Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you. (NIV)
It is a given that I have purified myself by obeying the truth. Oh I have to stop and think about that one for a while. Have I really purified myself by obeying the truth? I don’t think I can stand up to perfect scrutiny of my life, my thoughts, or my habits. Yes, I believe that Jesus has purified me, but there is still that ongoing process of becoming more like Jesus. I’ve a long way to go.
One proof that I haven’t made it is that stuff in the verses about having sincere love for my brothers. NASB says that now I should have fervent love for others. Fervent? Synonyms for fervent are: keen, avid, ardent, enthusiastic, passionate, zealous, and fanatical. Well, that just isn’t me. What a lame excuse! I’ve heard it from other and now I’m using it myself. That’s what the power of the Holy Spirit is all about, changing me from who I am into what God wants me to be. Ok, Lord, I need a lot of help in this area.
The whole reason for loving each other is wrapped up in being born again through the Word of God. The Word of God can change me into that loving person. Peter quoted from Isaiah 40:6-8 to contrast the brevity of man to the eternal nature of the Word of God. Jesus stated in Matt 5:18 “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” (RSV) Since Jesus is God and He is also called the Word in John 1:1, I am pretty confident that the Word is going to be around forever.
Since my life is so brief on earth it only makes sense to love one another. All the other stuff of the world is passing away. It is temporary but my brothers and sisters in Christ are not. We will all be together in eternity. How embarrassing it will be to meet a fellow believer in heaven and realize that there was no love for that person on earth. Ouch!
How can I show love to others? A good verse is 1 John 3:16-18 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. (NASB) I am overwhelmed sometimes at the abundance I have here in the West and the poverty of my brethren in other parts of the world. I’m trying to set up an account in our church so that I can help poor Christians in a Pakistan city with Bibles, school supplies, and other aid. If anyone wants to help, let me know at “temp at rayruppert.com.” Just change the at to @ and remove the spaces.