Love One Another Earnestly

October 8, 2023 Preacher: Wade Thomas Series: First Peter

Scripture: 1 Peter 1:22–25

 Okay, so we're gonna 1 Peter. We're gonna continue preaching through the book of 1 Peter. Today's passage is in chapter 1 and it's just four verses. They are incredibly practical. They are not difficult to understand. They are impossible to apply without the Holy Spirit.

To some degree, I guess every part of Scripture is impossible to apply without the Holy Spirit. But these in particular, and you're going to see why. The Apostle Peter is actually going to tell you, unless you're born again, you can't do what he tells you to do here. And you can only be born again by the power of the Spirit.

So, let's read it together. 1 Peter 1:22. Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart. Since you have been born again, not of imperishable seed. I'm sorry, not a perishable seed. But of imperishable through the living and abiding Word of God.

Four, all flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, the flower falls, but the Word of the Lord remains forever. And this Word is the good news that was preached to you. We're going to go through this verse by verse. It's not going to take long. Notice right off the bat here in verse 22.

We're to sincerely love each other, and he's talking to Christians. We are to love enemies. We are to love unbelievers. But he is here talking to Christians about other Christians. And particularly to those in the same local body together. He is telling us, the Holy Spirit is telling us through the Apostle Peter, to love each other as brothers in Christ.

And notice the order. He doesn't say, Having purified yourselves by sincere brotherly love for obedience to the truth. It's having purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for to the end of sincere brotherly love. In other words, The obedience to the truth is the training camp, and the sincere brotherly love is the Super Bowl.

The obedience to the truth is the pre engagement counseling and the premarital counseling. The sincere brotherly love is the marriage. We, as Christians in this room, are headed together somewhere. He's applying his truth to our souls and our fears. And our bitterness, and our grumblings, and our lusts. By your Christian obedience to this truth, he's going to break the knees of every grudge that you hold, of your cowardice, of your complaining.

You wonder if love for the brothers, or for your spouse, or for your children, for the Christians in your life is ever going to get easier. If you haven't wondered that, you're going to soon. You're going to. Love is difficult, and through the Apostle Peter here, the Holy Spirit is telling you the Word of God is going to do its work.

Trust Him. You are not doing your sanctification on your own. Do the thing you were born again to do. Do this thing you are being purified for. God is developing sincere brotherly love among us in this room together, and the people who are at the nine. God is developing sincere brotherly love from the pure hearts of his people.

I am not my own. I was not purchased to wander around the earth as some sort of solo Christian. You are not the star character of your own limited series on Disney We were not saved to be the central character in our own little melodrama. You were saved, you were predestined, you were called, you were justified to love the guy behind you.

And the lady in front of you, to love the people in your city group who are born again Christians bought for what the price and put in the same local body by the sovereign God so that you would love them and they were called and justified to love you. It's a beautiful thing that we're not just on our own, that God has called us to love each other and that it's essential to the Christian life.

And living among each other now, if you're not in a city group, please get in one. Living among each other now, serving with each other now, becoming friends with each other now, grinding each other's nerves. This is how he does this. It gives us the chance to do this. We don't hole ourselves up on our own, by ourselves, retreat from each other in order to sturdy ourselves up as Christians, and then eventually get around to meaningful Christian relationships once we're mature enough.

That's not how the Christian life works. Every sin that somebody in my house commits is an occasion, an opportunity for forgiveness and sanctification. And it's the same thing in your city group. So this week, it doesn't matter who, but there's enough boys and girls that I'll just use the genders and you can try to guess which one.

But a boy in my house sinned and it was yesterday, and it was a pretty egregious sin. And so he made it right, made restitution. Ask the Lord for forgiveness, pray, did everything that the Lord would command. But there was a young lady in my house, a daughter, who was very upset about it. And she knows, and we've talked about it, that she is not ever allowed to hang that over his head again.

That God gave us a gift yesterday, in one of the boys sinning, in a pretty... Big way, and then all of us getting the chance to pray together after he had apologized and done what was needed to make it right. And that now then, we are all a little bit closer to the Lord. We're all together a little bit more sanctified because of that.

And we're not gonna walk around with this air of superiority as though we're on opposite teams. As though he's on one team and he just fumbled and thankfully I recovered it. No. We're all on the same side together. That's the Christian life. Your, your Christian family, your city group, your friends in this church, the people on the team you serve with, the Christian who most irritates you in this room.

Nobody looked. Nobody looked at anybody. I was curious would somebody look at somebody. The Christian who most irritates you in this room. All of those things, all of those relationships, the easy ones and the hard ones, are soil and sunlight and water that the great vine dresser is using to make you more like Christ.

They are a part of your sanctification, which is the point of your life. Becoming more like Christ is the point of your life. Think about it for a second that we, so we've been in this letter for something like a month now. You guys have already seen and you'll continue to see suffering and persecution and trial are Sort of a part of the lived experience of the audience of this letter.

They're about to be persecuted. They're about to suffer They're already suffering more suffering is coming down the pike and in the middle of that letter knowing this might be the only letter He gets to them Peter writes to these dispersed exiles Love each other. What does that tell you? That loving the guy next to you is not incidental to the Christian life.

It's like one of the things the Apostle Peter would tell you if he knew you were gonna die tomorrow. Hey, you make sure you love Alex Costa. You make sure you love Amelia Tuff and Sam. You make sure you love the men and women of your church. I don't know that if I were, if I were sending an email to brothers in North Korea, brothers and sisters in North Korea who are about to get arrested, I don't know that I would think to put make sure you love each other genuinely in it, but I should because that's the pattern the apostles laying down for me.

If you forget everything else, make sure by the power of the gospel, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you love each other. And he echoes that important that the importance of that later in chapter 4 verse 8, we'll see it. I'll actually read that verse a little bit later, but let me point something else out.

He says there in verse 22, for a sincere brotherly love. That word means unfeigned, genuine, unvarnished, real brotherly love. In other words, God is not seeking people who will merely do the thing. Seeking people and creating in his people an actual, a love with sap, a love that's deep, a love that actually comes from somewhere beneath behavior

C.S. Lewis, one of my heroes, he describes at one point in one of his books, or his talks, that we don't want to be around people who merely do the kind thing. We want to be around people who like being kind. And you know what I'm talking about. Right? Nobody actually, it's, it's very hard to receive a gift from somebody who you can tell they did not really even want to give you the gift.

I'm here to help you rake your leaves, because that's what we do. You're in the church, and I'm in the church, so. Do you have a rake I can borrow, or what? You know what, I'll do it myself, man. Thanks. Anyways. And I'm gonna, at the end, when I get to application, I'm gonna tell you what to do, what the scriptures would have you do if you don't feel it.

The feelings will not always be there. But what I am saying right now, and what the Apostle Peter is telling you by using that word sincere, that word genuine, that word unfeigned, is that... If you do not feel that warm affection for your brother in Christ, something is wrong. You are in sin. It doesn't give you the excuse to be like, hey, since I don't feel it, I won't do it.

No, do it. Obey the Lord. But there is something deficient, something broken, something missing, something faulty, if you have contempt for the brother or sister in your heart. Love them sincerely. Christ did not die for people that he just tolerates. And he's not ransoming a bride that he secretly dislikes.

Right? And we're to imitate him. Genuine, warm love. Deep, abiding love. Living love. Is essential to who he is, and that's who we're to imitate. And so, his Holy Spirit's reminding us through the Apostle Peter that God does not want a CTK of perpetually forced smiles. Behind which are grinding teeth like I'll pray for you.

I cannot stand her. That's a problem If you don't have genuine sympathy and affection and brotherly love for someone in this room for a Christian in your life repent Confess it. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness including the unrighteousness of feigned love Romans 12:9-10 The Apostle Paul uses this same word the same word for genuine And I want to read it to you and let you see, again, just from a slightly different angle, the same thing we're called to have.

You are called to have. And by the way, Let me insert this here. Every single one of you is forbidden from thinking of anyone else, as I'm saying this. You are not allowed to think of the person that you think doesn't love you that way. I'm talking to you, okay? It's the only way this will work. The Bible is not written to the guy behind you.

It's to you. Alright, Romans 12:9-10. Let love be genuine. Let love be genuine. That's the word Peter uses. Abhor what is evil. Hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Again, why, why add that? Why, if it's just the behavior, right? If it's just do it. I don't, I don't care about what you feel or what's going on inside your mind or your heart.

Then why add the qualifier with? Brotherly affection. He adds the qualifier because that's what he's after. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Sincerity of love, like, reality of love is something we all communicate a million different ways. And you need to know this as Christians, because Christians, in particular, because we know what our God wants us to do, I think we can be very egregious at this.

I think we're very, we can do this a lot, and it's a problem. You're not fooling anybody. If you don't love somebody, if you have contempt for them, if they irritate you, but you act the way you know the Bible tells you to act towards them, they know it. If you've known somebody for more than a week, you can tell when it's the real them, and it's flowing from something that is just living organically inside them, the Holy Spirit, and God at work in them.

And you can tell when it's them gritting their teeth and forcing it. When the feeling's not there, grit your teeth and force it, okay? But I'm telling you, I've got six kids, twelve all the way down to two, and every last one of them, the two year old, can tell when I'm feeling it and when I'm not. And when I'm feeling it, it's, it's things I don't have to think about.

They just happen. Come here. Come here, son. It's all right. Okay, that's daddy who loves me. Come here. Sit down. It's, it's okay. That's daddy who, he loves me in some way, but at this moment he does not want to be here. And you do it too. And so when you see it, when you spot it, confess it. He wants to help you love the Christians who irritate you.

And say that again. Our Heavenly Father wants to help you love the Christians who irritate you. They're there. You have them. It's fine. I know it. You know it. All right. Where does this love come from? It's not possible for people who aren't yet born again. He says that. 1 Peter 23. 1 Peter 1:23. Since, so having purified yourselves by obedience to the truth, for brotherly love, love one another earnestly.

Since you have been born again. Not of perishable seed, but of imperishable. The only reason you can do this, I'm telling you to do this, I, the Apostle Peter, with all my apostolic authority, I am commanding you to love one another earnestly, but I am reminding you that you can do this because you were born again of imperishable seed.

This, this love I'm exhorting you to is not possible in and of yourselves. You cannot do it. You came out of your mother's womb and it was impossible for you to do the thing I'm telling you to do. But then God, through his Holy Spirit, reached into your dead chest, took out the heart of stone, put in a heart of flesh, and all of a sudden, people who you wouldn't have given the time of day are people who you pray for earnestly at night about their arthritis.

And I made that happen, God, because I loved you, I predestined you, called you, justified you. It's because you've been born again, born of imperishable seed, that you're able to love in a way you couldn't before. It's the fact, if you are a Christian, you love people in this room, you love your brothers and sisters in a way that was never possible before.

And that is not from your temperament, or your Myers Briggs personality type. I said this at the nine, my last job was nine to five cubicle job. It was a good company, but one of the most annoying things that has ever happened to me in my life was they made you take this like 200 person, 200 question personality test.

And at the end of it, it spat out like what you were. And there was like a little, little image that went with it. So mine I think was promoter and it was like a little cheerleaders megaphone. And you had to take that sucker. You, they printed it and they laminated it. And you had to put it on your cubicle wall.

And I died inside. So I hid it behind other things. It was like where nobody could see it. Some of you were born by God's grace, even lost. I'm saying like the original you that was still dead in your sins and trespasses. You were born with like a sweet temperament. And a personality test might be able to pick up on that.

I'm telling you that is not what this is. You don't get credit for this. And you also don't get out of having to do this. If you're not that way, like some of you are very, we have engineers. We have a lot of engineers, right? Some of you are very like business, like logical, rational. You smile twice a year, tax return day and Christmas.

That's it. I'm telling you the same Holy spirit is in you and empowering you. That's in the sweet. affable, funny, warm lady. Kara Enders. I don't know if Kara, Kara Enders is not at this one, but Kara's like the sweetest, most warm. She just hugs everybody. And the Holy Spirit is in that. But those of us who aren't like her, we don't get to go, well, that's Kara's job.

No. John 3:1-6. Let me show you being born again. Let me show you this is not of yourself. It's not of myself. John 3:1-6, God tells us, There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God's with him.

I'm in. I'm ready to follow you. It's nighttime. I don't want anybody to know about it yet. But, I'm ready. Sign me up. And Jesus answered him, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. You can't see my kingdom until you're born again. Nicodemus said to him, How can a man be born when he's old?

Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born? Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. You can't see my kingdom or get into it unless you are born again. That which is born of the flesh is flesh. Similar language to what Peter uses.

All flesh is grass. That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. Don't marvel that I said to you, you must be born again. That's what happened to you if you're a Christian. A miracle happened to you. You were born again. The living word of Christ birthed something in you that's imperishable.

You were all flesh, all of this earth, all corruption. Grass, a week before winter, in Peter's language, you were grass, ready to go. And now something imperishable, as imperishable as diamond, has been nested inside of your soul, by God. And when we pray for someone, and you're doing that Who's Your One campaign, and if you haven't started it, please just jump in.

But as you're praying for that unbeliever, this is what you're praying to happen. This is not just simply like changing your political party on your voter registration. I was a libertarian, now I'll be a republican. That's not what this is. This is God reaching in and changing what you love, what you fear, what you want.

Changing your mind, metanoia. We're praying, when we pray for an unbeliever, that the only inherently eternal being We are eternal, but not inherently eternal. We're praying that the only inherently imperishable being will put inside of us the undying, forever abiding life that he loves to give. To become a Christian requires a divine act of grace whereby the triune God causes you to be born again, John 1:12-13, grants you repentance, 2 Timothy 2:25.

Repentance is a gift. Gives you faith, Ephesians 2:8. And seals you for the day of redemption, Ephesians 4:30. Let me put it another way. When I get to heaven, or when I'm standing on the new earth under the new heaven, I will know even better than I know now that it is all of God. It took the triune God to make me a Christian.

And nothing less would have done it. In and of myself, I would not have come to Christ. In and of myself, I would not stay in Christ and abide in Him. And in and of myself, I would not be resurrected for life, but for eternal death. But in Christ, I have been caused to love the things of God, including the people of God in this room.

Nothing less than the Trinity can save us. Nothing less than the Trinity can save our unbelieving neighbors, or your baby girl, your mailman. Your aunt. It's God who saves people. The gospel. All right, so he says, Having purified yourselves by your obedience for sincere brotherly love, that brotherly love is possible because you were born again.

You can't love like this unless you're born again. How were you born again? How did this happen? It wasn't like one of those tapes they had back in the day that you listen to overnight while you're asleep and then you don't smoke anymore when you wake up. Or you learn, you know, Portuguese all of a sudden.

God did not do it that way. You were made. through the word of the Lord, which is the good news that was preached to you. Let me read it to you again from 23, 24 and 25, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable. Through, you were born again through the living and abiding word of God.

For all flesh is like grass, all its glory like the flower of grass, the grass withers and the flower falls. That's what you were before. What you were before was already decomposing, it was already falling apart, it was totally perishable. And then the word of the Lord, which is imperishable, made you new.

25, the end of 25, and this word is the good news, the euangelion, the gospel that was preached to you. The word the Spirit regenerates people through is the good news of Jesus Christ. It's the gospel that was first preached to you that brought you into faith. The good news of Jesus Christ has borne fruit for 2, 000 years.

It will continue to bear fruit, and that fruit has social security numbers. That fruit has eye colors and morning breath. One of the fruits of the gospel probably held the door for you this morning. Another one might have shaken your hand. The word of the gospel reaches into men and changes them. The gospel took me from wrath and death to hope and life, and now I love the other brothers and sisters who were transformed through it.

It's the instrument through which God turns men and women who hate him and do not want his rule into men and women who love him and who crave his rule. Do you crave Christ returning? You didn't when you were an unbeliever. If he had returned when you were an unbeliever, you would have said, Rocks, fall upon me, hide me from the day of the Lamb.

But now, you salivate for it, don't you? The gospel did that. And, it's living and abiding after you're converted. He's not writing to unbelievers here. He tells them it's living and abiding as he calls them into greater obedience in the Christian life. The gospel is living and abiding now. It is not a fact you learn, like the quadratic formula, or the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and then you just recall it when needed. The gospel as you, there's a reason why we do this every week. We take Lord's Supper. As you taste the gospel, as you sing the gospel, as you remember and obey and speak the gospel, it changes who you are the proudest day of your life when you thought you were self-sufficient and you had it all together, the gospel was the answer.

You needed your knees broken. You needed to be reminded that apart from the grace of God, you were destined for hell, the hell you deserved on the day where you're most dejected. Self-loathing, down in the dust. The gospel is what reminds you it's not about you. It's not about your weaknesses or your failures.

I chose you and I saved you. And through this good news, I've brought you into my kingdom. On the days when you're spiritually dead, and you feel like this, this, I don't, this doesn't do anything for me today. And your eyes glaze over. And you want to feel it again. The gospel is living and abiding. It's the good news of Jesus Christ that changes us.

That one of my favorite pastors, um, He uses the analogy of, when he's talking about words that we need to hear over and over again, the gospel is chief among them, but there are other kinds of words that we need to hear over and over again. He uses the illustration of, if you had a husband, the day of his wedding, look at his wife across from him, and his vow was, I love you, and you are beautiful, and I will tell you if and when something changes.

And never said I love you again. And just expected her to trust. Since I said it. That day, when we got married, and I never told you I stopped. Duh! That man is an awful husband. He's a terrible husband. He's a scoundrel. Because words are food. Words like that are food. And you need to be fed. There's not a Christian in this room who doesn't need to be reminded that you were chosen by God because He set His love on you.

And that He has sealed you for the day of redemption because He is faithful. And that he will, and his son will present you on the last day. That your name is in his book of life. There's not a Christian in this room who's past needing that reminded to them. The gospel is how we were born again and it's living and abiding after we were born again.

Alright, I'll end with this. How. Okay, you're with me so far. The gospel is what God used to cause you to be born again and now this kind of brotherly love is possible. But you're struggling to do it. You are struggling to do it. I know you are, because you're human. And you're not yet glorified. You're not yet all the way sanctified.

So you're struggling to love somebody in this room. Peter tells us in verse 22. Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love. Having done this thing now, brotherly love. So, obey the truth. And I'm just gonna... Explain both. Obey. Start with obey. Practice obedience to God in the direction of the person you're struggling to love now.

Not tomorrow. Not you'll think about it and pray on it. Now. This moment. Practice obedience in that person's direction. Do not wait for love to spontaneously come up in your heart. That's kind of like saying, I'll wait to start working out until I have more energy. Like once I have more energy and I'm in better shape.

We'll see how that goes. I've done that. It doesn't work. There's a Christian in my life who I, it's, it's nobody in this church, but there's a Christian in my life who I have struggled to love, , my entire adult life. And apart from a miracle of God, my, I have every reason to anticipate it will be a struggle for me for the rest of my earthly life.

And I have had to do this. I have had to obey Christ in that person's direction. And when I don't feel warmth and sympathy and brotherly affection towards this person, I then ask God... Look, God, I'm going to obey you in the, in their direction. But I know right now my love is deficient. It's not like your son's love.

So please, nurture that love as I obey you. You have no cause to expect God to bless it while you're disobeying him. So if you fold your arms and say, Well, I don't feel it, so I'm not going to do it because I'm not going to be a hypocrite. You have no cause to expect that he will then bless it. Let me show you three things that I do.

These are just very quick that I do. Matthew 18, this is a command of the Lord that I obey. in the direction of the person I need to brotherly love. Matthew 18:21-22. Peter came up and said to Jesus, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but 77 times.

And you know 77 times. You know this saint. Does not mean that when he gets to 78, free and clear. It means forever. Forgive them. Forgive is not a synonym for trust.

Men, women, you cheat on your spouse. You commit the sin of adultery. Trust is not restored overnight. Sin has consequences, but forgiveness does mean that you, you have a posture towards the person. of genuinely seeking their eternal good, asking God to bless them, foregoing any claim you have on vengeance over them.

Um, let me show you another one, Ephesians 6:17-18. So the Apostle Paul goes through the armor of God, and then he says what he wants. The church in Ephesus, the Christians in Ephesus, to do with the armor of God. Verse 17, take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

So that's the end of the armor. Here's what you do with all that armor. Praying at all times in the spirit with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with perseverance, making supplication for how many saints?

You know what supplication is? Supplication is not, God, please help my dad to stop being such a belligerent jerk because I don't want to go home for Thanksgiving. Supplication is, God, bless my father. He's a complicated man filled with sin. He's wronged me in the past. Bless him. Let him have a good day at work tomorrow, Lord.

Let his boss praise him tomorrow. Let him hear a good sermon at church. He's not going to church the last few months, Lord. Get him into church, please. I mean it. Let him hear a song that drives him to tears and repentance. That's what supplication is, and you're commanded to do it for all the saints. And the Paul who wrote that had been wronged by many saints.

Stabbed in the back, deserted by many saints, lied about, maligned by many saints. And he instructs his Christians at his church that he planted, make sure you go to God and ask for blessing on all the saints. And the last one, the last one I obey, imperfectly, but that I'm commanded to and that I try to. 1 Peter 4:8-9 This is the letter that we're in.

We'll get to this chapter soon. Peter says, There's that command again. Don't just love them. Love them earnestly. Genuinely. Love one another earnestly since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another. And then, because again, the qualifier. He's not going to let you get by. Without grumbling.

So follow that flow there. This is the person I struggle to love, and there's somebody like this that you struggle to love, that's in Christ, that's a Christian. Love covers a multitude of sins. So they've sinned against you. Cover that sinful mess with your love towards them. And then, loving them earnestly, show hospitality.

They're in the hospital with a kidney infection, and they apologized to you two years ago. But you can tell they didn't mean it. Bring their favorite soft drink to them, and some flowers. Sit down at their bedside. Ignore that snarky grin that they get sometimes. And pray with them. And ask God to bless them.

And mean it. And if you don't mean it, ask God to help you mean it. And on the way home, confess to them that you didn't mean it quite enough. And then forget about yourself, and think about them.

Hospitality. Hospitality is warmth. A love that our Lord has for us. Alright, so obey, and then the truth. Obey the truth. Having purified yourselves by your obedience to the truth. Not your feelings. I tell my kids all the time, everyone has a Bible, and for most Americans it's their feelings. Feelings make a terrible Bible.

Um, as my, as my guys have gotten older and we've, like, started watching movies, especially old movies, ones that I hate, like Star Wars, ones that I love, like Rocky. We've watched many good stories together, but I've noticed, I've sort of transcribed this at least over the last 40 or 50 years, especially in, like, Disney movies recently.

There is this unbound American Bible. Of teachings that are, there are of a religious nature, even though they would never call themselves religious. I wrote down a few of them here. These are, these are ones that we obey. I'm, I'm talking about people in this room, not just unbelievers. They have gotten into our minds, into our assumptions.

We're not beyond this. And we obey them without really thinking about it. And we need to be more reflective and stop obeying them. Um, freedom is being your truest self. God just wants you to be yourself and be happy. You are the main character of the story you're in. That's every Disney Princess movie.

Every single one. You're the main character. Everybody else orbits around you. God orbits around you. Anything that makes you, this is a big one, anything that makes you feel bad must be bad. Right? There's ominous music in the background as soon as something makes somebody feel bad. You will not be purified by obeying that.

You will not be purified by obeying the world's Bible. You will not be purified by obeying your feelings. And you will not be purified by obeying what you genuinely think to be true. You can be genuinely wrong. Right? If I pull Drano out from under the sink, but I think it's blue Gatorade and I drink it, it's not, I'm not going to get to the ER and they're going to be like, well, he thought it was Gatorade, so he's fine.

Take a moment. It doesn't matter if you think something is true. We are to obey the truth, the true truth. The truth that would be the truth whether or not you'd ever been born. As you practice obedience to that actual truth, the word of Christ, Christ like love will organically start to flow from you because...

Your emotions, your affections, your assumptions, your thought patterns are being conformed to the true truth of the Word of Christ. Let me close with this and then I'll pray. Um, I'm 38, so it's not like I've, I've been through a massive amount of crises or, but I've been through just enough to have some sense of if you're in this room and you think you know what you're gonna do when every last little thing happens, you're wrong.

And some of you have already been through way more crises than I have. And you know what it feels like when the storm is at its absolute peak. And, like, I don't know what to do for my son, for my daughter, for my wife, for my husband. I have no answers here. I'm in way over my head. At that moment, knowing that God's truth is timeless, that it's eternal, that his gospel is living and abiding, is your lifeline.

That's the anchor you throw down into the sea. And it will keep you safe. Let's pray.

Abba Father, I thank you for adopting, for choosing, for predestining and calling and justifying and one day glorifying awful, rebellious, idolatrous, fornicating, drunken, lying, disobedient men and women like us.

You love saving tax collectors and prostitutes and Pharisees and blasphemers and persecutors. You love saving the insolent.

There is no better truth for us. There's no better medicine for our souls

We're wicked, evil people in and of ourselves, and you've changed us.

There are unbelievers, we know, Lord, who desperately need to be reconciled to you, and it's that gospel that they need. Help us to delight in that gospel, but then take it to them. May we be faithful to you. As you have been faithful to us. We ask all these things in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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