Love One Another Deeply
Read 1 Peter 1:22–2:3
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. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For,
“All people 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 endures forever.”
And this is the word that was preached to you.
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
In Peter’s final instruction—to love one another deeply—he shifts his attention from our relationship with God to our relationship with other people. Because we have been born again by putting our faith in Jesus Christ, and thus receiving the Holy Spirit, we can love. And what does love look like? Peter says love is first refraining from acting in ways that destroy relationship—malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. Imagine if we could all eliminate these actions and attitudes! Peter circles back again to our relationship with God, instructing us to crave pure spiritual milk, meaning the life offered and sustained by God through Jesus Christ. By doing so, we will be empowered to love.
- Reflect on the actions and attitudes from which Peter calls us to rid ourselves. When you read these, which one stands out as something you struggle with? What would it mean to rid yourself of that action or attitude? What help do you need from God?
- Who in your life could you confess the action or attitude you identified in the question above? How might you ask that person to help you refrain and move more deeply into love?
- What is God seeking to draw your attention to through today’s passage?
God, thank You for the powerful reminder of what gets in the way of love. I see each of these actions and attitudes in myself from time to time. I long to be free to love and to rid myself of anything that breaks relationships. I need healing for this to happen. Bring to light the deep hurts in my life that cause me to act in unloving ways. And by Your Spirit, change me, heal me, and give me the strength and faith to love others well. Amen.
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