Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, --1 Peter 1:22 (NKJV)Love one another fervently. Do you hear the strength of that word? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines fervent as:
Can you honestly say that you love others around you fervently? Outside of your spouse (some of you may even be giggling here), outside of your children. Do you love your neighbor with a very hot love? Do you love the elders and deacons of your church with a glowing intensity? Do you love your child's teacher or T-ball coach with a great intensity of feeling? Do you love that annoying lady that never stops talking or asking for favors with a zealous love? Do you love others fervently?
Let's get real here. I snickered as I wrote this. I have very good neighbors, but I am not sure that I would characterize my relationship with them as very hot. Sometimes my feelings toward the leadership in the church is glowing from frustration, but not love! I hardly know my child's t-ball coach. I do not feel zealous about certain people in our congregation (a few faces pop into my conscious!). Bottom line - I do not love everyone with this fervent love. But this is what Christ asks of us! After spending the week in South Dakota on the mission trip, I saw an example of that fervent love. Our team loved those kids fervently with a pure heart. I saw it in action. I saw it in the sacrifices. I saw it in the drive to continue when all human strength was depleted.
My challenge this week for us both, dear sister, is to love others fervently. Open your heart and share your love with the difficult to love. Get to know those around you better. Forgive the minor annoyances easier. Imagine a world where we all loved fervently. We can do it!