Thursday, 4 November 2021
Title: Love Demonstrated
By: Pr Mark Tan

Romans 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

In the classic musical drama “My Fair Lady”, the protagonist, Eliza Doolittle is approached by a handsome young man, named Freddy. He so badly wanted to tell her how much he loves her. But, alas, before he gets the chance to say all he feels about her, Eliza, disenchanted by words, doesn’t want to hear it. She shuts him up and sings “Don’t talk of stars burning above. If you’re in love, SHOW ME.” The summary of the song: talk is cheap, show me that you truly love me.

Today we are bombarded by words every day. We are even bombarded by words that could mean one thing to someone, even if it actually means something totally different to everyone else. Read TIMAH. According to the Global Language Monitor, around 5,400 words are created every year. That’s one new word every 98 minutes! Yet, even with all the words in the world, not any or all could even begin to accurately describe love. Poets and philosophers have attempted to but failed. Many swindlers and cheaters have abused words to peddle a cheap love for their own benefit, causing harm and heartache to others. It’s no wonder that the more informed we are through the internet and free open knowledge, the more sceptical and cold we seem to become.

Maybe no one has been able to describe love perfectly, simply because it is an impossible task. It is impossible for two reasons:
First, in the Christian faith, God is love (1 John 4:16) therefore to describe love is to describe God, and there are certainly not enough adequate words to describe Him, let alone how much He loves us.
Second, as the singer John Mayer wrote: “love is a verb, it ain’t a thing”. When you say you love someone, it must always be followed up by descriptions of what you have sacrificially done, to prove that you in fact love the person.

God certainly knew this dilemma, which is why, rather than trying to put together strings of words to tell us how much He loves us, He demonstrates His love for us through Jesus Christ who, while we were still sinners, while we were still in total rebellion against God and all of His goodness, died for us so that we might have eternal life (Romans 5:8, John 3:16).

It is because of God’s demonstration of pure love on the cross and in the empty tomb, that the Christian faith continues to be a beacon of hope, a bastion for the faithful, a banner of love for all to see through the ages. Even today, through the never-ending demonstrations of love and charity to the community, the Church of Jesus Christ attests God’s greatest commandment to love Him and to love our neighbours.

Friends, I pray this morning you are encouraged purely by the fact that God loves you. He has proven it time and again in little ways, but ultimately He has demonstrated it in Jesus’ sacrifice. He did that so that you would respond to His love in obedience and faith, and to share that love to others, that they too might have eternal life and share in the endless love of God. “We love, because He first loved us.” (John 4:19)

PRAYER:
Jesus, You are the author and originator of love. We only know love because You are love and You loved us first. You love us specifically and sacrificially. You love us in our sin and rebellion against You. You love us despite the pain we inflict on others. You love us in our mess. It is that love – that selfless, self-sacrificing love, which allows us to love others. It is an overflow of Your love for us that allows us to love other people. Jesus, we ask You to make us better lovers of one another. Give us the heart and love to proclaim Your love to those who need to hear it. This we ask in Your precious, holy, and loving name. Amen.

班底浸信教会
每日灵粮
2021年11月4日,星期四

题目:“ 爱的体现 ”
作者: 陈燕靖传道
翻译: 黄姐妹
经文: 罗马书章 5 – 8 节*

“ 唯有基督在我们还做罪人的时候为我 们死,神的爱就在此向我们显明了。”

在经典音乐剧《窈窕淑女》中,主人公伊丽莎·杜立特被一位名叫弗莱迪的英俊青年走近。他非常想告诉她他有多爱她。但是,唉,在他有机会说出他对她的所有感受之前,伊丽莎对言语不抱幻想,不想听。她让他闭嘴并唱道:“不要谈论天上闪亮的星星,让我看到你的爱。”歌曲以这段结束:“ 别要废话了,让我知道你是真的爱我!”

今天的我们,每天都被许多的文字轰炸。我们甚至被那些对某人可能意味着一件事的词所轰炸,即使它实际上对其他人来说是无关痛痒的。举个例子“ TIMAH (酒名)”..。根据全球语言监测,每年大约有 5,400 个词被创造出来。这是每 98 分钟一个新词!然而,即使有世界上所有的词语,也没有任何一个或所有的词可以开始准确地描述爱。诗人和哲学家曾尝试过,但都失败了。许多骗子为了自己的利益,花言巧语,兜售廉价的爱情,给他人造成精神伤害和心碎。难怪我们通过互联网和免费开放知识获得的信息越多,我们似乎就变得越怀疑和冷漠。

也许没有人能够完美地描述爱情,仅仅因为它是一项不可能完成的任务。
这不可能的原因有二:

首先,在基督教信仰中,上帝就是爱(约翰一书4:16),因此描述爱就是描述上帝,当然没有足够的词来描述他,更不用说他有多爱我们了。

其次,正如歌手约翰·梅耶 (John Mayer) 所写:“爱是一个动词,它不是一件事”。当你说你爱一个人时,一定要紧接着描述你为爱所做的牺牲,以证明你真的爱这个人。

上帝当然知道这个困境,这就是为什么他没有试图用一连串的词句来告诉我们他有多爱我们,而是通过耶稣基督向我们展示他的爱,那就是当我们仍然是罪人时,当我们还在完全背叛上帝和祂纯全的良善时,耶稣就为我们死了,使我们不至灭亡,反而可以得永生(罗马书 5:8,约翰福音 3:16)。

正是因为上帝在十字架上和空坟墓中展现了完全的爱,基督教信仰才继续成为希望的灯塔、信徒的堡垒、永恒不变的爱的旗帜。即使在今天,通过对社区永无止境的爱和慈善的展示,基督的教会遵守了最大的诫命。那就是爱上帝也爱我们的邻舍。

朋友们,今天早上我的祷告是你完全被上帝爱你的事实所激励。他用微小的事一次又一次地验证,但最终他以耶稣的牺牲中证明了这一点。他这样做是为了让你以顺服和信心回应他的爱,并将这种爱分享给他人,使他们也可以拥有永生并分享上帝无尽的爱。 “我们爱,因为祂先爱我们。” (约翰福音 4:19)

祷告:
耶稣,你是爱的源头也是爱的创造者者。我们只知道爱,因为你是爱,你先爱了我们。你以特别的爱和牺牲的爱来爱我们。你在我们还在悖逆中做罪人时就爱了我们。尽管我们给他人造成了痛苦,但您仍然爱我们。你在我们的墮落时爱我们。正是这种爱——那种无私、自我牺牲的爱,让我们能够去爱别人。是祢那永不止息的爱,使我们能够爱其他人。耶稣,我们求你使我们彼此相爱。赐给我们有爱心,向有需要的人宣扬你的爱。我们奉你宝贵、圣洁和慈爱的名祈求。阿门。