Since my last post about really loving, the Spirit keeps zeroing in on Scriptures that focus on loving each other. Hmmm. I suppose this is all part of an answer to my prayer, a plea to transform my loving.
I feel I know so little about how to love with Christ’s love. That’s why we depend on His Spirit to help us, right? How else could loving as God loves ever happen in our lives?
Yet there it is, time and again in Scripture — the command to love. “Love each other as I have loved you.” Love each other as brothers and sisters. Without love, we are nothing more than annoying noise.
Several truths shine for me today in these words from Peter:
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.
For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. (1 Peter 1:22,23 NLT)
There it is again — love deeply with all your heart. That echoes Paul’s words to really love, don’t just pretend to love.
These words were written by Peter, a man who surely struggled just as much as I do with my old nature. His transformation after Jesus’ death and resurrection is astonishing. By human standards, such change in a person might seem impossible. But the Holy Spirit took hold of Peter, and he lived a new life.
Peter’s words here tell me, Love, because you are born again, a new creature. And because loving here will have consequences that last forever.
Love, because you are born of God, you are now God’s child.
Love like your Father teaches you to love.
Love, because He loves.
Love, because you have been born into this new life and brought into the kingdom of Christ — and love is the standard of living here in this kingdom.
Love, because love has eternal consequences. What I do now is part of my eternal life! Like a toddler taking baby steps, my Father is teaching me to love in a way that will end someday in my running and jumping in love!
One more comforting, encouraging, hopeful word from these verses: This new life (and love) comes from the eternal, living word of God. Only God gives a new life. Only God gives such a love. I’m taking baby steps, but the Father is holding my hand and encouraging and supporting and coaxing His daughter along.
Spirit of the living, life-giving, eternal God, transform my loving!