Love Lifted Me!

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for

“All flesh is like grass
    and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
    and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And this word is the good news that was preached to you. – 1 Peter 1:22-25

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One of my favorite subjects: Bougainvillea | Cypress, Texas | April 2018

A conversation the other day about Easter hymns reminded me of an early experience in the Baptist church which we attended growing up. “Love Lifted Me!” is a hymn about our state apart from Jesus’ redemption and our conversion to faith in him.

Love Lifted Me by Alan Jackson
I was sinking deep in sin
Far from the peaceful shore
Very deeply stained within
Sinking to rise no more
But the Master of the sea
Heard my despairing cry
From the waters lifted me
Now safe am I
Love lifted me, love lifted me
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me
Love lifted me, love lifted me
When nothing else could help
Love lifted me

Peter is clear here: The love of God has motivated him to redeem us, cause us to be born again, and inspired in us a brotherly love for one another.

We have been born again by the power of God’s word. We have purified our souls by obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love. In other words, God’s word has made its way into our hearts and by God’s power we have aligned our lives with that truth. It is a truth from and for brotherly love.

Love is not only cause of God’s grace to us in Jesus Christ. Love is also the supreme expression of faithfulness to God. Jesus taught that love for God and love for neighbor are the two most important commandments of God. Paul says that love is the fulfillment of the law (cf. Romans 13:10).

God’s love is always mediated through people. It was most fully expressed in Jesus’ life, teaching, suffering, death, and resurrection. But whenever we express love to others, we are also mediating God’s love. Our high privilege is not only to be loved, but to love one another, and by that lifting others out of the troubles and despair of sin.

4 comments
  1. This is a lovely message with which I could NOT more agree! Brotherly love opens a wonderful facet of love’s expression; not that of intimate love in marriage but of deeply genuine care for others. It is care if a heart hurts, a knee hurts, a pocketbook hurts, a child hurts, a tummy is hungry, a helping hand is needed, a community hurts or even a nation hurts! … Care whether or not your clothes are clean or not; if you’re my color or not; if you’re of my opinion or not. – loving care; brotherly love is alive! In the midst of it’s expression one may even find a brother! We can even care as deeply in prayer for others as in provision for their needs.

    Also, the thought and action of this kind of love being born of the imperishable word of the LORD … which will remain forever is life altering and mind boggling. Imperishable things simply DO NOT PERISH! I just love this!

    • It’s interesting how God uses these posts – sometimes when I feel as though I really had nothing to say. Glad you were edified. Thanks be to God!

  2. The Lord has lifted me as well. Thanks for your message! I’m wondering if Jesus was thinking a similar thing as He hung on the cross. That the love of God the Father for the sinful people had lifted Him up on that cross. Thy Will Be Done.

  3. Thanks for your encouragement. Love is a beautiful thing. Powerful too!

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