Be Still Know
1 Peter 1.22 NLT
‘You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.’
When you become a Christian, you are immediately a part of a world-wide family – the Church. You suddenly have brothers and sisters that you’d never had before! One of the most exciting characteristics of your new family is that it is held together by love and Peter declares that this flows from our experience of forgiveness.
In 1960, C.S. Lewis wrote a famous book entitled The Four Loves. He pointed to the fact that the Greek language has far more words for love than there are in English and he drew attention to four of them. Storge is the sort of affectionate love that exists between a mother and her child. Philia is friendship love such as we see between David and Jonathan in the Old Testament. Eros is romantic love and, finally, agape is unconditional love such as God has shown us. Peter used two of these words in this verse. He encouraged the Christians to have sincere philia love for one another within the Church. He wanted to see them caring deeply for one another with the same strong bonds that you would find between close friends. He then encouraged his readers to show agape love towards one another. That is to say committed to one another whatever the situation.
God’s agape love for us is such that he loves us whether we love him or not. He loves us because he loves us, and nothing can ever stop him loving us. We are being invited to love in the same way and, if we are truly to take that on board, we probably need to gulp. This isn’t going to be easy. God invites us to pass on his kind of agape love by loving those who reject us, and loving those whom we could never imagine liking. He calls us to do this because he wants us to reflect his nature in our lives, and he loves with an agape love. This is tough love, and it will demand everything of us, but it will bring life and liberty to all those whom it touches.
Question: Is there a person who you are struggling to love at the moment? If so, spend some time reflecting on God’s love for them and asking him to give you the strength to pass on his love.
Prayer: Loving heavenly Father, thank you that you love me completely. Please teach me more today of what it means to pass on your love to others. Amen
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