Dillon Davis, Contributing Writer
This is a devotional my friend Dillon wrote for his New Testament class with Dr. Melton at North Greenville.
22 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.
What is the Text Saying
It was a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon. Dark, grey clouds blanketed the November sky. The weather served as a contrast to what was occurring inside of the church gymnasium. Operation Christmas Child had returned to Charleston Baptist Church yet again.
My youth group volunteered their time and service to help load the truck with the shoeboxes. We occasionally had interim periods of rest. One such period was not very restful for me.
As I stood in the lobby talking with friends, two of my friends thought it was a good idea to play a mean trick on me. Behind me, one friend got on all fours. In a blurring rush of motion, the other friend push me backwards, and I tripped over the friend that was behind me.
I had a not-so-soft landing on the unforgiving ground. At that moment, anger surged throughout my body. Forgiving thoughts of sincere love were not coursing through my mind.
Months after this incident, I still did not forgive my friends, but I still claimed to love God. The apostle Peter, if he were still alive, would disagree with my claim.
Peter spends half of the first chapter in his first epistle calling his audience to live a holy life because of their eternal hope in Christ Jesus. Peter gives various exhortations in this section of his book.
One such exhortation involves sincere love for our Christian brothers and sisters. Sincere love means that it is backed with actions.
We cannot merely say that I love my Christian brothers. We have to prove it by forgiving them and encouraging them. We should not hold grudges or take advantage of our brothers. Our love for the church should be the same in both word and deed. Otherwise, it is not real.
Because Christ gave us the truth of the gospel when he sacrificed Himself, our love for the brethren should be truthful too. Our love should not be half-hearted, instead it should be genuine.
Without love, a church loses its sight of the Great Commission and gets embroiled in conflict. Therefore, we should love each other sincerely. This is real love.