1 Peter 1:22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart
As I was studying for the message I gave on October 19th God struck me with a thought that I haven’t been able to get past. I shared it with the congregation that morning but I feel I need to expand upon it more in the form of an article. Here it is:
“When we stand before God on Judgment Day you won’t ever here Him say; “You spent too much time loving others, you should’ve spent more time on yourself.”
It made me think about how much time I spend on myself and my interests. I came away from that with a couple of thoughts. First is that Love is an action and not a feeling, Second How am I going to change and lead The Village Chapel to be fervent lovers of others? In this article I want to first lay a foundation for loving others and then layout a game plan on how to do it.
Peter tells us to love one another fervently with a pure heart. Jesus’ second greatest command was to love one another as we love ourselves. Jesus wasn’t telling us that we need to learn to love ourselves before we can love others, He was telling us that it is a given that we love ourselves and that we need to love others as much as ourselves.
Love is an action; it is not some emotion that wells up in us or a passing thought. Love is something that we do towards another person in spite of how we feel about it. Peter also tells us to do it with a pure heart. This means that we don’t do it with an alternative agenda of getting something in return.
Jesus is our example for this. Every act that He did was in obedience to His Father and without a thought of getting anything in return. He final and greatest act of love, the Crucifixion, was done out of the fullness of His love for us.
For us to make a change in how we love we need to look at 1 Cor 13:4-6 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. In this passage we see seven ways how to love and eight ways not to love.
All of these ways of love in 1 Corinthians 13 are actions not feelings. Paul exhorts us to be patient, be kind, bear one another’s problems. These are acts of love that would radically change the other persons life. On the contrary when we aren’t about ourselves (envy, pride, bragging, rude) we are also exhibiting acts of love. Let us be people who are quick to listen and slow to speak so that the number of opportunities to love will increase.