Love One Another
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.
Preparation for Purity
Throughout the Bible, there is a recurring theme – obedience. It takes different forms, but keeps reappearing. When Abraham believed God, it was credited to him as righteousness. When you believe something, you act in accordance to your belief. If we have faith, we will be obedient.
There is an intimate relationship between faith and obedience. James says that faith without works is dead. The works come from obedience to the belief in faith. It is the obedience to what faith teaches us that leads to the works that God desires for us to accomplish – the works that He has prepared for us to do since before the creation of the universe.
Peter now ties purification – sanctification – to the obedience of truth, which is the word of God. Our faith dictates that we believe the word of God, and therefore, our obedience to it will bring about our purification. And when we are obedient, God will make His home in us, and we in Him.
There are four Greek words for love, and this one is agape. We are to love unconditionally, volitionally, and sacrificially. Here we see “one another” used again. We are to love one another deeply from the heart. When we see “one another”, we are to take it as if the other person is The Lord Jesus Christ Himself. We can be assured that when we love one another as Christ has loved us, we will indeed be lavishing love upon each other. Jesus never held back His love for us, and neither should be hold back our love for one another.
Peter reminds us that we are like seed, to die and grow and bear fruit. And the fruit that we bear is imperishable. The seed we sow will take root and grow, and bear more seed. For the word of God does not come back void; it always has its intended effect upon the soil of the heart. If the soil has been prepared, it will yield back one-hundred fold. If the soil is hard and dry, it may not yield any seed at all. Either way, our seed is being manifested from soil that has grown deep roots that are drinking deeply from the living water of God. And, through brokenness and yielding to the Holy Spirit, the seed being born is from Him.
We know that we are like a mist. We appear for a short while, fragile yet beautiful. Yet in a short while, the mist is no more. But since it is the word of God that is within us, and we are being obedient to the word of God, it is the word of God that will endure. The obedience of faith leads to the permanence of the seed, for the seed does not come from us, but from the word of the Living God, and God endures eternally.
If the seed is from us, and not from God, it will not stand the test of time, for anything that we do in the flesh, and not in obedience to the Spirit of God, will burn up like wood, hay and stubble. Only that which was planted by the Spirit of God will endure the test of time, trial, and fire. The only way to ensure that our work will stand the tests is to be sure that God is the one working through us, for God is eternal, and His work lasts forever.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I allowing God to show His love through me in my obedience to Him?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. You endure forever. You have no beginning, and no end. All that You do lasts for eternity. Help me to yield myself to You completely in obedience to Your word. Guide me and guard me as I am being pulled by my own evil desires to embrace that which does not come from You. Help me to cling tightly to You, so that in obedience to Your word, You will bear Your fruit through me. Help me to be a useful tool for You. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.