February 14, 2011 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Andy Tung, Gracepoint Hsinchu, Taiwan

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Teach: Though this passage doesnt specifically state it, what is happening here is that Jesus washes his disciples feet. So what is love? it is willing to descend in order to love. It is lowering oneself to the level of the one that you love in order to properly display your love for that person. This is made that much clearer when Jesus likewise tells the disciples to imitate him in his love.

Regard our life: We are to regard our lives as a witness to the world. We are to see ourselves as servants and those who have been called to love as Jesus loved us.

Treat others: Ultimately it is through our love for each other that the world will know that we are Christs disciples. The power of our witness comes through how much we love one another.

Romans 13:8-10

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Teach: (1) Love is a debt that is owed. It is owed to God and in turn it is owed to others. It is not an option. (2) Love fully fulfills the law. It captures the heart of the law, it captures everything that the law is about. The law restricts a person from doing things, but love goes even further as it makes you responsible to actually do something for others.

Regard our life: As someone who is indebted to God and others around me; that I am called to actually care for others regardless of how I feel, regardless of how much reserves I have to love, or how they treat me.

Treat others: Look for opportunities to love and do things for other people. There are a lot of people around me and it doesnt take much for me to reach out and get to know them. My view of people that God brings into my life needs to be that I am connected to them because of the love that God has shown me.

1 Thessalonians 4:9-10

9Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 10And in fact, you do love all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers, to do so more and more.

Teach: (1) there is no limit to love. You never get to a point where you feel like you have loved enough or you have done enough to love so now you can just relax. Of course there is only so much you can do in a day, but we still need to be people who grow in our capacity to love. (2) love needs to be over more and more people, (cf. all of Macedonia“)

Regard our life: As someone who has been called to love more and more people, I need to grow in my capacity to love, to pray for people, to have a larger and larger sphere of concern. This happens mostly through my prayers for peopleI cannot compromise on the amount of time it takes to pray for various people in our church and the other ministries that God has called me to be responsible over through my prayers. Though I am in Taiwan, I can still engage in that spiritual battle by praying for the other churches esp as this is a time of many retreats and retreat follow ups.

Treat others: continue to love each other as we have been taught. There are so many lessons on how to properly love others, and this is exactly what I need to continue to do. There is no secret to loving, it just needs to be done.

1 John 3:18

18 Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Teach: (1) love needs to be done concretely through our actions. (2) love needs to be based on truth or it quickly can become flattery or cause delusion. It can also lead to others growing proud if love is not based on truth. (3) Maybe we are told not to love with words or tongue because these things cause people to be proud. Instead we are to do it concretely through sacrificial love.

Regard our life: I must be careful how I use my words. With it I can built up or I can cause someone to be boastful or proud. But I must always be willing to love with action and in truth.

Treat others: I need to always look for concrete ways to love others. At the same time, out of love I cannot hold back on correcting or bringing things up with people. I need to be someone that is always alert to what I see and how I feel about certain things I notice in those Im called to lead.

1 John 4:7-8

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

Teach: (1) Love originated from God. (2) We know God if we love because we are able to fully understand Gods heart. This is huge because anyone who has really tried to love will understand how hard it is to love sinful people. When you love, you make yourself vulnerable, you open yourself up to hurt and pain. So through love you can properly understand God‘s heart that is intentionally vulnerable towards man. (3) Without trying to love others, you cannot know God because you dont know his heart.

Regard our life: That I am going to grow in my understanding of Gods heart as I try to love. I need to continue to do that in order to grow in my love for others and understanding of God. Love is not just a command, but as we love God hope is that we come to understand him.

Treat others: I am to love others despite the potential that they could hurt me. People may not always appreciate my love, they may not understand me, but that is not the reason for loving them. I am called to love them because God is love and he’s called me to share in his heart through doing thsi. I cannot pull back.

1 John 4:11-12

11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

Teach: (1) We love because God first loved us. When we love we are reciprocating Gods love to others. (2) Through loving others we are able to see God. God is love so when we love we are able to display to the world what love is. (3) When we love others, love is made complete is us. So the completion of that love is to love others.

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2 Responses to “February 14, 2011 Devotion Sharing”

  1. uly says:

    It seems that we have to love others no matter who they are, but the fact is that most people do just the opposite. Many people love others based on some criteria: beauty, higher social status, popularity and even ethnicity. In other words, a person may be ignored if they have no beautiful appearance. A person may be ignored if they come from a lower social status. A person may have no friends if they are not popular. A person may be hated if they are from minority groups.

  2. Jeff Chiu says:

    Thank you for sharing, Andy. I’ve been challenged by the recent DTs and also on your sharing:

    “As someone who is indebted to God and others around me; that I am called to actually care for others regardless of how I feel, regardless of how much reserves I have to love, or how they treat me.”

    This is my calling too… so hard, but the reality is that I am indebted to God and so many others re: love. Gotta keep striving to love.

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