Friday, March 25, 2016

Historic visit highlights Cuba's Quest for Hope

Historic Visit Highlights Cuba's Quest for Hope

March 24, 2016
Cuban man in front of ramshackle house.
Cubans are hungry for something that will enable them to transcend their immediate surroundings.
While the international spotlight on a U.S. president visiting Cuba this week may have given Cubans some cause for optimism, in the shadows another kind of hope was rapidly spreading.
Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba, the first by a U.S. president since 1928, was meant to crown the restoration of diplomatic relations between the two countries and help boost economic reforms and U.S. investment. Cubans weary of decades of poverty told international media they would feel more confident when their standard of living improved, while dissidents lamented ongoing repression.
Obama's address on Tuesday (March 22) aimed to offer them some glimmer of hope – before Cuban officials and dignitaries, his address was broadcast nationally to Cuba's 11.2 million people. Urging continued economic opening, freedom of expression and an end to the United States' 55-year-old economic embargo, Obama said lasting change must come from within the Cuban populace.
"I've made it clear that the United States has neither the capacity or the intention to impose change on Cuba," Obama said. "What changes come will depend on the Cuban people. It also depends on the free and open exchange of ideas. If you can't access information online, if you cannot be exposed to different points of view, you will not reach your full potential, and over time, the youth will lose hope."
Far from the media spotlight, Cuban youth and others have found hope as Cuba's Christian leaders reported a surge of people putting their trust in Christ. Church leaders look forward to their personal transformation contributing to a more just and prosperous society.
"In the past year there has been a great spiritual awakening of thousands of people," the director of a Cuba-based ministry said. "Athletes, children and youth, tired of the rhetoric of more than 50 years of socialism, have now given their lives to Christ as the only hope for life. They raise their eyes to heaven for a confident future with Christ, living as in Psalm 121, lifting their eyes above the difficulties and arriving at the throne of grace and mercy of God."
The director said he has met many young pastors who have demonstrated their passion for Christ.
"They go out to the streets with guitars and tracts and share the gospel," he said. "Also, they pray for the sick, and where there is no medicine, Christ is medicine; where there is no food, Christ is the Bread of Life."
Cuban children praying.
Cuban children trust in Christ for their everyday concerns.
He said a young pastor in Matanzas Province who works with youth recently reported that he spoke at a Bible training and spiritual retreat to 500 young people who, since receiving Christ two years ago, have been thoroughly transformed.
"Castro's revolution wanted to make a new man, but 50 years later, the jails continue to be full and people want to emigrate," the ministry director said. "On the other hand, through the blood of Jesus Christ, God has conquered the hearts of young people and children and made them a new creature according to the image of the One who created them."
A young couple from the Matanzas pastor's church showed their commitment, he added, by moving 200 kilometers (124 miles) in order to plant a new church in Hatillo.
An affiliated sports ministry saw a total of 5,000 decisions for Christ made in baseball and soccer stadiums the past year, he added. Initially reaching children and then their parents with the gospel, the ministry helped bring people to Christ. As a result, more than 20 pastors began cell groups and house churches.
The indigenous ministry, with assistance from Christian Aid Mission, oversees the sports outreach and other ministries. In the past year, the ministries provided Bible training to local missionaries and leaders; helped support seven local denominations and ministries; bought two horses for indigenous missionaries; distributed food items; purchased 11 bicycles for native evangelists; gave 45 pairs of shoes to evangelists; bought and distributed 156 Bibles; visited children in hospitals; and provided 30 flashlights for indigenous missionaries in rural areas, enabling them to see rough paths as they traveled back at night after sharing the gospel, teaching the Bible and visiting the homes of new believers.
A pastor on another part of the island also reported rapid spread of the faith, as the affiliated ministry he heads planted more than 25 churches in the central and eastern parts of the country in the previous six months. Proclaiming Christ in villages, on roads and at parks, indigenous missionaries distributed New Testaments and tracts that began to turn the hearts of people toward God.
Reforms in Cuba have yet to improve the lives of most Cubans, analysts say. Though some barriers to trade with the United States have been dismantled and Cuba has begun to open its economy, the decades-old commercial, economic and financial embargo on Cuba remains. Ending it would require an act of Congress, with the prerequisite that Cuba hold free and fair elections and transition to democracy with a government that excludes the Castros. Raul Castro, brother of former ruler Fidel Castro, has said he will leave office in 2018.
"Politically speaking, many say that the beautiful island of Cuba is close to the United States, but the reality of the Cuban people is that they are very far from the so-called changes and approaches between the two countries," the ministry leader said. "The needs of my people are felt at all times in communications, at the table at mealtime, in transportation, in the deplorable living conditions of thousands of Cubans, and in the lack of essentials such as rice, cooking oil and milk."
Wages in Cuba may not be high enough for most people to make a living, and many basic goods are lacking, but the spread of the gospel allows them to transcend their immediate surroundings, he said.
"My coworkers and I want to thank you for your faithful support in the past year," he said. "Your support is literally 'means' for us; as Psalm 37:25 says, "I was young and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread."
To help indigenous missionaries meet needs, you may contribute online using the form below, or call (434) 977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 115ALM. Thank you!

Balancing Act

Photo of the Week
Native missionaries docking their bike-bearing canoe along the riverbank in Colombia.
By bike-bearing canoe, a Colombian missionary reaches tribal people in remote areas of his country who have never heard of Christ. In the past year the indigenous ministry that sent him also planted churches in two towns and began to evangelize several other areas of Colombia. Two such indigenous missionaries are proclaiming Christ to Tiwiwi- and Zikuani-speaking communities on the Planas River, spending seven to 10 hours on dangerous jungle trails to reach them. “We use bicycles and motorcycles, because the roads have no bridges over the rivers,” the ministry director said, adding that piranhas and venomous snakes inhabit the waters. Two other indigenous missionaries have begun work in communities along the Orinoco River. “To get there you have to sail the Gavilan and Tomo rivers to reach the Orinoco,” he said. “You spend two and a half days traveling by canoe to reach the place where the church is established. At this village there are already five families that surrendered their lives to Jesus, and we are planning to build a chapel to gather the people in this region. We thank you for support and prayers, enabling us to bring the glorious message of salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior to these regions among tribal people such as the Zikuani and Piapoco.”

Friday, March 18, 2016

Defeating Dark Powers in the Jungles of India

Defeating Dark Powers in the Jungles of India

March 17, 2016
 Former animists from the Korwa people group worship Christ in Jharkhand state, central India.
Former animists from the Korwa people group worship Christ in Jharkhand state, central India.
In one of India's most remote jungle areas, among one of its most primitive tribes, a most unlikely candidate to be a missionary wandered aimlessly among the wildlife as mental illness deprived him of his right mind for weeks at a time.
Pratik* would intermittently come back to his senses and return to his wife at their village home in an undisclosed area of Chhattisgarh, one of India's poorest and most illiterate states. For six years he bounced between lucidity and insanity, caroming between home and jungle thick with flora and predators. His wife feared for his life.
This cycle might have continued indefinitely if someone from an opposite background – a well-educated man from a Christian home in a more modern part of India – had not hit upon a compelling missionary model. In 2002, after working as a near-culture missionary planting churches in central and north India for nearly 20 years, Siddharth Subramani* was concerned about the thousands of people groups in India yet to hear the message of salvation in Christ.
In prayer, he received the idea of concentrating efforts on the more responsive people groups, who in turn would set off movements to embrace Christ among other peoples – a "chain reaction" strategy.
He began with the Gonds of central India, idol- and nature-worshiping animists who suffer daily from hunger and other conditions of poverty. With the power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit, Subramani and his team of indigenous missionaries gradually saw Gond villagers' addiction to alcohol turn into zeal for the Lord. Hut-to-hut evangelism, praying for the sick, evening meetings and proclaiming Christ through music – a powerful communication tool in India – gradually produced worshipping congregations. Literacy programs and Christian schools addressed a major impediment to the advance of Gonds, many of whom had only a third-grade education. New believers were then trained to minister to other near-culture groups.
As a chain reaction in chemistry or physics is a sequence of reactions in which outcomes produce further outcomes – which under certain conditions may dramatically accelerate – the like missionary strategy advanced the gospel across many barriers. In previously unreached areas among the Gonds, Sahu, Oravan, Khadia, Kanwar and Chamar, 50 fellowships emerged. These in turn helped Subramani's ministry bring the message of salvation to unreached areas of the Bhuiya and the Korwa peoples.
Like a seemingly random element careening about the universe, one such Christian Korwa was a friend of Pratik. Conditions were right for the advance of God's kingdom when he ran into Pratik early last year during one of Pratik's periods of right-mindedness – another "random" event that, from a biblical viewpoint, is nothing less than the sovereignty and providence of God.
"He heard about the Lord Jesus Christ through one of his friends, and he wanted to know more about the Lord," Subramani said. "Through the jungle and mountain paths he walked 50 kilometers [31 miles] to reach our Korwa congregation. Our native missionary and the local congregation prayed for him. The Lord delivered him from the mental illness, and he has become completely normal."
Pratik later put his faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior, and he has become a new person in Christ, Subramani said.
"After tasting the love and deliverance of our Lord Jesus Christ, he started visiting the villages in a 15-kilometer radius and preached the gospel, telling what the Lord had done in his life," he said. "Within six months he has planted five congregations in five villages, and in a few other villages he has brought one or two families to Christ. During my last visit to his village, the Lord enabled me to baptize more than 50 Korwa people."
In that undisclosed area, more than 400 Korwa have come to Christ though the ministry of Pratik and an indigenous missionary, one of the ministry's 60 indigenous workers, he said. The Joshua Project describes the Korwa people of India as unreached, defined as evangelicals making up no more than 2 percent of the population. The Korwa of India (they are also present in Bangladesh) are 1.02 percent "professing Christian," and the percentage of evangelicals is "unknown," according to the Joshua Project.
A man from the Korwa people group in Chhattisgarh.
A man from the Korwa people group in Chhattisgarh state put his faith in Christ after church prayers healed him of painful sores.
"The Korwa are the most primitive tribal people in central India," Subramani said. "As far as we know, no other mission is working among this people group in this part of central India. Their villages are usually on hilltops or covered with thick forest. They are animistic, and they also believe in magic and witchcraft. Witchcraft plays a very important role in their social life."
Nearly all Korwa people, including some children, are addicted to liquor made locally from rice powder and a jungle flower, he said.
"We are the pioneers to work among them with a special concentration on them," said Subramani, whose ministry also works in neighboring Jharkhand state. "The Bhuiya people group is also unreached in the area where we work. The Munda and Oravan people groups have strong churches in three districts of Jharkhand, but in one district of Jharkhand they are mostly unreached, and therefore we concentrate our ministry among them."
From September through November of last year, the ministry reached 4,050 people who had never heard the gospel in 135 villages; they were from the Korwa, Gond, Bhuiya and Khadia groups, he said. Of these people, 1,196 placed their faith in Christ for salvation and seven congregations were planted. During that period, 271 people joined churches and another 287 people were "ready to join the Lord's fold," he said.
"There are so many young believers, both young men and women, who have turned to Christ from the Korwa, Munda, Oravan and Bhuiya people groups," Subramani said. "We teach them the Word of God and train them in techniques of church planting in the mission field context at our satellite school. We Praise God for what the Lord is doing through the life and witness of these very simple new believers."
*Names changed for security reasons
To help indigenous missionaries meet needs, you may contribute online using the form below, or call (434) 977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 637ASM. Thank you!

Church Dedication

A church building is dedicated at a worship service in Jharkhand state, India. An indigenous ministry traveled to remote areas in central India to present the message of Christ’s forgiveness for the first time to tribal peoples such as the Korwa and Oravan, and among the results was the establishment of two churches. With help from Christian Aid Mission donors, this building was constructed last year and another one was dedicated last month. “One of the most important needs at this juncture is to build a few more church buildings,” the ministry director said. The church building constructed last month, for example, will function as substitute for those who come from Hindu and animistic contexts who are accustomed to temples and other structures. “It will also be a place of solidarity for the Christian community from the surrounding areas,” the director said. “In the present Indian social and political context, the church building will serve to stabilize the Christians. While the doors are still open to plant more churches, we want to build more church buildings for the new believers.”

Monday, March 14, 2016

How to Reach '99% Christian' Quechuas in Peru

How to Reach '99% Christian' Quechuas in Peru

February 19, 2016
 Peruvian children praying.
Children draw close to God at prayer meeting in a village in northern Peru.
In the mountain village of Uyurpampa in northern Peru, nestled amid sloping farmland and more distant Andean peaks, a small band of native missionaries stepped off a rickety bus in the pre-dawn cold. They had been traveling for more than five hours.
The previous night, the four Peruvian Christians had set out on another bus from the town of Reque, nearly 500 miles north of Lima and about five miles from the Pacific coast, for a 40-minute ride to FerreƱafe. In that town they waited with their cargo for about 20 minutes for the only bus that reaches Uyurpampa village – departing at 1 a.m.
"You don't know what kind of bus you're going to catch," the director of the indigenous ministry said. "It could be an open-air bus with ducks or chicks or whatever. By 12:40 a.m., we unloaded and waited for this other bus that was going to take us at 1 a.m. If we don't catch that bus, it's done – we have to go back."
In the chilled December darkness, they arrived in Uyurpampa at 5 a.m. Largely sleep-deprived as they set foot on the dirt roads of the village about 75 miles inland, they unloaded and carried to a host's house three blocks away the cargo they had purchased: clothes, shoes and toys for impoverished children in the area.
The team helped the 50-member church, which the ministry leader had planted in 2011, to distribute the items to the villagers, brightening the faces of dozens of children and their parents. Most of the recipients, not part of the congregation, got a taste of Christ's love, and the church, led by a local lay pastor, shone like a town built on a hill that cannot be hidden.
On that trip, as they do every two or three months, the indigenous missionaries brought the gospel to the village's Lambayeque Quechua community, where nearly everyone outside the evangelical congregation practices a blend of ancient, pagan rituals and nominal Catholicism. The Joshua Project may list the Lambayeque Quechua as 99 percent "Professing Christian," but the ministry team finds the vast majority of them have never heard the gospel. Like other Quechua groups that account for 4.4 million of Peru's approximately 30 million people, the Lambayeque Quechuas of the village are influenced by animism and witchcraft as much as a sub-standard form of Roman Catholicism.
"Millions of mountain Quechua and Aymara are still bound by superstitions of pagan and 'Christian' origin," missionary handbook Operation World notes.
Nominally Catholic since Spanish colonization, generations of nearly all Andean Quechuas have held animistic ideas common to other Andean peoples, such as belief in Mother Earth (Pachamama), to whom offerings must be made for fertility. The indigenous ministry director, whose name is withheld for security purposes, expressed deep gratitude to supporters of Christian Aid Mission for assistance that has made social and gospel outreach possible to such people.
"We were able to buy and distribute clothes, shoes and toys to more than 140 poor and needy children in places such as Pampagrande, Capote and Uyurpampa," he said. "We have also shared the gospel and taught the Bible in places in various towns and villages of the Lambayeque Region, and discipled and baptized new believers."
Among the team members that made the trip to Uyurpampa village was a young man who three years ago was lost in a downward spiral of alcohol and drugs. Depressed after the death of his father, David (surname withheld) had fallen in with a wayward band of friends and into a sinful lifestyle, the ministry director said.
After his mother brought him to the director's church in Reque two years ago, David, then 20, attended a three-day church retreat outside the town. After hearing the leader present the gospel to the group, he came forward for prayer.
"They started praying for him, and he just started crying, and he cried and cried," the director said. "Some people come forward and they're hesitant, but in his case he was just crying. He really felt that the Lord released his burden, and afterward he felt a change in his life; he didn't feel that sadness any more, or any more of that burden in his heart."
David began holding Bible studies in his house, where he discipled other young men, and he has started to help lead the church youth ministry, the director said. His brother has also placed his faith in Christ, and, as the two of them work in a market, after work they both proclaim Christ there.
"They just finish their work and go outside to talk to people about Jesus," he said. "This young man wants to be a missionary. I'm discipling him. On this last trip to Uyurpampa, he went to help, but in addition to carrying things, he went to see how to deal with the people, how you evangelize, how you go house to house."
 Peruvian children displaying gifts.
Children display their joy in gifts provided by an indigenous ministry in Uyurpampa, Lambayeque Region.
The ministry, which acts as an umbrella organization for several groups working in Lambayeque Region, equips a 13-member team that proclaims Christ in Spanish, as the area Quechuas are bilingual, speaking both Spanish and their own Lambayeque Quechua dialect. The ministry also operates a radio station in the nearby town of Olmos.
Some listeners come to the station in person to learn more. The ministry leader said a 28-year-old guard at a local bank who had fits of temper, Julio, arrived at the station and told him that he'd nearly lost his job after hitting a co-worker.
"As he was depressed over the situation, he had begun to flip through the radio stations and stopped at our ministry radio station at a time when the gospel was being shared," the director said. "The Lord touched his heart, so he came to our office and received Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Then he started to meet with our local Bible study group, and the Lord is transforming his life. He said, 'Now, with the Lord's help, I have peace and my bad behavior, bad temper and bouts of rage are gone."
The broadcasts reach some areas where there is no evangelical church, opening possibilities for congregations to be planted. One listener, Rosendo Barrios from San Pedro, wrote, "I thank God for your ministry through the radio. Here we do not have an evangelical congregation, but now, through your messages, I and my family are learning more about God, and I am sharing with my neighbors about Jesus. Your radio station is a blessing for me and my village."
To help indigenous missionaries meet needs, you may contribute online using the form below, or call (434) 977-5650. If you prefer to mail your gift, please mail to Christian Aid Mission, P.O. Box 9037, Charlottesville, VA 22906. Please use Gift Code: 245NLEM. Thank you!

Bright Display

Gifts of shoes, clothes and toys brightened Christmas for these girls and dozens of others in the village of Uyurpampa, in northern Peru’s Lambayeque Region, thanks to the efforts of an indigenous ministry. The ministry team transported the cargo up six hours of rigorous mountain roads for a social outreach that helped open the way for gospel proclamation. Another team traveled 302 kilometers (187 miles) to Amazonas Province for an evangelistic outreach. Several congregations gathered together for the campaign in front of the buildings of one of the churches, which secured government permission to place chairs outside to accommodate the large crowds. “Every night there were around 500 people there,” the ministry director said. “At the end of four nights, they counted 115 new people who surrendered their lives to Christ.”

Amazon Smile and Kroger: How a Little Can Go Along Way for Christian Aid Mission
Who doesn't shop on Amazon? But have you heard of AmazonSmile? It is a website operated by Amazon with the same selection of products and convenient shopping features as on The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Christian Aid Mission. All the benefits established from your Amazon account will transfer over. Bookmark the link and you can support us every time you shop.
In addition, Christian Aid has joined the Kroger Community Rewards Program! We receive a quarterly cash reward based on purchases by registered Kroger Plus members. If you (or your family, friends, etc.) have a Kroger Plus Card and you live in Virginia, North Carolina or parts of West Virginia and Tennessee, you can register at with our name or with our ID number – 84177.
We appreciate all the ways you support our ministry!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016



Tuhan mengamanatkan bagi setiap orang percaya untuk “PERGI DAN MENJADIKAN SEMUA BANGSA MURIDNYA”. Kita mengenal perintah ini sebagai Amanat Agung,

Mat 28:19  Karena itu pergilah, jadikanlah semua bangsa murid-Ku dan baptislah mereka dalam nama Bapa dan Anak dan Roh Kudus,
Mat 28:20  dan ajarlah mereka melakukan segala sesuatu yang telah Kuperintahkan kepadamu. Dan ketahuilah, Aku menyertai kamu senantiasa sampai kepada akhir zaman."

Namun sayangnya bagi kebanyakan orang Kristen hal ini hanya sebatas pengetahuan atau ayat hafalan saja. Ingatlah bahwa Tuhan tidak terkesan pada banyaknya pengetahuan kita akan Alkitab maupun banyaknya ayat yang kita hafal. Sebab IA menghendaki ketaatan kita. Ingat Iblis merupakan malaikat Tuhan sebelum jatuh dalam dosa dan ia mengetahui setiap firmanNya tetapi ia tetap memberontak. Begitu pula para ahli Taurat pada zaman Tuhan Yesus, mereka memiliki pengetahuan akan Tuhan tetapi tidak mengenal Tuhan Yesus saat IA datang dan ada dimuka bumi. Tuhan bukan saja ingin kita mempelajari kebenaran..... Mengetahui kebenaran ...... Tetapi terlebih lagi IA menghendaki ketaatan kita untuk hidup dalam kebenaran.

Perintah ini diberikan oleh Tuhan dan Raja atas hidup kita. Salah satu barometer kita sebagai anak dan murid Tuhan adalah ketaatan kita terhadap setiap perintahNya. Dan ini merupakan Amanat Agung...... Amanat terakhir sebelum Tuhan Yesus terangkat ke surga. Bila kita sungguh-sungguh beriman dan mengasihiNya, kita juga akan serius menanggapi panggilan ini.

Menuntaskan amanat ini bukan hanya tugas beberapa orang saja..... Bukan hanya tugas pendeta atau mereka yang memiliki jabatan penginjil TETAPI ini merupakan perintah Tuhan bagi setiap orang percaya. Kami mengajak setiap anak Tuhan untuk secara giat mencari wajahNya dan menemukan tujuan hidup kita selama hidup di dunia ini. Tujuan hidup itu akan selaras dengan amanat agungNya. Menjadi terang dan garam dunia, sebab Kristus (Terang Dunia) itu tinggal di dalam kita.

Terlibatlah dalam kelompok kecil pemuridan, dimana kau bisa belajar dan bertumbuh di dalam Tuhan, berakar kuat di dalam DIA dan menghasilkan buah kebenaran. Membawa pemulihan bagi orang-orang di sekitar kita..... Membawa dampak di lingkungan kita tinggal bahkan berkat bagi kota..... Bangsa..... Bahkan lebih jauh lagi bagi bangsa-bangsa. Tetapi langkah kecil itu harus diambil....... Jadilah murid Kristus yang belajar untuk mentaati setiap perintah Tuhan melalui kuat kuasa kasih karuniaNya yang datang daripada Roh Kudus. Roh Kudus akan membawa kita dalam pengenalan akan Kristus secara lebih dalam dan memberikan kemampuan untuk mentaati perintah-perintahNya.

1Yo 2:6  Barangsiapa mengatakan, bahwa ia ada di dalam Dia, ia wajib hidup sama seperti Kristus telah hidup.

Bila anda belum menemukan kelompok pemuridan atau di gereja Anda belum ada pemuridan, mari kami mengajak anda sekalian untuk belajar bersama-sama dengan kami untuk menanggapi panggilan Tuhan ini menuntaskan Amanat Agung. Mari semua teman-teman yang memiliki hati untuk bertumbuh bersama dalam Tuhan, mari kita rapatkan barisan dan mengerjakan panggilan kita di dalam tubuh Kristus.

Ini merupakan saatnya bagi setiap anak Tuhan tersadar dan bangkit sebagai murid Kristus...... Terutama sebagai bangsa Indonesia..... Ini merupakan saatnya bagi bangsa kita untuk bangkit dan terlibat aktif dalam melaksanakan amanat agung Tuhan kita, masih ada ratusan suku terabaikan di Indonesia. Mereka belum mengenal Kristus, ini saatnya kita bertindak merebut mereka dari kuasa kegelapan. Jangan biarkan seorang pun binasa, mari kita menjadi saksiNya dan memuridkan mereka. GO INDONESIA...... GO.....GO.....GO. Ayo bangkit murid-murid Kristus di bumi INDONESIA....... GO INDONESIA..... GO INDONESIA.

Mengapa kau tinggalkan kasihmu yang mula-mula?

Sebuah Surat Dari Bapa

Mengapa kau tinggalkan kasihmu yang mula-mula?

Mrk 12:28  Lalu seorang ahli Taurat, yang mendengar Yesus dan orang-orang Saduki bersoal jawab dan tahu, bahwa Yesus memberi jawab yang tepat kepada orang-orang itu, datang kepada-Nya dan bertanya: "Hukum manakah yang paling utama?"
Mrk 12:29  Jawab Yesus: "Hukum yang terutama ialah: Dengarlah, hai orang Israel, Tuhan Allah kita, Tuhan itu esa.
Mrk 12:30  Kasihilah Tuhan, Allahmu, dengan segenap hatimu dan dengan segenap jiwamu dan dengan segenap akal budimu dan dengan segenap kekuatanmu.
Mrk 12:31  Dan hukum yang kedua ialah: Kasihilah sesamamu manusia seperti dirimu sendiri. Tidak ada hukum lain yang lebih utama dari pada kedua hukum ini."

Dosa telah merusak hubungan kita dengan Bapa Surgawi. Itulah sebabnya mengapa dosa seharusnya dicabut dan disingkirkan jauh-jauh dari kehidupan kita. Dosa harus dibenci dan ditolak mampir dalam kehidupan kita. Tujuan dosa adalah mencuri satu hal yang paling vital bagi kita, yaitu persekutuan yang intim antara kita dan Tuhan. Tujuan dosa adalah untuk memisahkan kita dengan Tuhan, Juruselamat kita.
Di dalam Tuhan Yesus, kehidupan kita disempurnakan. Kita harus mengejar keakraban dengan Tuhan. Mengenal Dia dan berjalan bersamaNya harus menjadi tujuan kita yang terutama, prioritas pertama hidup kita, pusat fokus, perhatian dan kerjakeras kita.

Vance Havner berkata,”persyaratan utama untuk menjadi seorang misionaris bukan mengasihi jiwa-jiwa, sebagaimana sering kita dengar, melainkan mengasihi Kristus dengan cinta mula-mula.
Jadi apapun yang kita kerjakan entah itu berdoa, mempelajari Alkitab, bersaksi bagi Kristus, memuridkan, menyembah, berkhotbah, mengajar, melayani, memberi bahkan sebagai anak atau orangtua...... Semua harus mengalir dari hati yang mengasihi Tuhan. DIA adalah sumber kekuatan kita, Dialah motivasi kita, Dialah dasar kita yang teguh.

Why 2:2  Aku tahu segala pekerjaanmu: baik jerih payahmu maupun ketekunanmu. Aku tahu, bahwa engkau tidak dapat sabar terhadap orang-orang jahat, bahwa engkau telah mencobai mereka yang menyebut dirinya rasul, tetapi yang sebenarnya tidak demikian, bahwa engkau telah mendapati mereka pendusta.
Why 2:3  Dan engkau tetap sabar dan menderita oleh karena nama-Ku; dan engkau tidak mengenal lelah.
Why 2:4  Namun demikian Aku mencela engkau, karena engkau telah meninggalkan kasihmu yang semula.
Why 2:5  Sebab itu ingatlah betapa dalamnya engkau telah jatuh! Bertobatlah dan lakukanlah lagi apa yang semula engkau lakukan. Jika tidak demikian, Aku akan datang kepadamu dan Aku akan mengambil kaki dianmu dari tempatnya, jikalau engkau tidak bertobat.

Gereja Tuhan dapat meninggalkan persekutuan yang erat dengan Tuhan, selagi mereka bekerja keras untuk DIA, sambil menjaga kemurnian moral dan doktrin mereka.
Inilah yang harus kita lakukan apabila kasih kita kepada Yesus mulai dingin. Kita harus memperbarui hubungan kita dengan DIA! Kita harus menyediakan waktu yang berkualitas untuk bersekutu denganNYA, mencurahkan segenap isi hati kita padaNYA di dalam doa, dan menceritakan kepadaNYA segala pikiran dan beban yang memberatkan hati kita. Kita mengangkat suara kita kepadaNYA dalam pujian dan penyembahan, menyanyikan lagu-lagu pujian yang memiliki kesan mendalam bagi kita saat melewati tahun-tahun yang sulit, serta menyatakan kasih kita kepadaNya melalui ucapan syukur dan puji-pujian. Di saat itulah, kita memenuhi pikiran dan hati kita dengan firmanNYA, merenungkan kebenaranNYA, mempelajari kepribadianNya, menerima berkat dariNya, serta bertumbuh dalam pengetahuan dan kasih karunis. Inilah waktu yang paling baik bagi kita untuk mengingat kembali kasih kita yang mula-mula dan membangun kembali keakraban dengan Tuhan. Manakala Tuhan menggerakkan hati kita, maka kita akan membagikan iman kita pada mereka yang belum mengenal DIA.
Matthew Henry menyatakan, Kita harus berbalik kepada Allah dan melakukan kembali hal-hal yang dahulu mereka lakukan. Merek harus mengulangi segalanya dari awal, naik selangkah demi selangkah, sampai mereka tiba di tempat pertama kali mereka salah mengambil langkah; mereka harus berusaha keras untuk menghidupkan dan menyalakan kembali api semangat, kelembutan, serta keseriusan mereka. Selain itu, mereka harus sungguh-sungguh berdoa dan berjaga-jaga, sama seperti yang mereka lakukan ketika mereka untuk pertama kalinya hidup di jalan Tuhan.

Tuhan berjanji untuk mendekat kepada orang yang mendekat kepadaNYA (Yak 4:8). John Bunyan menyatakan, ketika kita mengambil langkah untuk kembali pada Tuhan, maka Tuhan pun akan melangkah semakin dekat kepada kita. Sekaranglah waktunya untuk menjadi pemburu Tuhan dengan segenap kekuatan kita. Perburuan ini menuntut kekudusan hidup kita. Oswald Chambers menyatakan,Kekudusan adalah karakteristik dari seorang yang rindu menyentuh hati Tuhan. Jika kita mendekat pada Tuhan maka dosa pun akan menjauh dari kita. MP Horban berkata,”Kesucian sejati berbicara mengenai bagaimana kita dapat belajar menikmati persahabatan dengan Tuhan.” SEgala sesuatu mengalir dari pengenalan akan Tuhan, mengenal DIA merupakan inti hidup kekal.
KIta akan bertemu Tuhan muka dengan muka, itulah seharusnya menjadi tujuan hidup kita. Tidak ada sukacita dan kepuasan yang lebih besar dan indah daripada merasakan kasih Tuhan secara langsung. Tidak lama lagi kita akan berjumpa denganNYA secara pribadi. Kita harus mengembangkan persekutuan yang akrab dengan DIA secara pribadi. Segala kebaikan kita harus lahir dari DIA.
Menjadi seperti DIA adalah inti dari kekudusan itu sendiri, untuk itu dibutuhkan tekad serta kemauan untuk bersekutu dan mengenal DIA.
Tatkala hati kita menyala-nyala, maka Yesus adalah segalanya bagi kita. KIta hanya dapat bertumbuh dan menghasilkan buah yang baik hanya jika kita tinggal di dalam pokok anggur yang benar, yaitu Kristus sendiri (Yoh 15:1-9).
Sekaranglah waktunya untuk menyalakan kembali api cinta yang mula-mula.