Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself

This month we have been looking at the Scriptures in light of the theme of loving others. We have looked at how I AM is love and how anyone that is a child of God has His love in them and they are to love others with His love. Biblical love is not giving someone everything they want just because it is what they want and we love them; we know this because that is what we see in God’s love demonstrated unto us. God gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want. When our wants line up with His will in what is best for us, then many times we can enjoy our wants fulfilled as well. Jesus Christ declared the message of loving others when He walked on the earth, and He calls all of His followers to obey this great command to love their fellowman as themselves. In Matthew 5:43, 19:19, 22:39 and repeated by Mark in 12:31-33; Jesus references the Old Testament command of God to love your fellowman as yourself. And in those last two references, Jesus says this command to love your neighbor as yourself is the second greatest command- second only to loving God with all of who you are being the greatest. Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, is led to challenge the followers of Jesus to this high calling of loving our neighbors with God’s love shown to us. We see this in our calls to worship in Romans 13:9&10, Ephesians 4:25, and Galatians 5:14. This command is all over the Scripture, and it is vital for us all to heed the admonition of God in His Word and make sure we keep this command a priority in our life and something we pay attention to making sure we are obeying. As I mentioned in challenge to us all last Sunday, one of the most loving things we can do for our fellowman is to tell them about Jesus dying for their sins on the cross so they can receive Him as their Saviour. I challenged us all to take a stack of Gospel tracts and go to our neighbors, introducing ourselves if we have not met them, letting them know we are their neighbor, offering our help to them when needed, and asking them if they would be willing to receive this information about knowing Jesus as their Saviour. If you did not accept that challenge last week, I would like to present it to you again this week, because it is a new week of opportunity for you to show love to your neighbor by sharing Jesus with them. We also have a “Love Works” weekend focus coming up on March 11-12, which is another wonderful opportunity for you to be reminded of God’s command to show love to your fellowman in a practical and helpful way that might even lead to a spiritual opportunity to minster the Gospel to their soul as well.