So far we have covered 2 stages of the Safari (Enter and Encounter). In previous stage of the Safari (Encounter), we focused mainly on spiritual growth and the demand on every disciple not only to know, but to fully obey God’s commands and hence walk in His righteousness. Whereas Enter helped us to re-establish our foundations of faith, the Encounter on the other hand set the platform for us to fully experience God, express our worship to him, and uphold His divine demands (laws and disciplines). Now we turn to the third stage – Embrace.
This third stage of the Safari is primarily a ‘Call to bond’. It focuses on how discipleship requires us to ‘live in love with one another’ as commanded in the Scriptures. This is the Love agenda of discipleship. John 13:34-35 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
This stage of the Safari will be in 2 parts. The first part will address the love question and some general principles and fundamental issues about how we ought to relate with one another as we grow into a desirable community. The second part on the other hand will focus on very specific relationships among various distinct groups, such as couples, family, and church. This is essentially the test and taste of love and true fellowship. All of us desire to be loved, but are we willing, ready and able to love others? Embrace seeks to challenge and equip us for this.
1 John 4:8-12 “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”