Friday 15th October
By Chow Ee-Tan 赵一丹
LOVE WILL FIND A WAY
And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony – Colossians 3: 14
Love – the four-letter word that is so often used, and misused. The idea of
love’ is universal and vast and is lauded in art, literature, music and films. I remember back in the 90s when I caught the King of Pop in concert here in Kuala Lumpur. In between singing, he shouted out:I love you, I love you, I love you!’ and his fans reciprocated. The cynical me thought to myself, his proclamation of love was lip service at most.
In the Bible, we know that love is an important attribute that all believers should possess and manifest, simply because God is love and we have received His love.
There are at least 55 direct commandments in the New Testament telling us to love one another and exhortations to practice loving qualities. Leading up to the well-known passage on love found in 1 Corinthians 13, the apostle Paul calls love the `more excellent way’(1 Cor 12:31).
The love spoken of and taught by God is Agape love – a self-sacrificial love that puts others above yourself. Love is not about a feeling or emotion. Love is a commitment to action, and true agape love possesses all the qualities and virtues of what 1 Corinthians 13 describes.
Jesus Himself teaches on love to His disciples in John 13:34-35 saying: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Yes, we ought to emulate Jesus, who is the epitome and embodiment of love.
In Colossians, Paul teaches that love is the most important and supreme virtue believers should display. Love supersedes all other attributes and attitudes that believers should possess in Col 3:12-13 : compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another, forgiving each other..
Why is love a virtue above all others? This is because love brings people together despite their differences in backgrounds and characters. Not only that, love binds us together in unison and harmony.
Harmony as understood musically means “the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce a pleasing effect.” Similarly in the church and beyond, believers, although being different in many ways, can live and interact with each other in harmony because of love. Just like in an orchestra or a band, love is the song that believers must all play so that they can be bounded in perfect harmony.
Of course, we are still humans and this `perfect harmony’ that Paul mentioned may be delusive to achieve. But let us remember that we have Christ’s love dwelling in our hearts thus we can and ought to love others like He loves us.
In his article for Bible.org, Pastor and author Steven J. Cole writes that agape love is the basis for mature Christian unity, and such love should be shown in peaceful relationship in the church. However, we do not want to idealise and believe that the body of Christ is one big loving family without any discord. From time to time, there’s bound to be disagreements, misunderstanding and even conflicts among Christian brothers and sisters.
But we are called to above all virtues, to put on love in our relationships with one another. Jesus even said not only love your neighbours but love your enemies too. This stems from the fact that we have experienced how deep our Father’s love is, so much so that Jesus died for us to give us eternal lives. Our love should overflow from inside us, not by our own human effort, but by the filling and empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
Paul concludes his sermon on love with: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor 13:13).
Love will find a way, because we are called to love.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for Your amazing love to us, so that as Your children, we are called to love one another. We pray that we can love one another with Your love, putting aside our differences and be bound in harmony. Let us remember that love is a virtue above all virtues, and help us to live a life that reflects Your wonderful love for us. We thank You in Jesus name, Amen.
上帝所说和教导的爱是神圣的爱—— 一种将他人置于自己之上的自我牺牲的爱。爱不是一种感觉或情绪。爱是付诸行动的承诺，真正的神圣的爱具备哥林多前书 13 所描述的所有品质和美德。
耶稣在约翰福音 13:34-35 中亲自教导祂的门徒关于爱的道理，祂如此说：“我赐给你们一条新命令、乃是叫你们彼此相爱．我怎样爱你们、你们也要怎样相爱。你们若有彼此相爱的心、众人因此就认出你们是我的门徒了。”是的，我们应该效法耶稣，祂是爱的典范和化身。
在歌罗西书中，保罗教导说，爱是信徒应该展现的最重要和最崇高的美德。爱取代了信徒在歌罗西书 3:12-13 中应具备的所有其他属性和态度：怜悯的心、恩慈、谦虚、温柔及忍耐、彼此包容、彼此饶恕。。。
保罗在结束他关于爱的讲道时说：“如今常存的有信、有望、有爱、这三样、其中最大的是爱。” （哥林多前书 13:13）。