“Their wings touched one another…two wings of each one touched one another” (Ezekiel 1:9,11)
Be close enough to know each other’s heart, and to give and receive encouragement in the truth.
One of the most moving phrases in Paul’s writing to Timothy is, “…I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears…” (2 Tim 1:3-4).
Timothy’s sincerity in ministering met hard times. His wings seemed listless, then lifeless. The easiest way would have been just to let Timothy go home. But Paul knew God’s grace and gift had been with Timothy and still was. What Paul saw in Timothy was two levels: first, it appeared that Timothy wanted to give up, and second, Timothy had a genuine faith. Continue reading
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” (Eph 5:8)
As children of light in this world, our lifestyle should be different from the lifestyle of unbelievers. If we’re no different in our words, values, attitudes, and behavior than those who do not know God, we have no witness to give them.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” (Mt 5:14-15)
As Christians, we are Christ’s light bearers, letting His light shine through us. How brightly are our lights shining? Can others see Jesus Christ through us? Do our lives show other people how to find God and how to live for Him? If not, let us ask ourselves what “baskets” have shut out our lights. Continue reading
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’ ” (Jn 8:12)
Light represents goodness, purity, holiness, and truth. Darkness represents sin, evil, and Satan. As the light of the world, Jesus brings light to mankind. When we follow Jesus Christ, the light of the world, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin. Confession of our sins restores our fellowship with God. Walking in the light is the key to having fellowship with God and experiencing intimacy with Him.
Practically speaking, what does it mean to “walk in the light” and not “in darkness”? Continue reading
“[Love] does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.” (1 Cor 13:5)
Being stuck in the middle seat of the narrow economy cabin of a full international flight, I frowned when I heard the window seat passenger say, “Excuse me,” right after the flight attendant had passed out our meal plates. I groaned silently in my heart, “How inconvenient! Can’t you wait until after we finish our meals?” Nevertheless, I stood up without saying a word and made room for her to go. She must have sensed my unwillingness and said in a low voice, “I am sorry.”
I felt somewhat ashamed of being rude. My discourtesy revealed a lack of consideration for others. Love cannot be selfish, as love is concerned for the other person’s well-being. When Jesus tells us to love our neighbors, He is not telling us to love them in the sense of responding to them with a cozy emotional feeling. He is telling us to love our neighbors in the sense of being willing to work for their well-being, even if it means sacrificing our own well-being. Continue reading
“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” (1 Pet 3:8, NIV)
We are privileged to belong to God’s family, a community with Jesus Christ as the founder and foundation. Everyone in this community is related – we are all brothers and sisters, loved equally by God. God teaches us to love one another. But sometimes we may feel that it is much easier to love God than to love others. It is easy to say that we love God when it doesn’t cost anything more than weekly attendance at church services. But the real test of our love for God is how we treat the people in front of us – our family members and fellow believers. We cannot truly love God while neglecting to love people around us in God’s family.
Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 Jn 3:15)
Does this mean that if you dislike someone, you aren’t a Christian? John’s words focus on the attitude that causes us to ignore or despise others, to treat them as irritants, competitors, or enemies. Christian love is not a feeling but a choice. Continue reading