Love has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5); it is easy to decide to put Jesus first. But the test comes when we must practice the things mentioned in 2 Peter 1.
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8
Love removes insincerity, pride, and vanity. I am reminded that God loved me not because I was lovable, but because it was His nature to love and restore. After this heart surgery I am ready to show the same love to others. So, he sometimes brings around me people whom I find it difficult to respect; I am to love them, just as I have been loved. There is no need to try and force it for true loving is his work through me. So, the question is this, is my life exhibiting the essence of the sweetness of the Son of God, or just the basic irritation of “myself” that I would have apart from Him?
When I resist loving someone I should look at my heart and remember how lovingly he has loved me. Am I prepared to be identified so closely with the Lord Jesus that his life and sweetness are continually poured out through Me? If so, it will require disciplined love.
Disciplined love opens the door to the enrichments of 2 Peter. Supplement means I am to cooperate with God, working with him without thinking of the price. I cannot separate love and faith. I came to my loving Lord by grace through faith. So, it makes sense that I love others the same way, by grace through faith.
Disciplined love thrives when virtue (v. 5), moral excellence demonstrated outwardly and powerfully in life, is coupled with self-control (v. 6), that exercises self-restraint and self-discipline resulting in a clear conscience before God and all people (Acts 24:16).
Disciplined love permeates when perseverance (v. 6) (patient endurance in doing right) is connected to brotherly kindness (v. 7) (affection for others that is willing to sacrifice).
Disciplined love guards me from barrenness (v. 8) (becoming inactive, indolent and useless) and being unfruitful (v. 8) (unproductive).
The disciplines immerse me into…
the life of the Lord until they become such a spontaneous expression of my life that I am no longer aware of them. My spiritual life continually causes me to focus my attention inwardly for the determined purpose of self-examination, because there are qualities I have not yet added to my life. Our circumstances are the means God uses to exhibit just how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure His Son is. Oswald Chambers
Lord, I desire to show your glory to everyone I meet. Help me persevere through all things with a disciplined love. May my life exhibit just how wonderfully perfect and extraordinarily pure you are.