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2-loveoneanother

Love One Another

2-loveoneanother

“Above all, love each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8)

We all have those people in our life that are “difficult to love”. For some reason or another, the “feeling” of love doesn’t come easily. It may be character issues, temperament, or things the other person has done to us. If we’re honest, we’ve all been on both sides of this situation. I know for a fact there have been times in our marriage that it was difficult for Laura to love me. Thankfully though, her love for me is rooted in something much deeper than feeling.

According to Peter, loving each other is essential to our walk with God. Above everything else, we are called to “maintain an intense love for each other”. This emphasis on love echoes many other verses in the Bible, including the well-known 1 Corinthians 13. In fact, the bible goes so far to say that love must be the basis of all our acts of service. For without it, it will profit no one.

The word “love” in these verses is translated in the greek as “agape”. When the Bible says that “God is love”, this is the definition being used. This is not a love that comes naturally to us (like family, friendship, or romantic loves). Agape love has divine origin. It is unmerited, unconditional and redemptive. It seeks nothing in return.

This is the same love we received from God himself (John 3:16). As we receive this love from God, we are filled to show the same love to others. Peter goes on to say that this type of love “covers over a multitude of sins”. It is love that has the ability to redeem and restore. It’s not easy (we always prefer to love when it “feels natural”)—but this type of love is what matters most.

So as we ponder what it means to love each other, may we consider first God’s incredible agape love for us. May His love motivate us to love others without seeking anything in return. May this type of love strengthen our marriages, families and friendships. And may we pursue this love more than anything else. For we know that in the end, ‘the only thing that matters.. is faith expressing itself through (agape) love.” (Galatians 5:6)

Contributed by Jason Van Dyke, God’s Fingerprints

No-Other-Cure

POEM: There Is No Other Cure

No-Other-Cure

Written by Dominique Gonzaga, Philippines

I used to give several pieces of my heart
To people I loved, like they were little parts.
But every single part came back like a dart
And left me with nothing but a broken heart.

Then I found You—rather, You found me
Held me by the hand, and I felt free
Sin had no more power in my life, only light,
Held sway, and Your perfect delight.

Those little parts, the pieces now made whole,
You stitched them up, You took full control.
Now bounded by Your love, I’m made so pure.
Besides you, Jesus, there is no other cure.

Click on the image or click here to download.

No-Other-Cure-(download) (1)

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Should Christians Date?

Bubbling to the surface was months of bitterness. They stood opposite each other, not willing to look each other in the eye. Eye contact, if any, was minimal. The conversation was brief and terse. There were some protestations and justifications, but, in the end, they decided to breakup. They had run headlong into a romantic relationship, only to end with broken hearts.

Is dating biblical? This word certainly did not appear in the Bible, and Scripture does not describe how a man and a woman can proceed from friendship to marriage. So how do we go from one to the other?

As Christians, we are “not to be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of [our] mind” (Romans 12:2). The way we date or court—or however one defines it—must be different from the ways of the world.

In worldly dating, intimacy often doesn’t lead to commitment. It tends to skip the friendship stage of a relationship and isolates the couple from other vital relationships. Additionally, the dating couple can become so enamoured with each other that they are distracted from their studies. Worldly dating centres on the self and on instant gratification.

Christian dating, on the other hand, is others-centred and is patient. It is much more than just abstaining from sex before marriage; it requires wisdom. We must realize that the one we are interested in and go out on a date with may not eventually end up being our spouse. Hence we are careful not to leave behind us a string of broken hearts. We are level-headed, making sure that our levels of intimacy don’t race ahead of what we are willing to commit to.

At the end of the day, let us remember: Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Written By Sean Tong for YMI