1 Peter 1:22 "Earnest love from a Pure Heart." Pastor Michael Petit. Calvary Chapel Devine Devotion.
1 Peter 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.
This past weekend I was so blessed to see the body of Christ working together as each person from Calvary Chapel Devine & Grace Calvary Chapel Youth served the community of Devine during the Cactus Fest. The love shown to all that came to visit the Kid's Corner was a blessing. The church had begun the process back in September preparing for the Cactus Fest. We got to help during the setup on Thursday and into Sunday. That would never happen without the body of Christ working together in love. We got to serve others earnestly from a pure heart. It actually requires our life to be purified by the Word of God and actually apply in our daily lives .
Purified your souls: Hagnizo in the greek means to make clean, i.e. (figuratively) sanctify (ceremonially or morally):—purify (self).
Nehemiah 13:7-9 and came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8 And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber. 9 Then I gave orders, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense.
Having purified your souls. It’s a verb to so we should be continually cleansing the temple.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth. How will you purify your souls? By your obedience to the truth! Objectively the truth as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ and respecting the duties of man. Subjectively the natural tendency in the way you apply truth as a personal quality in your everyday life.
So, do you purify your souls by your obedience to the truth so you can love one another? The word sincere “without hypocrisy” A brotherly love which is Philadelphia.
Psalm 55:21 ESV
His speech was smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
The love that we share with each other, and with a lost world, must be generated by the Holy Spirit that’s why we purify our souls in obedience to the truth daily. It is a constant power in our lives, and not something that we turn on and off like a radio. But also, next love one another is agape which is godlike sacrificial love not expecting anything in return. We share brotherly love because we are brothers and sisters in Christ and have likenesses. We share agape love because we belong to God and therefore can overlook differences.
1 Peter 1:22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,
This love is also an earnestly or fervent love, and this is an athletic term that means “striving with all of one’s energy.”
Matthew 22:36-40 English Standard Version (ESV)
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
1 Timothy 1:5 The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Finally, the love God requires of us, for which we are to strive, is a lasting love which never fails.
John 13:35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Philippians 2:1-4 ESV
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
1 John 4:7 ESV
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
Love is something we have to work at, just as football player works out during the offseason and the season to get better at his skills for the game. Christian love is not a feeling; it is a matter of the will. We show love to others when we treat them the same way God treats us. I want to thank each of you for displaying this love not only to each other in the church but also to the City of Devine and Community that came and visited us during the Cactus Fest. It was a beautiful thing to be a part of, see the Lord work in each life and seeing God being glorified in the process.
There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. These men, O king, pay no attention to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”
When is it right for me to stand for the Lord and against the rule or authority of men?
We come to the Book of Daniel in Chapter Three. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow the golden statue made by the King Nebuchadnezzar. The king had commanded them to worship and bow to the statue. The King was asking them to do something that went against God.
Exodus 20:1-6 ESV
And God spoke all these words, saying,  “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  “You shall have no other gods before me.  “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.  You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
He’s forcing that on them to worship him. It’s incredible constraint to put this on others. It goes completely goes against God’s commandment. How many other Jewish exiles are there that actually bowed? The commandment is very clear, and I love the stance that is made by these young men is so important. How many of us are doing the same being defiant and standing rejecting God? Maybe you reject the bible because you think it has errors, you reject the bible because it isn’t relevant to our time, you reject that Satan is real, you reject a literal heaven & hell, you reject moral stance the Bible takes on marriage. Many followers of Christ believe these things in our culture many have built large statues or idols in defiance of God and his word in their own life.
But wait then you read in the Book of Romans 13. that we are be subject to the governing authorities.
Romans 13:1-5 ESV
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.  Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,  for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.  Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
“The closer God is to a government and its citizens, the more ordered the society will be. The further God is from a government and its citizens, the more chaotic the society will become.” Dr. Tony Evans
So, when do I stand?
Today everyone wants to fight over everything. Political divide, Medical Mandates, Social issues, School Boards it seems like all of it is just a reason to argue and being defiant. But when is right to stand? I have had conversations about medical mandates and vaccines quite often this past month. What is a conviction from the Lord, and do I have a conviction from the Lord?
Romans 13:5 ESV
Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.
I love the way Warren explains this piece of scripture.
“Any citizen can obey the law because of fear of punishment, but a Christian ought to obey because of conscience. Of course, if the government interferes with conscience, then the Christian must obey God rather than human authority.”
We can always find examples in scripture.
The king of Egypt wanted to kill all the Hebrew son’s that were born and thrown into the Nile.
Exodus 1:15-22 ESV
Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah (Ship-prah) and the other Puah,  “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.”  But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.  So the king of Egypt called the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this, and let the male children live?”  The midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women, for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife comes to them.”  So God dealt well with the midwives. And the people multiplied and grew very strong.  And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families.  Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, “Every son that is born to the Hebrews you shall cast into the Nile, but you shall let every daughter live.”
They didn’t follow the order from the king of Egypt because it goes directly against the law of God. Midwives “Fear God” and didn’t do it but let the male children live. Sadly, this past election we saw many vote in a way that was driven by emotions and feelings towards a candidate. Christians actually choose to vote for someone that was for abortions or supporting the LBGTQ community both going against the Word of God. We are called to stand for the Lord. Not bow down to our emotions and feelings and political pressure. We need to answer the question are we seeking first the kingdom of God?
Matthew 6:33 ESV
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Many of us have been running on emotions and making decisions in haste. I know during 2020 I had to stop myself I was arguing over every mandate and causing division, I wasn’t really trying to be a peacemaker. I was fueled by too much news, politics chaos, and medical mess. It was driving my day. Your probably thinking wait you’re a Christian that shouldn’t be happening, your right, but it did. Repentance was necessary. I turned off the news and social networks. I remembered a verse when I first came to Christ that really stuck with me and help me focus properly.
Colossians 3:1-2 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
So we set out heart and minds on the things from above and seek the things from above we place Christ and we filter the world through the lens of scripture. Lord will let us know when it is time to stand.
The Apostle Peter stood before the council knowing they could be killed for sharing about Jesus, yet they kept doing it.
Acts 5:27-33 ESV
And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them,  saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us.”  But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.  The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.  God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.  And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”  When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.
“We must obey God rather than men.” Powerful statement.
Finally in the Book of Esther. Mordecai emphasized that Esther being in the palace was not an accident, for she had “come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”
Esther 4:14 ESV
For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
We see three men standing against a king and here Esther answering the call to knowing the circumstances were dire and they may be killed in the process. God will give us opportunities to stand and yet some will choose to bow, but it doesn’t stop the Lord’s plan. God will find someone else to come off the bench and, in the game, if you will not. God’s plans go forward. God wants us to be a part of it, but if not, God will move on to someone else. In the Book of Mark, the Gentile woman says the two words we all need to say when the Lord calls on us to stand “Yes Lord” if you say no Lord, He isn’t your Lord.
Mark 7:28 ESV
But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs.”
Church I believe we have much to stand for today. Remember a conviction is something that God places on your heart and you must obey. I always look to obey the authorities over me and respect the offices they hold, but if goes against the Word of God or against something the Lord has placed on my conscience or my heart then I must obey God rather than men. I hope this helps bring some understanding to this topic. Just trust God, Fear God rather than Men and obey God rather than men.
Pastor Michael Petit