Love One Another

 

In this letter, Peter writes to 5 regions in the Roman empire, and he addresses his audience as exiles who have been dispersed. 1 Peter 1:1 “To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.”

 

It can be surmised that he is writing to groups of Christians facing persecution and or trials. Peter goes on to remind them of the truth of who they are: children of God who have been born again through Christ’s resurrection from the dead. As such they should rejoice, for whatever trials they are currently facing, God has kept an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, in heaven for them.

 

Therefore, his audience is also reminded of their call to be holy and leave their ignorant ways behind, 1 Peter 1:14-15 “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.”

 

Part of this call to obedience is to love wholeheartedly, sacrificially and selflessly.

United in Christ

Design: Joshua Wong

 

The first 10 verses of Ephesians 4 describe the concept of Christian unity and the importance of working together for God’s glory. All of us are uniquely created and gifted by God to serve him and each other to the best of our abilities.

Even though we may know this, we may sometimes find it difficult to put our knowledge into practice. Believers can come from any culture, any background, all walks of life. Regardless of our differences, we are called to love each and every believer as family.

Ephesians 4:2 is Paul’s instruction on overcoming these differences. We are to approach one another with humility, gentleness and patience. Pride and impatience have no place in the body of Christ and will only cause disharmony and chaos. As 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”

A Cheerful Giver

Design by Joshua Wong

 

Paul is writing to the Corinthians to remind them about their previous commitment. Earlier in 2 Corinthians 9:3-4, Paul mentions that he has told the Macedonians about a gift to be received.

Paul’s point in verse 6 is this: The one who sows less seed can expect to have less grain. The one who plants more seed will have a more bountiful harvest. It is true both in a physical and spiritual sense, the more we can “plant” or give out of a willing heart of love for our spiritual siblings, the more that love will bear crops.

However, those results may not necessarily be in the physical wealth and prosperity that we expect. It is instead in a much greater form;  the spiritual lives of the givers and those who receive their gifts. In that sense, money becomes evidence of love given in the name of Christ.

In essence, money and the giving of money becomes evidence of the love the Church has for one another and a testament of Christ’s love on Earth. In this season, do consider giving cheerfully to EAST.

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Christian Freedom

 

After Jesus’ death on the cross and subsequent resurrection, many still held fast to the Old Testament laws. In Galatians chapter 5, Paul is telling his listeners that there is no longer a need to be justified by the law since Jesus’ death is sufficient for our salvation.

This great news, however, does come with new instructions.

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Am I Willing To Be a Servant?

 

Philippians 2:14-15 (ESV) “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”

Be it chores, homework, or other responsibilities, it can be incredibly difficult to do the things we are told to do. Yet here, Paul says to not just do these things, but to also do so without complaining or arguing.

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