Words of Faith 1-16-2020
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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1 Peter 1
 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.
It is the command of Jesus (John 15:17). He said it is the essence of the law-- Love God and love one another. The truth is that Jesus calls us to do more than just tolerate one another. The Gospel calls us to do more than be nice to one another. We are to love one another. Peter says deeply. What does that mean?
Frankly, we live in an age in which that can be a little difficult. A gesture of Christ's love can be misunderstood. The openness to love in the body of Christ can be misused. That may be why Peter says deep Christian love starts with purity. "Now that you have purified yourselves..." Without purity, we can become so very confused.
Purity is not something we do, but rather something that God's Truth does in us. We ask God to make us pure, and He purifies us. It is something we receive. When we are pure, we are free to love in ways the world does not know about or understand.
The world has rigid boundaries regarding love because it knows nothing of purity. Class distinctions and cultural barriers tell us who we can love and who we should not. In Christ, we have something pure that transcends all of that. There is a freedom to love that a culture centered on the god of Self cannot ever understand.
Don't misunderstand. The expression of genuine Christian love is always appropriate. Agape love is not rude or self-seeking (1 Cor. 13:5). The love of Christ never leads us to an expression that "takes" from others. Hugs that are unwelcome or make someone uncomfortable or that last too long are not inspired by Christ. Jesus frees us to love in purity and unselfishly.
Jesus even sets us free to love from a distance, without reciprocation, and love without any expression but prayer. Men can genuinely and sincerely love other men. Women can love women. Men can love women in purity as they express blessing appropriately and are mindful of temptation.
This love is patient and kind. Deep love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. Deep love is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Deep love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Deep love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. This deep love never fails (1 Cor. 13:4‑8).
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.
Lord, purify me. Love those around me with Your pure deep love. In Jesus' name.
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.
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