1 Peter 4:8 says,  “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” I was reading in my commentary that the word “deeply there was used to describe the taut muscles of an athlete who strains to win a race. The Believer’s love is to be sacrificial…it strenuously maintains love but it is not blind to the faults of others. What a challenge. “Lord, help us to love deeply those around us…even the unlovely and the unkind. May you give us the strength to love them strenuously for your glory and may you give us wisdom to know what that love looks like. Will your love best displayed in the form of a hug or a truthful conversation given with love? Thank you for the wisdom you give. In Jesus Name. Amen.”

I have been reading in 1 Peter 4:7. Peter makes the statement that the end of all things are near and then he gives these directives: Be clear minded…self controlled so you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. He goes on from there speaking about being hospitible without being grumpy (paraphrase) and using our gifts for God. I find it curious that He doesn’t say the end of all things is here…so for heaven’s sake PANIC. Those words are not there. He doesn’t say the end of all things is near so have a good time and escape through whatever it takes to help you ditch reality. He also doesn’t say the end of all things is near so just think about you and your family. Rather Peter challenges us to do things that that will make a difference for eternity and they are simple things to do basically on a good day. But this is the end of the world we are talking about and he is telling us to pray, love, be hospitable and use our gifts. These are the actions that God is pleased with and gets behind and yet these actions are decidedly difficult to live out when we are afraid for our future. Truly they are impossible to live out apart from God. Peter wraps up that section by saying, “If anyone serves, he should to it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen” That strength of God is what will help us to be clear minded, self controlled, praying, loving, hospitable and serving others regardless of what lies ahead. “Lord, help us to keep our eyes on you when things look so terribly bleak. Help us remember you didn’t create us for panic, but for your glory so that we may carry out the good works you have called us to do regardless if the end is near or not. Thank you Lord for the strength you give and most of all thank you for blessing it is to be your child and know that you are on the throne and I don’t need to panic. In Jesus Name. Amen

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 I love this command by Jesus. We are to come to Him. And Follow Him. That verb represents a life time of movement. You can’t follow someone if you don’t move WITH them. Sometimes i think the greatest challenge is walking with Him into the places He leads us. In Scripture, he was often leading his disciples right into the thick of things with many people in great need. Not many of us want to jump on the band wagon to step into such places. But there are other times He calls his disciples to pull away and pray with Him or just fellowship with Him. These are the places that refuel us, strengthen us and help us gain our perspective. We can’t follow Him to the hard places and thrive if we haven’t a cultivated the habit of following Him into His quiet fellowship.