Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth . . . love one another deeply, from the heart. (1 Pet. 1:22)

JESUS TAUGHT DURING HIS MINISTRY that “love your neighbor as yourself” is one of the two greatest commandments. It falls second to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30–31). That’s it; love God and love others.

The command to love stands in stark contrast to other Old Testament commandments and regulations that God’s people were instructed to obey. When Jesus came, however, He did away with old practices and established new ones, and His new way is for all who believe in Christ; Jews and Gentiles alike.

Although the way of Christ is based on two commandments, both centering on love, they can be hard to follow. Because we are fallen children of Adam, we are prone to sin. Even in church, where God’s people gather to hear His Word and worship Him, we may find members at odds with each other, treating each other with malice and disrespect.

Peter reminded us that when we obey the truth, we are purified. Therefore, only love remains. We are encouraged to sincerely love our brothers, to follow Jesus’ example. Jesus loved us so much that He died for us. We are to model the depth of His love by loving one another deeply.

Choose someone to love unconditionally this week.

Sheryl Baker lives in LaPorte, Indiana, and is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoys writing devotions that bring hope and encouragement to others.