Love Among the Members of the Heavenly Family

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Family is related by blood, bound to each other with love. Home is the place where the members of a family live together; it is the place where they learn to love.

Just as the sanctuary established on the earth in the days of Moses was a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary (Heb 8:5), the earthly family is also a copy and shadow of the heavenly family. So we call God our Father and our Mother, and the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children (Mt 6:9; Gal 4:26; Ro 8:12–16). Through the earthly family, Heavenly Father and Mother have allowed us to realize that there is the spiritual family and to be members of the heavenly family.

As part of the heavenly family, we should love and care for one another, beginning at home, in obedience to the will of Heavenly Father and Mother in our life of faith. God has given the truths and teachings of life to human beings, but all the words will be of no use to those who do not put them into practice.

With a loving heart, we need to care for one another and make efforts to save souls, so that Zion can always be filled with love. Let us take some time to think about why God has given us this new command: “Love one another.”

A harmonious family’s love turning round and round

This is a story about family love, which happened in Korea:

A man was lying awake in bed, tossing and turning. Shortly after, he got up and took out a crumpled 10,000 KRW (approx. 10 US dollars) bill from his suit pocket. His wife asked him what money it was, and he said that it was his pocket money reserved for an emergency. Then he gave it to her, saying, “I feel bad when I see your thin, pallid complexion. Tomorrow, go to the meat buffet by yourself and enjoy beef to your heart’s content.” Tears welled up in her eyes when she looked at her husband ironing out the bill and putting it in her hand. She said to him, “Honey, I don’t feel tired at all.”

The next day, she didn’t go to a buffet with the money which she had received from her husband the night before. It was because her father-in-law had looked down for a couple of days and it weighed heavily on her mind. Ultimately, she took out the bill and put it in the hand of her father-in-law when he was leaving home to go to a senior citizen center. “This is just 10,000 KRW. I’m sorry that I haven’t given you enough pocket money even once. Though it’s a small amount of money, buy some drinks with this money for you and your friends to whom you owe a favor.”

The father-in-law felt so thankful to his daughter-in-law, and on the other hand he felt sorry to her because she was managing the household budget with financial difficulties. So he didn’t use the money, and he just boasted about it to his friends in the senior citizen center, saying, “You guys, today my daughter-in-law has given me much pocket money.” Then he put the bill deep in the wardrobe.

On New Year’s Day in the following year, his granddaughter gave a traditional bow to him. She had been such a small girl, but now she was already grown up enough to go to school next year. He looked at his granddaughter bowing to him, swaying her body, with a satisfied smile on his face; she looked so lovely, and she was the apple of his eye. When his granddaughter finished bowing to him, he handed her the 10,000 KRW bill which he had prepared in advance as a New Year’s gift.

“Thank you, grandpa.”

She was so excited because she would go to school next year. After receiving the money from her grandfather, she called out to her mother who was setting the table in the kitchen. “Mom, how much is a school bag?” The mother, knowing what was on her mind, smiled and said, “For what? Honey, do you want to go to school so quickly?” Then she handed her mom the bill that she had received from her grandfather for the New Year’s bow, saying, “Mom, keep this for me. With this money, buy me a pretty school bag next year.”

Recently, the husband seemed to be having a hard time at work. Though he didn’t show his feelings, he even talked in his sleep unlike before. Since the side dish in his lunch box was only sour kimchi every day, his wife felt sorry to him. So she got up quietly and put in his suit pocket the 10,000 KRW bill which her daughter had entrusted to her, along with the memo: “Darling, go to a good restaurant and buy lunch with this money tomorrow. And cheer up!”

The 10,000 KRW bill passed through the hands of all the family members and it finally returned to the husband, the original owner of the money. But in actuality, it was not just a 10,000 KRW bill anymore because love had been added to it. They shared love with one another, caring for each other, although they were not rich or affluent; the husband cared for his wife, the wife for her father-in-law, the grandfather for his granddaughter, the daughter for her mother, and the wife for her husband. Since they loved and cared for one another so much, they increased the value of the 10,000 KRW ten thousand times or even countless times more, so their home became full of the fragrance of love.

Through this story, we can understand to some degree why God has commanded us, the members of the heavenly family, to love one another. The most valuable thing for a family is love. It is the same for our heavenly family. We should share love with one another in Zion as well as at home, so that there will always be an overflowing love among us, the members of the heavenly family. As children of heaven, we should also do our filial duty to God by always loving and honoring God.

God’s command to love one another

God has loved and cared for us even from before the creation of the world, and still bestows eternal love upon us. When God gave us a new covenant, He asked us to love one another, too.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”Jn 13:34–35

The new command is also described as the new covenant. God has earnestly asked us, the members of the heavenly family who have become one through the new covenant, to love one another. This is the greatest wish of Heavenly Father and Mother who are leading the heavenly family.

Since the essence of God’s divine nature is love, He always gives us a mind of love and wants us to love one another. So we, all members of Zion, should engrave in our minds the new command God has given us and share love with one another.

Now, let’s find out what kind of mind can put forth the buds of true love and bring forth fruit, through another teaching given to us by God.

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 possess 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. It 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 . . . And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.1 Co 13:1–13

God considers love to be the greatest of all. We should have good faith, and we must not lose hope. But the greatest of all is love.

While walking the path of faith, let us lead a happy family life through love on this earth, too. This is a totally different kind of happiness than the happiness that wealth can bring us. Enjoying such true happiness on this earth as well, let us all go to the eternal kingdom of heaven where God has prepared everything for us, His beloved children. When we return to heaven, our eternal home, we will see so many great and amazing things reserved for us that no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived (1 Co 2:9).

Through the happiness of our earthly family, let us examine that of our spiritual family and give thanks to our spiritual Father and Mother for Their love and grace, always thinking about Their suffering and sacrifice to forgive us, Their spiritual children, all our sins and iniquities. So, we need to be faithful to our spiritual family as well as to our physical family, loving and caring for one another and trying to see if there is something that we can do for each other. We should think carefully about how we can help one another to be more blessed spiritually, instead of seeking our own interests and desires.

It is God’s will for us to love one another

Love is the nature of Heavenly Father and Mother. Since we are children of Heavenly Father and Mother, we should love one another. Even though we have lived for our own sake, forgetting to love and behaving in a selfish or self-centered manner, because we are living in a sinful world, from now on we should care for our whole spiritual family.

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. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him . . . Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another . . . If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.1 Jn 4:7–21

“We also ought to love one another.” This is the will of God. Since God is love, if we do not have love in our hearts, there is no place for God to dwell in us.

If we think about our spiritual Parents who came to this earth in human form to save us, who were destined to die in our sins, and walked to Golgotha, carrying our sins, we can never betray God’s grace and love. Giving thanks to Father and Mother from deep in our hearts for Their boundless love for us, we must repay Them even with small things. We should also put our whole heart and mind into saving even one more soul, just as Father and Mother did.

It is said that humans are social animals and they can’t live alone. I believe that it is the same spiritually. Even though a person has good faith, he or she always needs God’s help and there are certainly situations where he or she needs help from people around him or her. The Bible says, “Anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” So, let us always care for our spiritual family members and help them go the right way. Otherwise, their faith will grow weak and they will turn away from the path to heaven and towards the wrong path.

God’s teachings about love recorded in 1 John and 1 Corinthians are all the truths of life, which we must put into practice. However, even though we know well that love is the greatest of all, we often fail to put love into action, and we are sometimes too shy to express our love and just keep it in our hearts. Although it may be difficult for people in the world to love others, we can all do it because we are the children of God who is love. That is why God has commanded us to love one another.

When our love becomes perfect, we can participate in the divine nature of God. So, let us encourage one another and comfort each other with love, so that we will all receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of heaven together through the power of love (2 Pe 1:4–11).

Inspirational words bring forth love

There was a survey taken for children, where they were asked what they wanted most from their parents. According to the results of the survey, most of them wanted their parents to give them warm words of encouragement more than anything else—rather than to buy them expensive toys or take them to good restaurants or go to amusement parks with them.

Give your children the gift of encouragement often, and give it frequently to your parents as well. Your husband or wife sometimes needs encouragement, too. In the above story, we can see the husband giving his encouragement to his wife. Feeling sorry for not being able to let her live in comfort, he conveyed his heartfelt encouragement to her by giving her the 10,000 KRW bill, although the money was not enough for her to buy food and eat to her heart’s content. What she was thankful for was his warm heart, not for the money itself. The encouragement the wife had received was conveyed to her father-in-law who was feeling down and it became great encouragement to him. Being strengthened and encouraged by his daughter-in-law, he did not waste the money on something meaningless. While all the family members encouraged each other, they became one in mind and gained strength.

Like this, we, the members of Zion, too, should live a truly beautiful life in God though it is not a luxurious and comfortable life in the eyes of the people of this world. Now, let us pay attention to our family and make a gracious and happy family by expressing our love to our parents, our children, and our spouses through caring and encouraging words to give them strength both physically and spiritually. As part of the heavenly family, let us always share God’s love with our neighbors as well as with our Church members. While doing so, let us give love to people all over the world by spreading the fragrance of love to the ends of the earth, as the messengers of love.