1st Peter 2:17 is one dynamic, powerful little verse. Praise God that the Spirit included it in the Holy Scriptures!
Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Four sentences. Four points. Four challenges. Much could be written about each, but for now our focus is on but one.
Love the brotherhood. What a sweet, sweet sentence. I think it is time we took this to heart. Truly.
Too often I have noticed that we haven’t. Too often we have been unloving, unwilling to accept one another and unsympathetic. And our history is littered with the resulting damage.
I realize our brotherhood is imperfect. But imperfections do not somehow suspend our call to love and to treat one another as sons and daughters of the King.
Peter said love the brotherhood. He did not say always agree with everyone in it. He did not say force the brotherhood to hold your convictions. He certainly did not say divide the brotherhood.
Loving the brotherhood is an amazing heavenly concept that will produce a people providing a powerful witness to the God who reigns in heaven.
A brotherhood where love rules will create an atmosphere where disagreements are properly handled (Matthew 18:15); where kindness and tender affection will define us (Romans 12:10); where the simple truth of God will always be presented as a gift of love (Ephesians 4:15); and where our love example will testify to the credibility of our Messiah (John 13:15).
Isn’t this what we should want?
The brotherhood, after all, belongs to Jesus. He is our head. (Ephesians 5:23) Why not allow him to protect it, guide it, and judge it. Our call is just to love it.
That sure has a sweet sound to it.
And a sweeter result.