October 16, 2006

Hard Love

Saw/heard this about 1 month back:
"Suppose 2 persons get to know 1000 persons on average in a lifetime, the chances of meeting each other is 1 in 100,000. So what are the chances of them falling for each other?? Perhaps we have never seriously thought how hard it is for two persons to be in love... and for two persons to stay committed for life is even harder to come by."

Church is now doing a series on 1 John. I was reminded that the mark of God's believers is the test of love. It was not surprising to keep hearing Pastor C emphasizing on loving your brothers.. loving people, for most parts of this year. Having the knowledge of the truth and God's word, the most difficult part is for us to live it out in our lives.

To love - easier said than done. How often do we only look out for our own self interest and gain? How do we treat our loved ones? Do you regard yourself better than others? How often do we think others have wronged us whilst we have been angels to them? Do we only love those who are lovable?

The Lovables
Isn't baby D cute? Who won't melt at seeing him? Its easy to love someone as cute as baby D, easy to love nice people, good-looking people, people who are fun to be with.

I am guilty of not loving the unlovables. Someone I know and dislike, has passed away from a heart attack a few days ago. His death was quite an irony (but I shall not elaborate further lest I disclose his identity). Some were not saddened by his sudden demise, but some others were sad that it happened so suddenly for someone who was not that old. I was shocked and had a few seconds of disbelief when I saw the obituary on the papers. Although I don't like him, I was still very surprised by his sudden death.

Honestly I was not the only one who found it difficult to love this man. I know its too late but now that he is not around, I wonder how I could have been more loving. I am not close to him enough to love him in the romantic ways or even show him any acts of love. But I suppose by not complaining to others about him could have been one way of being loving... and that has to begin with the heart of loving.

There are many examples of people whom I can quote that I find them difficult to love. I don't declare to be able to love them all from this instant moment. But I pray that I can begin bit by bit to be loving. I too, a sinner, but God loved me so much. If I truly understood the gospel, I must pass the love test.

In Our Relationships
Pastor specifically mentioned the marriage relationship. When we find it difficult to love our spouses "He/she is so... (fill in a negative word), how can I possibly live with him/her? How can I love him/her?" Like the quote at the beginning of this entry, it is becoming more difficult for people to stay in their marriages and not calling it quits. Do we then give up loving our spouses, seek a divorce and look for someone else to love? Chances are, we will also find it d
ifficult to love the next person in other ways.

In Christian marriages, we do not "move on" to find someone better but we "hold on"... just as the marriage vow "for better or for worse, till death do us part".

In our relationships with each other, do we put the other person before ourselves, putting the other's needs above ours? Do we go our way out to "love until we bleed"? If our love is not reciprocated/appreciated, we still carrying on loving risking our own interests?

Only Jesus has demonstrated that love perfectly. We can only model after his love and trusting that we can give that love, not by our own but with His strength and His love.

Ministerial Love
I have also been recipient by others' of acts of love. M has been cooking yummy-licious dinner for the DG for the past 3 weeks and there's more to come. Ti
me and effort put in to cook enough to feed 8-10 hungry people each week.

R also opened up his house and his wife cooked us a simple yet delicious 4-course lunch for my music team. Their humility and love has blessed the team as we fellowship and get to know one another on top of the time that we usually spent practising music and serving at Sunday services.

Food is not the only avenue that people do to show their love. I am also greatly encouraged by people who have been using their cars to minister to others without cars - going all the way out to ferry people from one location to another. I am also blessed by my "Transport Minister" after DG ends late at night :)

Loving God
John reminds us in 1 John 2, that we are to say no to the world and its ways. "Do not love the world or anything in the world" (2:15) We are to say "yes" to God and to continue to believe in Jesus Christ. We are to reject the antichrists (2:18-23) who distract us from God and tempts us with another gospel or anything more than the gospel.

We are reminded to remain in Christ, in the word that we first believe - the gospel, so that nothing can make us insecure abotu Christ. We cannot love the world and love God together at the same time. Love for God and love for the world are mutually exclusive. We have to choose - love God or love the world (world meaning worldliness - cravings of sinful man, lust of this eyes and boasting of what he has)?

LOVE - a word easy to spell but not easy to act on. Remembering how God first loved us and by His grace, may we continue to love...

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