“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” – 1 Peter 1:22-23 (NASB)
Of all things we are called to do as believers in Jesus who is God Almighty, obedience is the most difficult. It is also the most important. “The first and the last thing [our] God asks of [us] is simple, universal, and unchanging obedience.i ” After God created the first two people of the human race to live in His world, He immediately began to communicate with them and he continues to do that with us today. We learn about Him through the Holy Spirit inspired writing of His people like Apostle Peter. We learn about his love in giving His Son to die for us and by believing in Jesus we receive eternal life. We are born again through God’s Word. And this is for eternity because God’s Word is His communication to us and it is eternal. The love indicated here by Peter is the love of choice, the kind of love that can respond to a command. “Fervently” means to stretch to the limits. We can trust Him forever and live with Him forever. His Word will never perish or fade away – let’s trust it today and every day.
i Murray, Andrew. The School of Obedience [Annotated, Updated]: If ye love me, keep my commandments – John 14:15 (p. 3). Aneko Press.
“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. ” – John 14:15 (NASB)
“And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.” – 2 John 6 (NASB)
There are more than a few essentials that we need to know and understand if we seek to live our lives as Christians in a manner worthy of our Savior Jesus Christ. Honestly, don’t we actually have a tendency to avoid thinking too much about some of the essentials. One essential is loving God. Having been born of God and having received eternal life, God the Holy Spirit lives within our spirit. Jesus the Son of God is with us in Spirit as well. Now, here it is: Love for Christ is inseparable from our obedience. When Jesus says in John 14:15 “My commandments” these are not only Jesus’ ethical commandments in context (John 14:23-24), but the entire revelation from the Father. In his second letter John defines love, not as a sentiment or an emotion, but as obedience to God’s commands. If we are obedient to the truth as contained in God’s commandments, the fundamentals of the faith are identified as walking in love. There is no “falling in” and “falling out” of love with Jesus. There is only our love by our obedience to His Word exactly as He gave it to us.
“Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” – Jeremiah 32:17 (ESV)
Our verse comes from the story in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. The prophet purchased a plot of land from his cousin even though the Babylonians were nearly at the gate of the city. The anticipation was that soon Jerusalem and all in the Kingdom of Judah would be conquered and taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar. This truly did come to pass so Jeremiah’s real estate purchase seemed fool’s errand. But it wasn’t foolish, because God had directed him to purchase this piece of land. Thinking through the wisdom of his legal transaction bewildered Jeremiah and he goes to God in prayer. Notice how he first extols the sovereignty of God. “Nothing is too hard for you,” is what Jeremiah says. He acknowledges God’s directions in buying the field even “though the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.” The promise that nothing is too hard for God is a promise we take to heart today. Whatever God leads us to do, if we know God is indeed giving us that direction, we can know its outcome will be what God intends it to be. Let’s trust God no matter what He has given us to do.