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 (Manna 72: Love—the Bond of Perfection)
Manna 72 Editorial
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Manna 72—Editorial

T.Chen

Strong families. What comes to your mind when you think of strong families?
To me, a strong family is one that lives together in harmony, one in which the members support and care for each other, one that works and plays together, and one that pulls through every situation together. Simply put, a family where there is love. I think, to most of us, this is the ideal family.

If we take a look at reality, however, we often find more strife and indifference than harmony and love in today’s homes. Some families may quarrel regularly, while others may happily stick to each other in times of smooth-sailing but are scattered when the storms of life rise up. In fact, human love can be very strong, but it can also be short-lived. Our natural human inclination to focus on ourselves often causes misunderstandings and fights, and when it comes to making sacrifices, our first reaction usually is to run away. In other words,  we may be capable of loving others, but deep down, we love ourselves more. That is why our love for others cannot endure.

The church is the body and household of Christ. It is our spiritual family. The bond between the individual members of this household is by the blood of Jesus Christ, through which He redeemed us from sin and made us children of God. But this is only the foundation; what builds up this spiritual family is Jesus’ love (Eph 4:15b–16)—the only everlasting love. Hence, the body of Christ should be filled with God’s love.

The Lord Jesus came to the world as a humble carpenter’s son and led a life of hardship, without even a place to lay his head (Mt 9:20). His short life on earth ended with His death on the cross—a testimony of His selfless sacrifice, where He had fully emptied Himself of His own will for our sakes. He did all this because He loves us.

Jesus’ deep love for us should compel us to love Him in return. If we say we love Him, we must also love our brethren, because they are part of His body (1 Jn 4:7–11, 20–21; Rom 12:5; Gal 6:10). Hence, the writers of this issue’s theme articles remind us to follow Christ’s footsteps to turn our focus away from ourselves. We must empty ourselves, look towards others, constantly renew our minds, and ask God to fill us with His love. Regularly savor the word of God. Let His word speak to you. Be prayerful and submissive. Let the Holy Spirit guide and inspire you. Only then will we be able to see the needs of others and realize that they are just as human and weak as we are. With this realization, we will be willing to bear one another’s weaknesses and forgive one another just as Christ forgave us. We will take the initiative to show care and concern for one another. His love will motivate us to do all these willingly, proactively, and sincerely. In this way, we will not only promote peace and unity at home, school, work, and at church, we will also build up the body of Christ. Ultimately, this body will grow into the full stature of Christ, perfect and mature in God’s eyes, and we will become living testimonies of God’s love—the only love that is able to bind us together in perfect harmony.

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Author: T. Chen
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