By Brooke Holt
“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” 1 Peter 1:22-23
Each afternoon, I enjoy a cup of green tea made with a tea bag that features an inspirational quote. Far too often, I fail to read them, but today’s message caught my eye: “Your greatest strength is love.” Interesting message and a bit challenging to me, especially considering this passage from 1 Peter.
Currently, I am in a very challenging season of life, and many people are not acting in loving ways towards me or the people I love most in this world. It is heart-wrenching. Everything in me wants to embrace anger and retaliation, but God continues to challenge me with a different way - his way, the way of love and forgiveness.
I will not pretend it is easy - it is not! How can I do this when my heart is broken? Can I really forgive those who have been instruments of such pain? Thankfully, Peter answers these questions for me. I can love those who hurt me as my soul is purified, as I receive the love of God for me, and as I choose to live in obedience to him. A truly difficulty process, it often must begin with me asking God to work on my heart: “Lord, help me want to love. Lord, help me want to forgive. Fill me with your love and do this supernatural work in me through your Holy Spirit.”
As I abide in God’s love, truth, and Holy Spirit, he does his work in me and through me. I can love those who hurt me. I can choose to forgive those who hurt me. I can because of what Jesus has done for me. My greatest prayer has become, “Lord, help me to see them through the lens of your cross.”
The Lord intends for his children to live in unity and loving fellowship. It is our witness to the world that he is the one true God who can work miracles both for and in his people.
May the message on my tea bag be true for me and for you today. May we experience God’s love so profoundly that our greatest strength will be love – love for God and for his people.
How are you doing in the way of love? Have you considered loving others as part of your obedience to the Lord? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
Comments will be approved before showing up.