Pure Love, Deep Love (Lent 8, 2016)

1 Peter 1:22 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. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

A rekindled love is a pure love and a deep love.

There is nothing superficial about it.

It reflects the understanding that love comes from God and is a quality, an action, and a result.

It’s an intrinsic quality in that it resides within the Christian heart, just as the Word of God which gave it life. No Word of God, no real ability to truly love.

Thought 8But it’s an action too in that it requires purifying ourselves.  How do we do that?  By obeying the truth. We must clean out the gunk of our lives and the sins of our hearts so that what’s present there by the Holy Spirit will be able to shine through.

What is this gunk, this sludge of the heart that slows the flow of deep love?

Here are some thoughts from the Apostle Paul. Ephesians 4:25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

We’re in the midst of Lent, casting off and cleaning out the things which grieve the Holy Spirit of God. Because when we do, our lives will demonstrate a pure love, deep love.

So it’s not just a quality of God formed in us by His Word,  or an action of partnership between the Christian and the Spirit of God, but pure love is also a result. Clean out the sediment of sin and what do you get?  Lives that look like pure love, deep love.

What about you? Does your life hold onto those things the Apostle Paul tells us to get rid of, or does it reflect the purity of obedience and look like the love of Christ?

Give it Up for Lent: Any sludge of the heart you’ve been reluctant to shed.

Questions for 1 Peter 1:22-23 and Ephesians 4:25-32:

  1. What actions can one take to have the pure love, deep love that God asks us to demonstrate?
  2. In both passages, there is an action of cleansing and a result of gain for the Christian and his neighbor. Identify both the actions and the results.
  3. Many people give up things for Lent like Facebook or chocolate or things of that nature. Yes, even good things can separate us from Christ if they have an unhealthy hold on our hearts.  How might one know if a good thing has an unhealthy hold on us?  And if it has an unhealthy hold, should we resume it after Easter?
  4. If it’s of great concern to God for us to give something up, what does it say about us if we take it back up after Easter?

SGR8ReKindle is the 2016 Lenten devotional series from Seminary Gal.

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Acknowledging that former years’ devotional series remain popular, Be Still and Know that I AM God can be obtained through the archives beginning in March 2014 and With Christ in the Upper Room  is archived beginning February 18, 2015.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on February 18, 2016

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