God loves us so much. That’s why He came into this earth and willingly suffered severe pains. When He breathed His last at Golgotha, He endured the agony of death for us. He worried about us and prayed for us.
Almost all the 66 books of the Bible tell that God is love. God has let us participate in the gospel work, so that we may preach His love to the whole world. Unless we proclaim the love to the world, it will not know what God’s love is and how His love appears. We ought to let people know God’s true love, so that they, too, may be saved.
Some anthropologists say that there are three kinds of people in the world: lose-lose minded people, lose-win minded people, and win-win minded people. The first type of people make not only themselves but also others losers. The second type of people do not consider others but think only of themselves; most of the world’s people belong to this second group. The third type of people seek others’ interests as well as their own; they are few but from them comes the power that moves the world.
It is the win-win minded people that God pleases. They themselves do what brings God’s blessing and also lead others to be blessed. We, who are in Zion, are born again of the truth. If we still have lose-lose or lose-win mind, it should be changed into win-win mind, so that we may practice God’s love as His true workers who deserve much blessing.
“… Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:5-8
If anyone does not love, he still does not know God. He doesn’t understand God’s holy nature. Without understanding God, no one can do God’s work and please Him.
Let me tell you a story of ‘Good Brothers.’ There were two brothers in a village.
They worked hard in the fields inherited from their parents. When the harvest came, they gathered the grain and divided it equally.
After returning home, the younger brother came to think: ‘I’m a single, but my brother has his wife and children. I was mistaken in dividing the grain with him equally.’ That night he carried rice-sheaves in his storehouse on his back and brought them into his brother’s storehouse secretly.
Meanwhile, the elder brother had the same thought: ‘I’ve already made a home, but my brother is still single. He needs much more money than me to make a new home.
I was mistaken in halving the grain with him. That night he also brought his rice-sheaves into his younger brother’s storehouse stealthily.
Next morning, the two brothers noticed that their rice-sheaves were the same as before and they wondered. That night, too, each of them brought his rice-sheaves into his brother’s storehouse. Next morning, their rice-sheaves were also the same as the day before. That night and the next night they did the same thing. Finally, on bringing their rice-sheaves, they were faced with each other. Seeing how deeply they loved, they threw themselves to each other’s arms and wept.
Such a brotherly love comes from the win-win attitude of mind. If the brothers were lose-win minded people, it would be a different story; the elder brother would scold the younger for taking the same share as that of him who had a larger family to support, and the younger brother would take a defiant attitude toward his brother who didn’t understand his situation and rebuked him-their brotherliness would be impaired and they would not be at peace with each other.
‘How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!’ The most beautiful and pleasing thing in God’s sight is our unity in Zion. When our spiritual family of Zion understand mutual situation and look after our brothers’ own interests, not our own, how pleased our God will be! How wonderful it is if we share everything and take care of one another, rejoicing together when brothers are joyful and feeling sorrow when they are painful!
Like the two brothers in the old tale, we should love deeply each other.
This is the love from the divine nature, which the devil can never have.
This is what happened during the Korean War. In a hill called the ‘Blood Ridge,’ there were fierce battles between South Korea and North Korea just before the cease-fire; Taegeukgi (the South Korean national flag) was hanging in the daytime, and the North Korean flag during the night.
A military unit was ordered to defend the hill desperately. The first day, the second day, the third day, …, the soldiers defended day and night. As the battle continued, the supply route was cut off; they came to run out of water and food. One day, a soldier, hit by a bullet, was eagerly asking for water. Seeing the fellow soldier groaning in pain, the soldiers shook their canteens but none of them had water. At that time, a soldier gave his canteen to the wounded soldier; there was just a mouthful of water in the canteen. When the injured soldier was about to drink water, he felt the eyes of all the thirsty soldiers focused on him.
He couldn’t drink water; he merely made a pretense of drinking gulpingly, and he passed the canteen to his commander beside him. And the commander, watching this nearby, understood the soldier’s mind and just pretended to drink, and he gave the canteen to another solider nearby. ‘Gulping,’ ‘gulping,’ …. When all the soldiers gulped and the canteen returned to its owner, water was still left as it had been but strangely enough none of them felt thirsty any more; moreover they regained strength and their morale became higher, so that they could defend the hill to the end.
If they had lose-win mind-‘I’ll quench only my thirst,’ they would all have been wiped out. But each of them thought of his fellow soldiers before himself, that they could be all saved. Love works miracles.
Such an example should be set more in Zion than in somewhere else. If we have a win-win mentality, our difficulties will turn into opportunities. Love makes everything possible; it makes us united to overcome any hardships and win a victory. Love brings forth unity and victory.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I posses to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1 Cor. 13:1-4
1 Corinthians 13 describes well God’s win-win love. The primary condition of love is patience. Think how long God has been patient with us; for six thousand years He’s been waited for us all to repent through His words. Considering the great love of God, patience is inherent to God’s nature.
Love is self-giving; it is kind and does not envy. Jealousy occurs in those who have lose-lose or lose-win mentality; they envy others’ good fortune.
Those who think, ‘I’ve done it with God’s help, not with my own abilities,’ are not proud of themselves but give glory to God. Pride comes from considering ourselves better than others. But love considers others better than oneself; it is not proud.
Even God Most High came down to this earth and served sinners (John 1:1-14; Luke 22:24-27). God the Creator served us. How dare we, sinners, exalt ourselves?
We may have some duties (pastor, elder, deacon, etc.) in the church, but we must not consider other members lower than ourselves. And though we have no duty, we should not have a sense of inferiority. All this is the result of arrogance.
“It [love] is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. … And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:5-13
We become rude when we consider ourselves higher than others. God’s love is not rude; it is not self-seeking; it is not angered. Man’s anger does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:20, NASB). With a win-win mind, love keeps itself from evil and also continuously encourages others to never become wicked; love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
God loves us so much; we must not betray God’s love by doing what goes against His will. As God has loved us, so we should love our brothers. When the Jews fought against Arabians after regaining their sovereignty, their love toward their country made them one; with a population of only 4 million, Israel won the battle against Arabia which had a population of over a hundred million. They strongly opposed the Arabians who afflicted their nation; all who troubled the Jews came to tremble with fear, and they didn’t recklessly kill and wound them any more.
Their ardent love for their county made all the Jews, scatted throughout the world, hurry back to their home. Of course, there was God’s blessing, though physical, at the bottom of their victory; for they had been keeping the old covenant. Anyway, their brotherly love is a good example for all of us, the spiritual Jews, today.
We are to resemble God, who is love: We should love God and the truth; and we should love Zion and our spiritual family. Let’s profusely give encouragement and love to our spiritual brothers and sisters who display the glory of Zion. God clearly said that the greatest of all is love. Unless we practice God’s love, it shows that we’ve not still believed His words.
Don’t expect someone to serve you. Do not be infants but adults in your faith; serve brothers working hard for Zion’s glory, not wanting to be served. The devil is to lose a spiritual war at the last day; for he has no love. But God is love. As His children, we should love one another, so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes to make us envy and fail to become one.
With win-win mind, let’s lead one another to the way of bringing mutual blessing.
This is possible through preaching. Preaching is the best way to practice God’s love. When we preach, our hearts are filled with love and consequently we come to resemble God. Let us share God’s love and blessing with one another, so that all the 144,000 brothers and sisters may resemble God.