Saturday, March 28, 2009

~~Loving above all else~~

God's unfailing love statement:
1 John 3:1
1How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!

1 John 3:16-24
16This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. 17If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? 18Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 23And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

1 John 4:7-21

God's Love and Ours
7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
I decided to state this truth of life before I get carried away and most importantly would like to get this registered and imprinted vividly in our minds. Admit it or not, we all have short-term memory and need to be reminded from time to time. (Well, at least this applies to me =D) I figured as long the soil of our hearts is saturated with Father's great love, we will be transformed inside out! It does not matter how unloving you used to be, what matters most is God is love! I would not say I am a super duper loving person but our God is an able God. Hard core people, complicated situation and difficult problem come and go like the wave that hit the shore and embrace the sea once again. It happens now and then even Jesus Christ our perfect sacrifice is not spared of all these predicament. What is more when we are living in this corrupted and imperfect world! I do not know since when the changes occur but one day I just realized it happens! I realized when I was greeted by ugly side of life, my first response should be praying. (**Special thank to my new found prayer warrior, Stormie Omartian. Currently she is my favourite Christian author. Her power of praying ROCKS!!! ^.^ love it love it **Special thank to my praying partner too who sows this seed of love in me. ** God is so good to me indeed!) Little do I know that the little prayer that I whispered to Your ears has the power to subside ferocious storm that roaring in my heart. Your peace transcends all understanding and human wisdom indeed. You flood my heart with overflowing of comfort and compassion which in turn empowers me to pass it on who needs it.
Matthew 9:12-13
12On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
I can only bend my knee and bow my head in adoration. (Father, thank you for being so gracious and mercy to me even though I am so imperfect. Thank you for gowning me with tender, passionate affection and equipping me with the garment of love. Thank you for empowering me to look beyond the circumstances and bring me back to the heart of worship. Thank you for not allowing me to wallow in and overwhelm by difficult situations which we totally have no control in. Thank you for humbling me down to lay bare all my shortcomings under your feet. Thank you for reminding me that you are still in full control of every situation. Thank you for reigning in my life. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for enabling me to forgive and overlook others' imperfection. Thank you for open up the eyes of my heart.
Above all, I really thanked and praised God for directing me to take up another wonderful course at Global University - the book of Corinthians. Thank you for breathing in deeper and greater meaning and appreciation of Your word. Thank you for revealing Your truth and way to me. Thank you for sending Paul to us! Thank you for holding me tight and leading me through the darkest hours! Thank you for showing me what love is all about. Because of love, Jesus bended down to wash the feet even of Judas who betrayed Him!)
The more we allow God's word to dwell in our minds and thoughts, the more our hearts become tender and soft of His great love. (Father, I pray that I can continue walk closely with You and become more and more like You with each passing day. Transform me Oh Lord to be the loving servant of one another.) Sooner or later you will realize that those behavioral matters we think are important are really matters of indifference to God - they do not affect our standing with God.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23
19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Though I can never fully understand how Paul face his each challenging and dilemma day, one thing for sure is he chose to live up to God's calling in his life to the fullest. His single passion - gospel to all people (irregardless of whether they are good or bad in our wordly point of view). Such a righteous act is destined to cause one to be misunderstood. Paul was given the label of compromiser and hypocrite. Who can fathom his deepest longing to save as many as possible? Who can grasp how much he had endure in order to advance the gospel? Who can comprehend how heart wrenching he is to see people walk away from God? Who are we there to judge God's servant? I am grateful to learn that our faithful Father not only spares Paul from lots of persecution, He also frees him from concern over all the misunderstandings he faced. Amen!
Many times we are pretty much like those critics. We judge, we evaluate, we assess and eventually we criticize without knowing the whole truth. (Father, I pray that You will set a guard over my mouth and keep watch over the door of my lips. Help me to quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. No man can tame the tongue which is restless evil, full of deadly poison. Father, I pray that you will season and filter every single word that coming out of my mouth. May they only do good for the listeners. I surrender my tongue fully to You Oh Lord)
My little whispering to Abba, Father:
The more I read Your word, the more I realized I does not yet knows as I ought to know. Teach how height and width Your love is to the world! Coach me how to love and be loved oh Lord. Thank you for saying "the man who loves God is known by God". How great is such promise and how heartening to know that even though the world does not understand our intention, You fully understand. Thank you for once again remind me that it is of no use to win the whole world but to lose our souls for You. Help me to run the race with full confident to win the crown of salvation that will last forever. Amen!
1 Corinthians 13:1-8
1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away

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