III. THE FIRST WAY TO CONTACT PEOPLE
The first way of the members of the vital group to contact people is by cherishing them. Because we live by our natural life, our visitation is fruitless.
IV. TO CHERISH PEOPLE
To cherish people is to make them happy, to comfort them, to make them feel that you are pleasant to them, easy to be contacted in everything and in every way. Our contact with people must be so genuine. Genuineness can be produced only by the cross plus resurrection. Only a crossed-out, resurrected person can be genuine in everything.
V. NOT BY OUR NATURAL MAN BUT BY OUR REGENERATED MAN
We should cherish people, not by our natural man, but by our regenerated man that has been conformed to the death of Christ. We have two men within us. Ephesians 4:22-24 reveals that we must put off the old man and put on the new man by being renewed in the spirit of our mind. The mingled spirit must invade, take over, occupy, and saturate our mind with divinity; then our mind becomes a renewed mind. Romans 12:2 says that we are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. That renewing is to put off the old man and put on the new man. We must be a new man living not by our natural man but by our regenerated man with God Himself.
VI. THE MODEL OF JESUS IN CHERISHING PEOPLE IN HIS HUMANITY
A. In the Gospel of Matthew
1. Cherishing People by Shining over Them
As the King of the kingdom of the heavens in His humanity, Christ came to cherish people by shining over them as the great light and by preaching the kingdom of the heavens as the gospel by charging them to repent (4:12-17). We should be such a shining light by cherishing people in the humanity of Jesus.
2. Cherishing the Kingdom-seekers by Blessing Them
As the human King of the kingdom of the heavens, Christ cherished the kingdom-seekers by blessing them with a ninefold blessing (5:1-12). Christ’s mouth was full of blessing not cursing. When we visit people, our mouth must be filled up with the divine blessing. Our blessing people in this way is our cherishing them.
3. Moved with Compassion for the Crowd
When the disciples asked Him to dismiss the crowd to buy food for themselves, He, being moved with compassion for the crowd, told the disciples to give what they had to the people for them to eat that He might nourish the five thousand with five loaves and two fish, having a leftover of twelve baskets (14:14-21). The disciples are like us. When it became late in the day, they wanted the crowd to buy food for themselves, but the Lord was moved with compassion for them to cherish them which resulted in their being nourished.
4. Moved with Compassion for the Crowd Again
The Lord did the same thing in 15:32-38. This time He cherished and nourished four thousand.
(The Vital Groups, Chapter 10, by Witness Lee)