From Belonging to Benevolence
By Teri Gasser
“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
The old me died. The day I agreed with God that I had sinned and needed a Savior, God became my Father. I was born again. My soul was purified by obedience to truth, but there’s more.God joined me to siblings, lots of them.
I always wanted a sister. Now I had more than I could count, younger and older, and brothers too. These relationships provided me with a great sense of love and security.
Our Heavenly Father adopts many children. We belong to God’s wonderful family made up of followers of Jesus around the world.If you’ve trusted in Jesus for salvation, you too are adopted—a chosen member of God’s Kingdom clan. Don’t these words make you feel loved?
In all the countries I’ve traveled to, I’ve met and worshipped with people—whom I barely knew—and felt attached to them, a sisterly bond. I felt great affection for them, and I felt their carefor me. But this attachment was only a beginning. Our affection must grow into action—that of meeting practical needs.
Scripture challenges us to give and serve without expecting anything in return. To forgive each other, like Jesus forgives us. I can show and feel affection for someone without meeting their needs. And I can provide for others physically and materially without feeling attachment. These loves are different. But God wants us to develop both emotional and practical love for each other.
The Holy Spirit deemed this concept so important that He inspired Peter, the ancient author of today’s verse, to repeat it in the second letter, 2 Peter, he wrote. “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7, emphasis mine).
How will you earnestly love the family of God this week?
Like Ezra, Teri Gasser has a “heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes. . .” (Ezra 7:10, ESV). She’s been married over thirty years, has four grown children, and adores her grandchildren. Her passion is to see women transformed by truth. Teri Gasser serves as the Director of Women’s Bible Studies at Grace Baptist Church in Manhattan, Kansas. She’s also a pastor’s wife, Bible study leader, speaker, and writer. She hopes to have her first book published soon. Visit her online at terigasser.com.
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