Daily Archives: May 8, 2015

Friday, 08 May – Receive

8 May

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Acts 15:22-31

The apostles and elders decided to choose delegates to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; the whole church concurred with this. They chose Judas known as Barsabbas and Silas, both leading men in the brotherhood, and gave them this letter to take with them:

‘The apostles and elders, your brothers, send greetings to the brothers of pagan birth in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia. We hear that some of our members have disturbed you with their demands and have unsettled your minds. They acted without any authority from us; and so we have decided unanimously to elect delegates and to send them to you with Barnabas and Paul, men we highly respect who have dedicated their lives to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accordingly we are sending you Judas and Silas, who will confirm by word of mouth what we have written in this letter. It has been decided by the Holy Spirit and by ourselves not to saddle you with any burden beyond these essentials: you are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols; from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from fornication. Avoid these, and you will do what is right. Farewell.’
The party left and went down to Antioch, where they summoned the whole community and delivered the letter. The community read it and were delighted with the encouragement it gave them.
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John 15:12-17
Jesus said to his disciples:

‘This is my commandment:
love one another,
as I have loved you.
A man can have no greater love
than to lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends,
if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more,
because a servant does not know
his master’s business;
I call you friends,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
You did not choose me:
no, I chose you;
and I commissioned you
to go out and to bear fruit,
fruit that will last;
and then the Father will give you
anything you ask him in my name.
What I command you is to love one another.’
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The Father will give you anything you ask him in my name
This is such a dream come true, to ‘receive all that we want’ — the promise made to us in today’s gospel. All we need to do to receive all we want is to love others. I would think that all of us, would love this offer of being able to have all that we want and ask for of the Lord. Then what is holding us back? Are we battling with the notion of loving others?

Some people are very easy to love. But can we only love those whom we wish to love? Today, Jesus tells us that He has chosen us, to love us and lead us just like He has chosen everyone He had created as His children. Therefore, we must go and do likewise.

For many years now, I have been praying to find a suitable spouse. As time goes by, I am gradually realising that when God finally answers this prayer, I may be really shocked. As a single lady, I struggle to deal with a society which has been entrenched in the lies of what love entails – how soceity defines the eligibility of a potential spouse based on looks, wealth and popularity.

We all have a set of criteria of the people we should love. That could mean loving only those who love us, while totally dismissing others. This is definitely not what God is asking of us today. He is asking us to love all His children. Personally, this is a journey which requires a lot of grace for me. Because I realise that what stands between the gift of receiving all that I want, is my unconditional love for my neighbours – the special children, the migrant workers, the dying and suffering, the noisy colleague, the annoying friend, the over-opinionated church members – it is as if God is telling me, ‘look at all of them and just love all of them.’

If today we are waiting for a breakthrough in our lives, let us ask God to strengthen our faith and let us take the first step to love all His children, whom He loves and has each called by name.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Josephine Dionisappu)

Prayer: Lord, forgive us for the times we fail to love all your people. Renew our hearts so that they are overflowing with genuine love for our neighbours. Give us a breakthrough in our lives today, for all the prayers that are yet to be answered, help us to know what it means to wait on you Lord.

Thanksgiving: No one has greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. Thank you, sweet Father, for showing us the depths of your love by dying on the cross for us, your unworthy people.