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March 16 – An earnest love 

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart. – 1 Peter 1:22

Scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 13

How important are the words, “I love you”? These are words repeated by those who very much care for each other. These are words I often say to my wife. Remember, love is one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith.

Paul told us that …faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13). The one thing that Jesus will never say to you as a Christian is, I don’t love you anymore. But rather, I love you with an everlasting love because I laid down my life for you. In response to His love for us, we should certainly love Him and His people. Peter describes our love as earnest and from a pure heart. The basis for such love is obedience to the truth by which the Saints have purified their souls, resulting in sincere love for others.

Obedience to the truth of God’s Word and the gospel, means we come to the One Who has the ability to purify us, Who is Christ. We are made righteous in Christ by our repentance from sin and true faith in Him. Our love should be a warm brotherly affection, the kind evident in a closely knit family. This is the kind of love members of God’s family have toward other family members as brothers and sisters in Christ. It is also a purposeful, sacrificial love, the kind our Lord demonstrated on the cross of Calvary. Do you have this kind of love?

Suggestions for prayer

Praise the Lord for His love for us, a love that sent His Son to earth to die for us. Pray that we would respond to this love by having a sincere love for Him and for others in His Church.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Michael Jaatinen is the minister of Mount Zion Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moncton, NB.

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