Love is Sincere -1 Peter 1:22-25
May 18, 2023, 9:21 AM

22 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. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 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.

Why does Peter call for sincere love? Much of love we see around us is not sincere. We know what it is like to put on a happy face and smile and shake someone’s hand and be hypocritical about it all. We know phoniness because we have exhibited it too often. Love is something that people can easily pretend.

Our brothers and sisters in Christ are our spiritual family, involving the church and believers of all nations and all colors.

Can there be sincere love? Absolutely. It comes from Jesus being our Lord and all believers are united in Him.

Ron MacMillian told of his experience with sincere love with Brother Jonah, a traveling evangelist in Asia at the age of 73 years. One Sunday they decided to drop in on a house-church leader. Jonah was informed they had a division in their church. Three of the five elders took half the church away and they no longer fellowshipped together. The division had to do with the details of when Jesus was to return to earth.

Brother Jonah called the original elders together for a meeting. He had been one of the evangelists who helped start the church and indeed had selected some of the elders. It was reported that afternoon six elders gathered in the house, the atmosphere was tense and strained. Jonah said nothing. They looked at him. He sat down. All the sudden great sobs heaved his body, tears cascaded down his cheek and he cried out in deep anguish. "O Lord, how we have dirtied your holy name." His grief, was so genuine and so deep, it broke the strained atmosphere and soon all the elders were weeping. The Lord's name had been dishonored; the elders confessed, repented and were reconciled. There were no words, no fingers pointed, no voices raised, no issues aired. Tears were enough.

Do you know what maturity is? It is sincere love and indeed a desire, to love the brothers so deeply that it also reflects the spiritual love that comes from Jesus. Sincere love hurts when there is division among brothers in Christ. As Christ is grieved, so we are grieved to see fighting over anything that isn't brought under the cross. A love for God and for one another is God's desire.

Application: Are you willing to submit to this type of love?

Prayer: Lord, help me to not go out into the world with my own power, my own preferences, my own strategies.   Let me go out filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, that I might not cause any offense to Your Holy Name.