And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. (Revelation 21:3-7 NIV)
I’ve been feeling the same frustration that many other Filipinos feel about the government. The typhoon Haiyan has magnified areas where our country, not just the government, needs to drastically improve. Many are saying, “Before you ask us to give, let the government stop stealing first” or “let the rich give more first” or “let them get their act right first”, and these do have their merit.
But when I woke up this morning, these words rang in my head, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” I looked up the verse, and here is what it said: But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
This hit me: before I gave up my own stealing, my own pride, my own lust, my own anger, before I got my act right, Christ gave me His best, in fact, He gave me all of Him.
The word “demonstrate” means “to point out”. Jesus understood that talk is cheap, so He made His point in the most ultimate way, He offered His life.
What was His point? “I love you. I love you now – not an improved version of you – I love you now and want to give you my best.”
Even as we wisely contribute to responsible organizations, it is my prayer that we will be like Christ, demonstrating love for others whether or not others ever love the same.
No sooner is love born than she finds herself at war. Everything is against her, for the world is full of envy, hate, and ill-will. I would warn the most loving-hearted that they have entered upon a war for peace, a strife for love: they are born to hate hatred, and to contend against contention.
– Charles Spurgeon