And above all things have fervent love for one another; for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”~1 Peter 4:8 NKJV
Fervent means hot, burning, glowing, or having or showing great warmth or intensity of spirit, feeling, or enthusiasm. This is what God’s love for us is like.
Father God revealed His love when He sent Jesus to be our Savior. How wonderful it would be to have this love to share with others. Of our own devices, we don’t have it. Unless the Lord places it in our hearts through the work of the Holy Spirit, we aren’t able to share divine love.
Jesus asked Peter three times in John 21, “Do you love Me?” Peter answered with the right words “I love You” but he could not express the same depth of love Jesus was asking about. Three times Peter said, “I love you,” but he knew he fell short of understanding the divine love Jesus offered. The unconditional love Jesus has, the original Greek language, is called “agape.” Peter answered with “phileo,” meaning he loved Jesus as a friend.
Jesus offered Peter far more than he had the capacity to receive at that time, so He met him where he was, but He also demonstrated to Peter that he could reach for more.~Glenda Shouse, contributing author to Love Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships
The third time Jesus asked Peter, He said “phileo” instead of “agape.” Because this was the love Peter was able to give and receive, Jesus acknowledged this and met his need. Jesus offered Peter far more than he had the capacity to receive at that time, so He met him where he was, but He also demonstrated to Peter that he could reach for more as their relationship grew over time.
Jesus does this for us as well. He meets us where we are, and in our understanding of who He is, but He doesn’t want us to stay in that place. We are to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18a). How do we “grow”? We spend time with the Lord, dig into the Word of God, and talk to Him in prayer. Friend, are you ready, as I am, to do some stretching so we are positioned to receive all Jesus has for us? His fervent love is worth the effort.
How would you answer the question Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?”
Heavenly Father, thank You for the fervent love You have for me, which is a divine love that will be with me forever. As I receive Your love, show me how to pour this divine love into those You send me to.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.
Copyright 2020: Fervent Love: Author Glenda Shouse: All Rights Reserved
Meet Our Contributor
Glenda Shouse is a devotion writer for VineWords: Devotions and More, and a contributing author to Love-Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing).
Glenda’s prayer shawl ministry, Three-Strand Cord, focuses on imparting hope to ladies going through difficult times. Each recipient is gifted with a hand-crocheted or knitted prayer shawl she has prayed over with each stitch. When possible, Glenda delivers these shawls personally and prays with the recipients.
Those who know Glenda well are aware of her gifting as a prayer warrior. She is a powerhouse of prayer because of her close relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
She is published at Answers2Prayer, Christian Devotions Ministries, PresbyCan, The Upper Room, and other ministries.
In her spare time, Glenda enjoys her role as “Grammy” to her two grandsons. She also enjoys reading, crocheting, and knitting.
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