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

 

A pure heart is certainly not something that we come by naturally; at least, it is not the condition that exists in us before we enter into a relationship with God, for a very good argument can be made for the fact that a state of being in a close and an intimate relationship with God is our only truly natural state. Thus, through Christ, people are granted a return to the spiritual and the functional life condition which was God’s intent for us.

 

It is faith that leads us to a place where we can trust God and His word to the point where we are willing to grant Him access to our hearts; from there, it is obedience that leads us deeper into the relationship. Then the deepening understanding of God’s way through His word and by His Spirit leads us to trust the Lord more completely; which, in turn, increases faith in a manner that makes obedience all the more natural. This is a life long process; it is the way that we grow in our connection to our God, and it is the way that God intends for us to grow in our love for each other, too.

 

One of the most telling tests of the state of my heart and of my willingness to be obedient to God is the way that I interact with other people. If I am open to their messy and often challenging personalities and their never ending array of needs and neediness; then, I am probably a lot closer to God then on those days when I simply want them all to go away and stop filling my world with their clutter. The Lord calls all of us to truly love others in the same manner that He does; in case that is not clear at this moment, that is a very high and a very challenging standard; yet, through obedience to God’s word and acceptance of His will as expressed in each of our hearts by the Spirit, loving others can become the most wonderfully natural act in our day.

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