Entry for 2017’s sixth and seventh week
What does it mean that love is radical? Well, loving radically means loving really deeply (radics means root), without conditions, and pure from the heart and mind. Radical love might also mean hurting someone for them to acknowledge their mistakes and learn, or to wake them up from living in sin. God showed such love to Jonah, His prophet.
Jonah was then in Joppa when He was commanded by God to preach His word to Nineveh, which was then a great city but its people were wicked. Jonah then became afraid and ran away from the Lord by going to Tarshish, which was twice or thrice as far compared to Nineveh.
Jonah rode a ship, running away from the Lord’s presence, and encountered a storm, which was a part of God’s wonderful plan for Jonah. Jonah sacrificed Himself and jumped from the ship after the men who was with Jonah discovered that the storm was Jonah’s fault. A big fish encountered Jonah and swallowed him. Jonah stayed in the fish’s stomach for three days and three nights, and there he realized his mistake and how God pursued him despite him running away. The fish’s stomach became a worship center for Jonah. After being vomited by the fish onto dry land, God commanded Jonah again to speak to the Ninevites, and Jonah obeyed.
Again, radical love might mean hurting someone for their own good, which they may realize some time after.
Jesus also commanded us to show radical love by loving those who don’t love us back, those who don’t experience love yet, or those who always stand in opposition to us in these verses:
Luke 6:27-28, 35
“… Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
Here are four points I got from devotion:
Obedience that isn’t delighted in is not perfect obedience
God sets limits on most things, and we must obey. But what if some Christians do not delight in doing so, and they just do it to maintain their “Christian” image? With such thinking, perfect obedience isn’t showed. God sets limits or boundaries because He knows it’s for our own good, and perfect joy, freedom, and happiness would overflow in our hearts once we surrender and obey. We must be like David, who showed true delight and happiness in obeying God through a psalm:
“I desire to do Your will, my God
Your law is within my heart”
The gospel of Jesus is God’s provision for our sin
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The Father sending His Son Jesus has a very meaningful purpose, the purpose which we live for today: for our light to shine before others (Matthew 5:16). Jesus went to lead the way for people to know about the true God, to serve as the Light, and to be laid at His feet the sins of God’s children. We experience more of the love and forgiveness of God through the gospel.
God’s grace provides a remedy for our guilt, a cleansing for our pollution
Forgiveness by grace through faith was brought so we could be made new, turning away from our wicked and sinful ways. That’s why the thought that “it is okay to sin because God is forgiving” is a very dangerous thought. If that’s the case, instead of accepting God’s forgiveness, you reject it. Once believers truly accept His forgiveness, gradual change will start to occur ‘automatically.’ This kind of change is positive, being on the right track to a life of happiness, holiness and abundance.
Practice spiritual breathing
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in this present age.”
Spiritual breathing, as defined by Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, is “a process of exhaling the impure and inhaling the pure, an exercise in faith that enables you to experience God’s love and forgiveness and walk in the Spirit as a way of life.” Practicing spiritual breathing is the key to pursue a blameless life effectively. By this, we can say “No” to worldly and ungodly passions and desires, and say “Yes” to living a holy and blameless in this present, worldly age.
#SongOfTheWeek No. 1
#SongOfTheWeek No. 2