Summary: A description of what love is all about.
1 Peter 4:7-11. Exandi 1927. Volume 1. Page 55.
The end is at hand. This truth is apparent to all, if we will but open our eyes, for it is a common, every day experience that of all the things we can see and feel nothing abides, but perishes under hand. The great floods of the Mississippi again illustrate this. With one sweep of its devastating waters rich farmlands and cities are destroyed. The crops they expected to harvest this year have been destroyed. He who builds for this world only must expect forgiveness find himself very much disappointed in the end for the end of all things is at hand.
St. Peter admonishes us, Be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. Prayer is a gift of God. It is one of the gifts that Jesus purchased for us when he ascended to heaven. For St. Paul says when Jesus ascended up on high he gave gifts unto men. Prayer is the privilege of a child of God. A heathen may babble with many words and call it prayer, but it is merely a making and repetition of words, while the child of God pours out his heart to God in prayer.
The prayer of faith is a great power, for the all powerful Lord is behind it to give what the child of God prays for. We should not begin anything without prayer. We should not collect for a Seminary, but pray for it. That we still lack enough funds to cover the cost of our Seminary is caused I am sure by the fact that there is not enough whole hearted praying for it. How many of you even remembered this work of God in your prayers? You are receiving a pamphlet today that gives you the financial report on our collections for the missions of our church during the last two years. The books for this 2 year term closes June 30th, and we are still a couple hundred thousand behind our goal. Another proof that there has not been enough whole hearted praying for the welfare of these missions. Thousands have poured in to the Red Cross for the flood victims. A good share of that goes to the administration of the relief, while the victims themselves receive little. There are greater flood victims we are seeking relief for in our Mission work, the victims of sin, who are etneral lost, whose eternal home is lost to them without the gospel we alone can bring to them. Let us therefore earnestly turn to our all powerful Lord in prayer, beseeching Him in Jesus’ name to give us the necessary means to give this great and noble lasting relief.
A drunken man cannot pray. Therefore he says, “Be sober”, etc. When we have stopped our own stomachs with food and drink we cannot fervently beseech God for those who have not the food of everlasting life. It were better for us both spiritually and bodily, if we gave less thought to the desires of the stomach and more energy to prayer. The end is at hand and what benefit is anything this earth can give to us then? Watch and pray.
The nearness of the end of all things should also induce us to fervent love toward one another. The old English word for love is charity. Charity has changed its meaning since the Bible was written. Love is the first and foremost of all virtues, for no deed is good unless it is done in love. If we love one another, that love will always guide us to do the right thing at the right time, for love worketh us ill to his neighbor. Whenever we are in doubt as to what would be the right thing to do, we need but ask ourselves, “What would love induce me to do?” We can notice that love has grown cold in many respects. It can only grow by exercising it. What the world calls love today is in most cases nothing but sexual lust, the devil’s substitute for love.
Love is forgiving in nature, for he says, Charity shall cover the mulstitutde of sins. Some seem to interpret this passage in the meaning charity has today and think they can cover their own sings by gifts to the poor. Thus we find men robbing millions and then giving large donations to colegges to cover up their love for money. The word of God here does not say that you should cover up your own sins by charity, but you should show charity toward the sins of others. That is if you love your neighbor you will rather forgive and forget their sins and if they be a multitude than to be ready to condemn. A mother will overlook the many faults of her own child while she may not be as ready to overlook the faults of other people’s children, because the love is not there that she has for her own child. Such love we should have toward all, have fervent love among yourselves. That that refers to us so Christians especially. We are one family in Christ and will be one in heaven.