Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 5 October 21:
1 Peter 1:22 — “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.”
How often have heard people use ‘love’ as an excuse or justification for sin? Sinful behavior is never loving. Love comes from a pure heart, purified by obedience to the truth. “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5)
- Matthew 5:8 — Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
- Ezekiel 36:26-27 — And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
- 2 Timothy 2:22 — So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
- Hebrews 10:22 — Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
God is love (1 John 4:8), and only God can enable us to truly love others from a pure heart – “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10) Through faith in Jesus, we receive God’s love and are empowered by the Holy Spirit to love. Our love for God compels us to draw near to Him and to obey Him, desiring to glorify Him, enjoy Him, and please Him. When we grow in our love for Him, we naturally grow in our love for others and despise sin, which is ALWAYS counter to love. When we truly love others, we abide in Him, He abides in us, and our hearts are increasingly purified —
- 1 Timothy 1:14 — …and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
- Galatians 5:6 — For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
- John 15:8-17 — By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
- 1 John 2:6 — Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
- 1 John 2:10 — Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling.
- 1 John 3:9 — No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.
- 1 John 3:14 — We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.
- 1 John 3:24 — Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.
- 1 John 4:12 — No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
- 1 John 4:16 — So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
- 2 John 1:9 — Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.
- Romans 12:9 — Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
Having “our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience” through faith in Christ, God calls us to hold onto and protect our clear conscience by abiding in His love through obedience –
- Proverbs 4:23 — Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
- 1 Timothy 1:19 — …holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith.
- 1 Timothy 3:9 — They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
- 1 Timothy 4:1-2 — Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared….
- 1 Timothy 1:15 — To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.
Remember, “The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 5 October 21: Today, aim to love with a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith in Jesus Christ who loved us so we could love as He loves.