“22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24 For,‘All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall,25  but the word of the Lord endures for ever.’And this is the word that was preached to you.” NIV

Here is incentive enough, if we should require it, to go on ‘preaching’ God’s Word, whether formally in public, or informally one-to-one. There is power in His Word. There is life in the ‘’seed’’. Mysteriously, and wonderfully, it produces Christians. People are ‘’born again’’ by it. It has been said that God’s Word is His work.

‘’He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Mark 4:26-29).

The ‘’word of the Lord’’ is also described as ‘’the truth’’ in this passage. Not only are people converted by God’s Word; they are also transformed by it. As we ‘obey’ it, we become more ‘’deeply’’ loving (22). Christianity changes ‘’the heart’’ and we are enabled to live obediently and lovingly out of changed hearts.

In a book I’m reading at the moment, the author comments that in evangelical Christianity we have been too quick to measure spiritual growth in terms of how much we know, rather than how well we love. Knowing is important, but it has to lead somewhere.

Pause to ponder: What does loving ‘’one another deeply, from the heart’’ look like for you in these days of ‘social isolation’?

PRAYER: Lord, Peter gives a timely reminder of the transience of wealth and of people. Thank you that he points beyond this impermanence to the enduring quality of your Word. It is encouraging to know that the ‘seeds’ we sow now, may well bear fruit long after we have gone.