Pastoral Exhortation

How Should We Love?

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 14 December 2014

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Since we are commanded to love without dissimulation, should we love all and sundry indiscriminately? Does love demand that we need to accept all without discretion? Can a loving person refuse to accept another in view of sin, falsehood and unrepentance?

In the name of love, Christians are increasingly developing close friendships with unbelieving and ungodly people, while also unabashedly embracing their unscriptural ideas and worldly ways. This is totally contrary to the biblical counsel of Romans 12:9b, “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.”

Concerning charity, Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 13:5-6 that it “Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth”. Clearly, Scripture teaches us that true love not only recognises the difference between truth and falsehood, good and evil, sin and righteousness, but it also clearly discriminates against and rejects those that are false, evil and sinful.

We are instructed to “Abhor that which is evil”. The word “abhor” means to hate, to turn from, or to avoid. The word “evil” here refers to malicious, ungodly belief and conduct. We must hate sin, no matter in what form it appears. Whether it is in thought or in action, be it trivial or great, personal or public, covert or overt, we must hate sin. No matter how sin may appear, we should not tolerate it.

It is not only unwise, but is also incongruent with Christian charity, to even wish to accommodate sin. We are told to “Depart from evil, and do good” (Psalm 34:14). In Psalm 97:10, Scripture commands us, “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil”. Let us not condone sin in our thought, word or action. If we ever fall into sin, let us repent as soon as we realise the evil in our ways, and depart from it.

On the other hand, we are exhorted to “cleave to that which is good”. The word “cleave” denotes the act of attaching or uniting firmly to something or someone. It indicates active partaking and participation. We ought to adhere to all that God’s Word reveals as truth. We should love to cleave to all things that are good in the sight of God. We must relentlessly pursue truth and righteousness with increasing fondness. Steadfast, constant pursuit of truth and holiness must characterise every Christian. May our hearts and hands be always devoted to propagating His truth and doing His righteousness. Let us walk “in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life” (Luke 1:75).

 

 

Mission Report from Pr Donald dela Cruz

 

We praise the Lord for continuously sending people to hear His Word at the mission station here in Dagupan. Over these past weeks, we have seen three families consistently attending our worship service. We are praying that they will serve the Lord together with us.

We seek your prayers for a lady named Rhona, who had previously attended the church for many Sundays. She was very blessed by our ministry, but was forbidden by the husband and mother-in-law to come. After meeting in their home for our Friday Bible Study on one occasion, the mother-in-law warned her not to do it again. This family is very poor and their house is very small with no water and electricity. To have light in the night, they have to tap electricity from a nearby house which belongs to their relative. But the relative was not happy and so cut off the supply for their light. As a result, her family had to use candles for their lighting for many nights. Thank God that we have solar-charged lights in the mission station. Without further delay, I gave her two lights so that she can use one to prepare dinner for the family and another to “see them through” the night. In this way, they can also save up whatever little they have to fork out to pay for their light consumption. We see God’s providence at play here. Praise the Lord that the husband now allows her and their three-year-old daughter (by the name of Tracy May) to attend the church. We are praying that the Lord will also move the husband to come together with them. Truly, “Man’s extremities are God’s opportunities”!

We thank the Lord for blessing our mid-week activities. Every Tuesday night, both Sejin and I take time to study God’s Word together and pray for the needs of the mission station here, as well as those of the other Gethsemane B-P churches. We are praying that more will be able to pray together with us. Incidentally, we had our first Tagalog lessons a couple of weeks ago. I praise the Lord for enabling me to teach Sejin our local language. May the Lord help her to learn quickly and be able to speak the language. Also, we download the Sunday messages from Gethsemane B-P Church in Singapore and listen to them during Monday nights. We praise the Lord for the Internet ministry, enabling even those miles away to be ministered by the messages.

Meanwhile, Sejin would have to go to Korea alone to visit her parents. The Korean Embassy did not honour my Employment Certificate; my application was denied, in spite of my attempts in appealing three times, as they are strict in their “no work, no visa” policy. I could only send her to the airport on Monday before immediately returning to Dagupan. May the Lord strengthen Sejin in her travelling alone.