Lord, thank You for my new birth.
Read 1 PETER 1:22—2:3
22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[a] 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.”[b]
And this is the word that was preached to you.
2 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
a 1 Peter 1:22 Some early manuscripts from a pure heart
b 1 Peter 1:25 Isaiah 40:6-8 (see Septuagint)
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Ponder these words: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacriﬁce for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
My husband and I are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. Recently in another country we were asked to speak on what makes a successful marriage. Unable to give a formula for it, we were also conscious that culture influences the style of how couples relate. Kindness and adaptability were all we could recommend for the collaborative work of building a marriage. That seems similar to Peter’s recommendation of sincere love for each other—no malice, deceit, envy or pretending (2:1)—a continuation into church relationships (and marriage too) of the holy living expected of those chosen by God and headed for his eternal presence.
This gives substance to what we call love—so often thought of as little more than an ephemeral warm feeling or a romantic attachment. An Australian writer spent years in courtrooms through various trials trying to understand how a father could drown his three children to get back at his wife, who had left him for another man (Helen Garner, This House of Grief). This writer decided that the defendant was not an especially evil man or monster. He loved his children, but, like anyone, he was capable of malice. It requires God’s love poured into our hearts to recreate us as lovers, not through physical or emotional inheritance, but by our new God- given nature (1:23).
Linking truth and love together as Peter does (1:22) can challenge this understanding of ourselves as lovers. Within God’s family, we also value truth highly and sometimes our defense of truth is at the expense of kindness and consideration for those holding a differing view. Peter’s teaching reminds us that even if we think a core belief is being undermined, we must heed his command: love one another deeply, from the heart.
What spiritual “milk” in your relationship with God makes you want more?
Lord, we have indeed tasted that You are gracious. Teach us how to be similarly gracious to others.