Love Deeply From the Heart to Make a Difference - 19 October 2017

Louise Gevers

“Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have a sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.” 1 Peter 1:22

“Love one another deeply, from the heart” is an instruction that applies to each true follower of Jesus, no matter what age we are and no matter where we live. Wherever we are, there will be circumstances that test us in this matter of loving deeply like Jesus did, and although our greatest tests sometimes come from the people we are closest to, what happens in our calling can also test the sincerity of our  faith.

I have always admired missionaries who go to unknown places to take the Gospel to people who have never heard the name “Jesus” and have never known the joy of possessing the Living Word, the bible. Missionaries must have their faith challenged severely at times in the difficult circumstances of having to live far away from home, and giving of their very best for Jesus while getting used to different cultures and climates.

Jim and Elisabeth Elliot first met at college in America and served as missionaries in different parts of Ecuador for five years before becoming engaged, and later married there. Their work was to bring the Gospel to the savage Auca tribes, however, in an attempt to evangelise an unreached tribe, Jim and four fellow missionaries were killed, through a misunderstanding, by the people they were trying to reach, leaving behind Elisabeth and their ten month old baby, along with the other missionary wives.

Elisabeth and the other wives proved the sincerity of their love and obeyed Jesus’ words, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Matthew 5:44 By deciding to stay and work with the tribes that killed their husbands, and after serving them for a few years, they won over to Christ the people who had killed their husbands. What an amazing act of grace that was!

For Corrie Ten Boom “obeying the truth” in order to “have a sincere love” allowed her to forgive the guard at Ravensbruck, a concentration camp, where she and her sister had been imprisoned and freed her to “love (him) deeply from the heart.” http://www.familylifeeducation.org/gilliland/procgroup/CorrieTenBoom.htm

This doesn’t come naturally; it is evidence of the Divine. It can only happen once we have come to God, have been forgiven by Him and are set free that we can forgive others and love them sacrificially. 

Prayer: Loving Father, we see how wonderfully You work when we obey your Word and how you can bring hope out of darkness. Shine Your light into my heart and transform my understanding so that I can love deeply, just as You do. Amen.

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