To Love One is to Love Many

2009/08/01 at 10:44 上午 發表留言

Article taken from Fatherly Talk 5.17

To Love One is to Love Many

Dearly Beloved

When the Lord Jesus was speaking about the two greatest commandments
(to love God and to love one’s neighbour) and He had elicit the correct
answer from a learned lawyer of His time, He was asked the question as to 『who
was one’s neighbour?』 Jesus answered by giving the parable of the
Good Samaritan (Luke 10:27-37). Our neighbours are those who are in our
immediate vicinity and circumstances of life. It is an indictment on the priest
and the Levite who passed by on the other side in order to avoid helping the
man lying by the roadside (Luke 10:31-32).

Our love for God is measured by our love for people; for if
we truly love God, we will love those whom God loves (i.e. everyone).  The
apostle John even goes as far as to say that anyone who claims to love God but
who does not love others is a liar (1 John 4:20-21). And this love is expressed
not just in word or tongue but in deed and truth (1 John 3:17-18). The
difference between not walking in love and walking in love is the difference
between light and darkness (1 John 3:14). The true sign of one who has truly
been born again is that one would walk in the love of Jesus Christ. For this
reason Jesus, in giving His commandment to love, said that by THIS shall all
men know that we are His disciples that we love one another (John 12:34-35). If
we were to ask Christians whether they would want to walk in darkness outside
of God’s kingdom, they would most likely answer 『No.』 Yet
many of such would not take a moment’s hesitation to be unloving, cruel,
uncaring and inconsiderate of others. And some even would plot and plan evil
unto others, calling their plans justification because of their self-righteousness
and campaign against what they perceive to be sin and evil in others. Such 『holier
than thou’ attitudes were what have brought the downfall and shame to
Christianity throughout the two thousand years of Christian recorded history. Modern
Christianity is filled with stories of the unloving and judgmental attitude of
the organized church. This is not to say that there are none who walk in love;
they are but they are too few in numbers and we need a revival of love to
change the attitudes of the organized church.

Learning to walk in love starts somewhere and the first
place to start is always in our home and in our ministry and workplace. It is
essential that every spouse, every sibling or parent or children learn to walk
in unconditional love towards one another. It is a shame to Christianity that
the number of marriages broken down amongst Christians are as many (if not
more) than those who do not claim Christianity as their faith. Of course, such
breakdown are not always the result of both parties for there are many
situations where indeed, it is the sins and unfaithfulness of one party with
the other being the victim. Nevertheless, it is important that one always carry
the love of God in one’s heart. No marriage should descend into
bitterness and fighting resulting in enemies made of one another. No
relationship in ministry or work should result in two people in Christ becoming
enemies of one another. Of course, if one party chooses not to walk in love,
such amicable kindness to one another might not be possible. But it would still
be possible for the one party with the true walk in Christ to bear the
afflictions of the other who chose not to walk in love. The stronger one in
love must bear the one who walks lesser in love (1 Corinthians 8:9-13; Romans
14:21; 15:1-2).

If such a commandment seems difficult to some, let them
remember the example of Jesus on the cross. True Christianity is not 『an
eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.』 True Christianity is being willing
to take up the cross and follow after Jesus. What is the cross? The cross is
the place where you choose to take upon yourself all the afflictions of those
who do not walk in love. The cross is when you choose not to retaliate against
evil but you absorb the blows of evil and give out only unconditional love.
When people spit against you, when they scold you, when they hit you, when they
persecute you, when they misunderstand you, when they revile you, when they
isolate and ostracize you – and you respond only with the love of Christ
within you. This is TRUE Christianity. Yes, you choose to respond in such
manner EVEN when you have the power to annihilate such people whether through
natural strength or power or through the help of others who could assemble
themselves to your defence. Jesus had the power to annihilate every single
person who afflicted Him at the cross (more than twelve legions of angels at
His command) and yet He chose to bear the cross for us, showing us the perfect
way. Evil cannot be conquered by natural means (it can only be temporarily restrained
at times through wars fought by men or by force of law). Evil can only be
conquered by the love of God. If you use evil to conquer evil, you yourselves
would have become a greater evil. This is the true doctrine and gospel of Jesus
Christ. True Christianity conquers by love and martyrdom. The cross is more
powerful than guns and nuclear bombs. Great is the eternal reward of those who
walk in love and die at the hands of their persecutors.

The question is then asked as to the limits of such
sacrificial love. As far as running a country and nation is concern, the
governmental systems of the world requires that evil is temporarily restrained
and thus all governments have to run based on the law and issue punishment for
wrong doers (Romans 13:1-7). But as far as the way we run our personal life, it
is much better to suffer loss than to be the avenger (1 Corinthians 6:7). I
know that it seems foolish, stupid and even weak to many who do not understand
this powerful concepts of love overcoming evil. Even more so for those who
suffer material loss or loss of reputation through the evil acts of others.
There is a balance of requirement to allow the governmental law system to
restrain and punish evil by us being honest and upfront in reporting evil to
authorities – with the motive of ensuring that a particular evil is kept
restrained and the perpetrators kept behind bars. But no government can get
into the heart of an individual to teach them to love and forgive. Only the
gospel of Christ can deal with the heart and bring forth forgiveness within the
heart of a victim that has suffered much evil.

We must also remember that if evil succeeds not just in
robbing one of reputation or material things but in creating unforgiveness or
damaged to a heart of love, it has succeeded eternally. We must not allow evil
to succeed eternally even if it seems to succeed temporally. One day all evil
will be eliminated when Christ comes in judgment of all men. Every evil act of
mankind will have to be accounted for at the judgment seat. In the meantime, we
must never, ever allow evil or wrong to rob us of the heart of unconditional
love towards all. There is nothing more precious on planet earth than a soul
and heart that is filled with the love of God and has its nature set in the
unconditional agape love of God. It is more precious than silver, gold or
diamonds. Don’t let the enemy steal such a heart or changed it. Such a
heart is a heart close indeed to the heart of God.

The key is to learn that love has the power to absorb the
acts of evil and turn it into something good. As long as our love for God
remains strong, all things will indeed work for good (Romans 8:28). In the history
of Christianity, we have seen how it is love that changes the perpetrators of
evil. Saul was transformed from an evil judgmental Pharisee into an apostle by
the prayers of a loving disciple, Stephen (Acts 7:59-60). Many throughout
church history have been touched and transformed by the complete sacrificial
love of those in Christ. The greatness of true Christianity is in our ability
to love like Jesus loved. Perfect love has cast out fear throughout the two millennium
of Christianity and will continue to do so.

We must believe in power of love as much as we believe in
the power of the Holy Spirit, in the power of the Word and in the power of the
Name of Jesus. Love is more powerful than all the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1
Corinthians 13). When you walk in love, you are not walking in weakness rather
you are walking in the most powerful force in heaven and on earth (and also
shake the whole of hell). It takes a stronger person to refrain from giving 『an
eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.』 It is the weak who have to resort
to natural and carnal means to get their way. It is the foolish who think that
they can possess the world by evil methods and conquest. The truly strong shall
conquer by love and the meek shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

Now it is understandable that although one can walk in love
towards all, one cannot work with all or fellowship with all because of
differences of methods and differences in motivation. We still have to choose
carefully our ministry partners and our fellowship (Romans 16:17-18). Our love
needs to grow in discernment (Philippians 1:9). However, in choosing carefully
one’s friends, fellowship and partners one must always have a heart
filled with only kindness of thought and lovingness of thoughts towards all.
Our mind needs to be filled with loving thoughts and our heart completely empty
of bitterness, anger or unforgiveness (1 Corinthians 13:5-6). Our enemies might
be blind and deaf to our forgiveness and love towards them but our thoughts of
love can reach them deep in their spirits or hearts where they still might be a
hint of godliness or goodness in them. Think only loving thoughts towards all.

And of course, those who live within the circle of our daily
lives, to these we must first exercise our love. Our neighbours are those in
the circle of our lives and not those far away. The secret to growth in love is
that when you succeed in loving one difficult person along your life’s
path, that same capacity that you developed in loving that one person becomes
the capacity to love all the millions and billions of others like them; for
through loving one person, a greater capacity to love is ingrained and imparted
into your life. You victory to love one becomes the same power to love others
everywhere. Conversely, your lack of love for that one person around you
becomes a stumbling block to your capacity to love others everywhere; your
inability to love one person near you becomes a scar in your heart that will
remain wherever you may go and wherever you may be. You learn to love the world,
like God so loved the world, one person at a time. When you have succeeded in
loving those around you, you will succeed in loving the world like God does.

Life is an experience. It is filled with millions of tastes,
smells, sights, sounds, wonders and delights both of natural, soul and spirit.
The greatest and most powerful experience in life is to be able to love another
person and then more people and then the world. It is an experience that
transcends time and eternity. It is the highest experience possible on the
earth. God is Love. We were made in God’s image. We were made to love as
God does. Love is our highest existence and our main reason for existence. The
meaning of life is Love.

May God increase His love in each of your hearts.

In Christ’s love


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