"We love Him because He first loved us." (1 John 4:19)

Some of you may know that I went to a winter retreat a few days back in Rutherford Park Country Retreat. It was such an abundantly blessed 3-day period I got to spend with a hundred other brothers and sisters who are so passionate for Christ. We had multiple sessions throughout the day, multiple encounters with the Holy Spirit and strong team-building games that just united us stronger and better. I love how all of us really did not waste these three days but focused our entire attention to pursue Him deeper and closer, refueling and refreshing our hearts with a new surge of the Holy Spirit. Three days flew past way too quickly but I believe they left behind irreplaceable moments in my heart that prepared me for the rocky road ahead.
Our Christian journey is and will never be smooth. In-fact, it is our responsibility to question our hearts when we find that our relationship with God is too comfortable. Just as a newborn baby is constantly exposed with new environmental stimuli to learn and adapt, new challenges in taking the first step, difficult few sips and gulps to start eating, and tough moments of mumbling to speak the first words, our Christian journey needs trials and challenges to help us grow. It is true when people say hardships make or break us. As disciples, we are called forth by God to be overcomers and victors of the world, refining our personality, character and influence in being more Christ-like but we cannot do that if we are happily sitting on our comfortable, plushy sofas. Trained athletes sacrifice time and energy to perfect their skills. Academics peruse much articles to expand their knowledge and constantly re-evaluate their ideas. All of us goes through seasons of success and of difficulties. Some of us are being called to reflect and evaluate our lifestyles, some to repent and amend changes, some to lead a new direction, some to follow a new direction, some to adapt, and some to learn how to stay still and focus on God. It is important that we recognize the hour and season each of us are in, because honestly, everyone's going through different problems and situations in life. You may think that your roommate or your colleague is facing the same strenuous stress as you every single day but you never know what goes behind the curtains. Each of us carries a burden, but it's how we respond and deal with these problems that defines our strength and maturity in life.

The theme for our wintercamp is First Love, and by that I mean rekindling the memories of our first love and first few encounters with Jesus, our Redeemer. It really pleased me to see many new faces in this year's retreat. It was no doubt that Heaven rejoices to see so many young people encountered Jesus for the very first time and received the Holy Spirit's peace and joy during the camp. I for one, received holy laughter for the very first time and I can tell you that no matter how illogical it is, the joy of the Lord was overwhelmingly true. There was nothing that I could do to stop it or to control my laughing. It felt as if something was bubbling up within you and you just can't stop the urge to laugh, and the greatest thing is...it's contagious! When you are overcame with the Spirit of God, you instantaneously become a holy vessel. Right then and there. Every single word or action holds influence over others and there is nothing that can stop God's favor (or movement of the Spirit) from passing on from you to others. The significant lesson or reminder I took home from camp was God's calling to love. To view people just like Jesus does. To have a divine vision and purpose, a calling for greater things and heart of big expectations. What does it mean to love like Jesus did? How can you do it in a world where "love" is defiled to be so short-passing, temporary, and conditional? What does it mean by "unconditional love"?

Surely God's love and His favour last forever (Psalms 30:5) The short video below is a sweet summary on what God's love really is like. Love is a fruit of the Spirit but it is the strongest and most evident fruit of a Spirit-filled life. Just like Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:1-2, to love others just like ourselves as God commanded should be the focal purpose of our lives as Christians.

"If I speak in tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned but have not love, I gained nothing...so now faith, hope and love have abide, but the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, 13)

Why is love the greatest? Even more intriguingly, how is "love" so defiled, so misunderstood and overly simplified in our world? Media and social relationships not rooted in God emphasized how love is an expression of affection and mutuality between two people. All is sweet and true until you have the "I" problem. When I was young, I thought that a good relationship was one that would fulfill me, complement and make me a better person. That is only half true. As I grew up, I realized how it takes significant amount of time, effort and many opportunities to really deepen a relationship. Good relationships moreover are not simply based on mutuality, but also commitment. When we commit, we are ready to sacrifice our time to serve one another. To truly serve one another, we need to be humble. To be humble, we need to prioritize others before ourselves...and to truly do that unconditionally without fail, we need God. We need God because to love like He does is a thing only God can do. We need God because to love unconditionally is only possible through a Spirit-driven life and Spirit-driven mindset. We need God because through all those hurtful moments and failures, our hearts are never whole and only Jesus can mend our broken pieces and make us whole. We need God because loving others unlocks supernatural victories only possible when we are guided by the Holy Spirit. We need God because He is the one who loved us first. He is our first love.
Sunny by Kirill Skorin.

So what is love? 

Most of us would know 1 Corinthians 13 and the ultimate passages about Godly love, but what do they mean? I recently got this Olive Tree Bible app on my iPad and although only the traditional and semi-ancient ESV translation is available, it is still a study bible and it really shows me some of the verses that really complement each key verse in Corinthians.

"Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away." (1 Corinthians 13:4-10)


  • Admonishing the idle, encouraging the faint-hearted, helping the weak, being patient with all people. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing for one another, regardless of how unsettling the circumstances may be. (1 Thess. 5:14).
  • Endure everything for the sake of the chosen (people like you and me); patiently guiding and leading them towards Christ so they may know Jesus intimately and obtain salvation in a life-changing way (2 Timothy 2:10).
  • Loving others earnestly, as it covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality without grumbling. Love in full sincerity, being honest with one another and holding no record of wrongs, or grudges (1 Peter 4:8).


  • Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32). Extraordinary, Spirit-driven kindness is a fruit of humility, one that is not easily shaken by others' wrongdoings or our hurts. 
  • Have a compassionate heart filled with kindness, humility, meekness and patience; bearing with one another and forgiving each other, as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive (Colossians 3:12). 

Despises wrongdoings:

  • Does not approve and practice things that disappoint or upset God (Romans 1:32) because these things bring up death. 
  • Sharing pleasure in what is right. People who show God's love possess wisdom in the truth to see things that displease God (e.g. unrighteousness and unbelief) - 2 Thess. 2:12.
God's love is an overwhelming, all-surrounding, omnipresent force that binds unity and harmony in a highly varied community. As sisters and brothers of Christ, we need to prioritise unity and harmony between one another; yet this is not possible when we are only looking to address our own needs or to satisfy our own desires. Each of us think a little differently, have different preferences, have different upbringing, have unique histories and are surrounded with different environmental pressures. We can't strive to be strongly united unless all of these needs are being fulfilled. However, God created us to be unique and it is our responsibility to look beyond our own needs and to prioritize the needs of the entire group. Not the needs of others solely, but the entire group. That is wisdom. God's love gives us the vision to look ahead with discernment; to care for others in a way that rebukes, encourages and protects. To lead with the best of strategies - only made possible when God is in our boat. That is to live a life filled with God's love. Sounds exciting and amazing doesn't it? You can already know that His love is powerful because God is love after all. If we live in love, we live in God. We live according to His ways and all of our life is His ♥

In the next few posts, I am going to debunk and share my camp experiences followed with a photo diary somewhere down the track. Please pray for consistent blog updates. This has been tough and recently I somehow find less things to share/write about than ever before. I am pretty sure this is not what God has in store for me, rather it's a hindrance, a negative thought that's blocking the great miracles God has planned through me. I learnt that we should never manage our expectations or "box" God up within boundaries if we want to see new revelations and breakthroughs. So yes, I am fully surrendering the future of this blog, this online space to the Holy Spirit and that I ask of you to support me in this matter. Please pray for more motivation, creativity, inspiration, willingness, revelation and wisdom in the weeks to come. I really want to channel what I learnt through camp to you readers and I cannot do it by my own willingness alone (trust me, it fails...if not for the Spirit, this blog is done and dead within a week or so). That's why each of you readers who regularly check on me are so precious ♥ and I cannot thank you enough if you do pray for me and the progress of Blessed Wonderfully. Write to you soon, blessed readers! xx

Lots of love,


Maira Gall