Born Ordinary, Called to be Extraordinary

The Acts of Love, the Culture of Love.

The bible speaks of the Lord who dwells in our hearts, so that we being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Let us think of this in simple terms. Do we love others? Perhaps for many, “to love” is a natural behavior. If we look at ourselves, we have all loved someone in our lives, be it our parents, spouse, children, brethren or even someone who is not related to us. However, very few people can “introspect on his own love”. Today, many believers seem to be able to love others, but they cannot introspect about love. Many believers may say, “Of course, I love my spouse, and I love my brethren”, but they do not ponder “why is my spouse not happy? Why are my brethren always weak and not able to get up?” Often in these situations, we may think that they are at a loss because of unfavourable circumstances or conditions, but we do not reflect if we are giving them enough love, to help them tide over the troubles they are facing. Actually a person does not introspect on his own love, often because he does not want to feel accused. He does not want to be rebuked in his heart. Therefore, his love will not grow. Without a doubt, he can love another person in his own disposition, but the nature of that love is one that is centred on self, not a self-sacrificing love. Furthermore, when we ponder about our own love, we will be faced with another difficulty, which is to live out the love in actions. In comparison, it is still easy to think, analyse and examine our attitude of love towards others, but the real challenge is in living out the acts of love. In fact, if our ultimate desire is not to live out the love, then no amount of “introspection on love” is useful. It is instead just an action to comfort ourselves. When we reflect on our heart of love for others, we will take practical and progressive steps, when we are helping our spouse, educating our children, supporting our brethren, interacting with others, etc. Also, in these practical actions, we will go deeper into our introspection of love and receive a purer heart and wisdom to love others. Although we cannot totally comprehend the great infinite love of Lord Jesus, from His deeds during His Incarnation, when He is with sinners, living in the midst of their corrupted thinking, words and deeds, day by day, He gave them timely teachings, till He sacrificed Himself for their sins, we know that comprehending God’s love is not something that remains only in reflections, without actions. Only when we act, our souls will be activated, receive more deeply and do more practically, leading us ultimately to know how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Lord. Only when we repeatedly do this, real love can become a culture. Actually, mere introspection will not create a culture. Neither can mere actions create a culture. Culture is only formed when there are repeated actions from introspection. Therefore, when the love of God is unceasingly manifested in our dark fallen world: out of selfish ways, there are repeated self-sacrificing moments; in the midst of harsh languages, gentle words are said, in fake relationships, true relationships are developed, etc, the culture of love will be built. Finally, let us truly ask ourselves: if a person is with us for a few months, though he cannot be convicted by the sermon he heard, can he sense the existence of God in the culture of love in this church? This is our challenge.

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