Since you have purified yourselves by your obedience to the truth, so that you show sincere brotherly love for each other, from a pure heart love one another constantly, because you have been born again—not of perishable seed but of imperishable—through the living and enduring word of God. (1 Peter 1:22-23)
Pastor John’s Notes:
As God has loved us, so should we also love one another. The kingdom of Jesus Christ is a kingdom of love. Sometimes loving each other seems out of reach, especially in a culture where bitterness and hostility grow so readily. But Peter here gives us the key: constant love comes from a pure heart. In order for us to fulfill God’s command, we must first purify our inner life.
Imagine a beautiful, well-kept garden surrounding a great estate. The garden is beautiful because each day, the gardener does a walk-through to ensure that all is well. The gardener carries a bucket and pulls a weed or two. In the same way, our heart is kept pure by constant vigilance. Each day, we should do a heart-check, turning our perception inward to see if any hatred or animosity is growing. When we keep our inner life pure, we will then be able to love others constantly, as God has commanded us.
Lord, teach me to love others, as you have loved me. Let my heart be pure and free from all the weeds of bitterness and hatred. Let the beautiful plantings of grace, kindness, and holiness grow within me.