Saturday, 17 October 2015

What is love?

“This post is part of the October 2015 Synchroblog ‘If this was my last blog post, here’s what I would want to say’”

If this was my last post in reality, I would want to highlight the true meaning of #Love.

#Love is a very short word. It is made up of just four letters, but has diverse and powerful definitions.

People can easily use this word in their daily casual expressions like: I love a red, shiny fast car; I love summer time; I think that I am in love; I love ice cream; I love music; etc.

Love they say, is like a butterfly, very #colourful - with its #multi-coloured mood.

The definition of love depends on what people value most in life, their circumstances, their state of mind, etc. at the time of speaking.

There are four types of love: love for a spouse; love for the children; love for friends; love for things.

We know that love for one's family and friends is not the same as love for things like the weather, possessions, etc. When we love others, it simply means that we feel that it is "good that they exist and are there". 

Depending on their perspective, people see love as:
  • #Passion
  • #Happiness and #friendship
  • #Honesty, even if it hurts
  • #Forgiveness and #kindness
  • Settling misunderstanding amicably between two people
  • Partners growing old gracefully together

There are other #little things in life that people value, which can be attributed to love. One will consider that another person (be it spouse, friend, child, parent or sibling) loves him/her if they do the following (what's your best guess?):
  • Make an effort to succeed in life
  • Do not kiss another man / woman
  • Close the toilet door (and all other doors where necessary) behind them
  • Always fill the car tank (buy fuel or diesel)
  • Take a day off from work to take a loved one out
  • Let one have his or her little space, sometimes
  • Share the same hoodie :-)
The list can go on and on...

#Divine definition of love, on the other hand, does not depend on human circumstances. True love, that is, real lasting divine love is something very different. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, the scripture says "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love". The #Holy Bible teaches us that: love is patient; love is kind; love is humble; love honours others; love is not easily angered; love offers forgiveness; love rejoices with the truth; love always protects; love always trusts; love always hopes; love always perseveres. 
Read more about Divine love in 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13.

So how do we live out this kind of #divine love?

Love is putting your spouse before yourself; love is being patient and kind to your children; love is being respectful to your parents; love is giving to the needy; love is sharing your faith with your neighbours; love is having patient with that mean co-worker; love is working hard to heal broken relationships; love is spending a week doing mission work; love is forgiving that person who offended you like Jesus forgave you.

Our purpose in life is to experience God's love and to share His love with the world today and every day of the year. In the Holy Bible, John said in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

If you truly know God, share His love with those around you!

Other Participants in this synchroblogging are:

K.W. Leslie – Synchrobloggery
Glenn Hager – Parting Shot
Carol Kuniholm – A Final Synchroblog
J. A. Carter – Last Words
Tony Ijeh – Sharing Jesus
Liz Dyer – Last words about love

Friday, 9 October 2015

Standing in the #Presence of the #Lord!

#Biblical reference: New International Version (#NIV)

We all believe that there is a supreme and #supernatural being or force. As a Christian, I believe that this being is the #Almighty #God, the #Creator of all things.

#Life is full of ups and downs. There are so many #challenges in life and the ways people handle these challenges depend on their belief and faith. While some people think that they can fix all things by themselves, others believe that they need divine intervention to carry on. I believe that no matter what comes our way, God is mighty and able to handle it. As we put in efforts to succeed in life, it is through His grace and mercy that we succeed. We should learn to trust Him in everything we do, no matter what life throws at us.

Paul pointed out what God can do in Ephesians 3: 20 - 21 "Now unto Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen."

I have learnt to trust in the Lord. We should, of course, handle our physical challenges to the best of our ability, but leave the rest (the spiritual aspects) to God. I believe and know that God will perfect His will concerning anybody who believes. In the book of Philippians 1: 6, Paul addressed the believers and expressed his confidence in God's goodness "being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Remember that there are times when nothing seem to be working out as planned. #Temptation will surely come our ways, but those who have the fear of God will surely overcome and be victorious by the grace of God. David said in the book of Psalm 37: 24 that "he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand."

It takes the #grace of God, though, to keep moving on in the mist of all difficulties (be it finance, health, relationship, etc.). During such difficult times, do not be surprised to notice that some of your friends and family members will anticipate and say that you have failed and lost it.

But behold, you are encouraged to be confident and put your trust in God. Do not be discouraged because this is the time when the grace of God will manifest in your life. You will surely keep standing because of your faith and confidence in the Lord. The book of Micah 7: 8 says "Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light."

My prayer today:
Lord help us to understand and appreciate your love and care for us. Amen.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Have we replaced Hospitality with Hostility?

This post is part of the June synchroblog “Hospitality”.

Thinking about the importance of showing #hospitality to others, I wonder if this concept is still recognized and valued in our modern day society. How often do people readily accept and help others / strangers these days? Have we substituted hospitality with hostility?

Observing what is going on around the world, it is obvious that things are no longer as they used to be in terms of human relationship. These days, people hardly pick phone calls, chat, pay attention or show compassion to others. I do not really blame them because the heart of man has gradually become evil and people are careful when dealing with others, especially strangers.

Drastic changes like increase in armed robbery, hatred, cheating, stealing and wickedness among all other evil acts in our society today makes it difficult for people to trust and help each other. This indicates that hospitality has gradually lost its values. Because of these negative changes, people are very reluctant to show hospitality to others for fear of being harmed or even killed. Another reason why some people hesitate to show hospitality to others is because some people no longer appreciate it when others show them kindness. Instead of being grateful, they rather insult, attack and abuse those who want to help them. For example, strangers these days could be enemies in disguise. They might pretend that they need help but their main intentions could be to cheat and harm others. Looking innocent does not make someone an angel; that innocent-looking person might be the most dangerous person on earth. Nevertheless, there are few innocent people who genuinely appreciate it when others show them kindness. And there are real strangers who might be stranded and genuinely looking for help.

How do Christians show hospitality in a world where evil has overtaken goodness? A world where wicked people cheat others and snatch away what they laboured for, harming or killing them?

It is no wonder that many people are paranoid when it comes to helping others. Do you know that many people pretend to be friends and visit others with evil intentions of hurting them? They pretend to be friendly whereas they have evil plans to execute? It is very difficult to single out the good from the bad ones. That notwithstanding, some Christians still love and accept each other and strangers alike according to the teaching of the scriptures. We are encouraged to show hospitality as it is written in Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it." – NIV. In 1 Peter 4:9 the scripture says "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling." - NIV

In a Christian community, the act of sharing and helping each other still exists, not without limitations though. There are still some good people who help others without looking for anything in return or thinking of any negative consequences. They still try to live according to the teaching in 3 John 1:8 where the apostle John encouraged the church to show hospitality "We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth." - NIV

Due to the wickedness in this world, some people are reluctant to receive gifts/presents from others because it is very difficult to predict the intentions (good or bad) of the giver. Even though some people hesitate to rely completely on others for help these days, there are still some who do appreciate any form of support. Accepting hospitality is okay because in Matthew 10 9-10 for example, Jesus told the apostles to always do so. "Do not get any gold or silver or copper to take with you in your belts--no bag for the journey or extra shirt or sandals or a staff, for the worker is worth his keep." - NIV

The world has changed drastically. In fairness, it has become very difficult to distinguish between the good and bad people; people are afraid of each other because the evil ones are everywhere. It takes the grace and direction of God to discern when to render help to others. It is also by faith and following the teaching of Christ that people can accept things from others in good faith.

As Christians, our prayer is that God should help us to read and understand His words. He should help us to follow his examples and be doers and not hearers of His Word!

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