The Lord knows the hearts of all (Acts 1:24). There is great comfort in this statement. We make judgements on what we see and hear. If Jesus had maintained that approach with His disciples, many of His decisions would have been reversed. The disciples abandoned Him and Peter denied Him, yet Jesus remained steadfast in His choice of empowering the disciples to be His successors and Peter to be the head of them. We are commanded to “love one another” (Jn. 15:17), and keep the commandments of the Lord (Jn. 15:10). Yet we know only too well how difficult both are in practice. Relationships are coloured with misunderstanding, misinterpretation, reckless and unkind responses in words and actions. Selfishness coupled with different mentalities, personalities and ego make it difficult to love. Also, who can say ‘I have never broken a commandment?’ Our failings in showing love to all and keeping the commandments are what led our Lord to the cross. His death is a call to put to death all anger, bitterness and darkness in our lives. His resurrection empowers us to get up and keep walking each time we fall and fail to live by His word. Where human weakness is evident, allow His grace to strengthen our heart. Let us strive to live with clean hearts, for that is the beginning of love. Lord Jesus, let Your joy fill our hearts, so that even in our weakness, we may always seek to please You by loving others and walking in Your ways by Your grace. Accept the purity of our hearts, and may our prayer, fasting and works of mercy give You honour. Amen.