“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins,” 1 Peter 4:8. Proverbs goes a step further,“ Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers ALL transgressions,” Proverbs 10:12.
Many Christians today seem to place a lot of importance on who they are in Jesus and what was promised them, while subtly ignoring Jesus’ call to love one another, just as He has loved us. That’s quite a bit of love that we received from Jesus. It went so far as to Him laying His life down for us. How does our love for the brethren measure up to Jesus’ love for us? If a brother sins and asks our forgiveness, doe we forgive? If he does it again, do we forgive again? If he does it seventy times, do we forgive each time? If we love him, we do.
Paul said, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor,” Romans 12:9, 10.
Dear friends, if a brother sins and is brought to repentance, that brother is devastated, and needs help from his brethren to substantiate the fact that the Lord has forgiven him. That is the only way to receive a prodigal son, by accepting him with open arms in the name of Jesus, and celebration for his honesty and the Lord’s mercy.
I spent a few years in bars before I became a Christian and I can honestly say I was more welcome and accepted in them, than I’ve ever been in church. I didn’t know what judgment was until I got into church. I’m not finding fault; I’m stating fact. I’m not inferring that all Christians are judgmental; I’m saying that many are. And those who are judgmental are a detriment to the aroma of mercy that circulates through the church. The old saying goes, ‘You are as weak as your weakest link’ and those who sit in judgment of their fellow men hinder the truth of mercy and grace.
We must, again I say ‘must’, allow the Holy Spirit to leads us in the ways of God. We have no right to form our own opinions, or doctrines. We must always yield to the Holy Spirit, as He speaks of what He hears, and discloses the truth to us.
We are never going to reach maturity until we learn to love one another as Jesus loves us. Many are looking for an awakening, but I’m afraid an awakening would likely blind some of them. Years ago Jesus told me my ministry has to do with the restoration, Acts 3:21. The time is near. Don’t be left behind.
Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant