting is simple yet profound ... love, grace and servanthood.
My mom always reminded me of he "law of the land" ... self-preservation, and that our basic DNA is to serve one's self. It is so true, as we are taught and reinforced to believe that possession, status and power is everything we need in life. However, this is a fallacy. Why? Well, because we can't take possessions, status and power to the grave. However, if we know Jesus Christ as our savior, we know we will spend eternity with Him. Isn't it wiser to invest time and talent where it will make an eternal difference ... Relationships with others in the sea of grace, where we can then serve one another. I love what a friend told Pastor Wayne about investing his time in gathering friends rather then possessions.

So what is eternal? Walking with God, relationships or loving our neighbor with grace born out of hospitality, and serving with all our hearts.

Recently on our mission tour, I realized how assignment and fulfillment of task are often important aspects of reaching our goals. However, it is genuine love and grace from an authentic heart that will excite and encourage people to follow and serve with encouragement and anticipation.
Lord, my prayer is that you will work in my heart and spirit so that what comes forth from my mouth or body language in the future will be a love and action based on healthy heartfelt relationships and the grace of God. May I not judge, less I be judged. May I be thankful for all that I have so that I am closer in preparation for where and what God calls me to do here in Hawaii.

Devotions for July 26

Isaiah 46,47,48,49
1 Peter 5

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