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November 12, 2015

Text: “‘Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another  has fulfilled the law, or the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery”, You shall not murder, you shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”‘ Romans 13:8-10

The command to love our neighbors does not appear in the Ten Commandments. Nevertheless, it does appear in Leviticus 19:17-18: “You shall not hate your brother in your in heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of you own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” The apostle Paul echoes this in our text above. He makes explicit that if you loved your neighbor you would never harm him by stealing from him, nor would you harm him by coveting his goods, etc. In fact, you would treat him as you wish to be treated. This reminds us that Jesus said: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets”.  Matthew 7:12

But we shall see that Jesus powerfully put his approval on this law of love when a lawyer asked what the greatest commandment is.  Jesus answered,   “‘And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it.  You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”‘  Matthew 22:37-40  As far as I can tell these laws have never been repealed.

Here is how you can further you practical obedience to this law of loving others.

The first problem to tackle is to practice self-denial.  Selfishness is our biggest problem. Have you noticed that almost all the sites on the web want you to create your account with “MY” So and So? Isn’t that rather egotistical? Beginning right now root out all pride, greed, and self-promotion from your heart; deny yourself and  try to serve the needs of others. Years ago there was  a slogan that went “JOY: Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last.”

Put others before yourself. Find what others needs and work to supply them.  Does selfishness order your needs? Guys, do  you really need that new bass boat? Gals, do you really need a fur coat? Make yourself a strict evaluation of what you really need and what you think you want.   Be honest. Be willing to sacrifice. Try to live a simple life of helpfulness. “‘Therefore do not be anxious, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or what shall we wear?” For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows  that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 16:31-33

Keep your eyes peeled for what others really need.  Awareness is one of our weaknesses.  We get so wrapped up in our own wants, desires, and agendas  that we have blinders on our eyes. One of Jesus’ most loved stories we call “The Good Samaritan”. It begins when a man was going down the road to Jericho. He was set upon by robbers and was badly beaten. As he lay on the roadside first a priest then a Levite passed by. Both saw his situation, but neither stopped to assist him. Then a citizen of Samaria came along. He stopped and ministered to his needs; then took him to an inn and paid for further aid. Why did the priest and the Levite not render aid? Perhaps they were in a hurry to get somewhere. Perhaps they were afraid that the robbers would return. Or, perhaps they were repulsed at the sight of blood. But Jesus said of the Samaritan, “…he had compassion.” Luke 10:33  So, here is what you should do. Broaden your compassion and focus your vision! 

Consider this little poem.

Lord, help me live from day to day

In such a self-forgetful way

That even when I kneel to pray

My prayer shall be for – Others.

Help me in all the work I do

To ever be sincere and true

And know that all I do for You Must needs be done for – Others.

And when my work on earth is done

And my new work in heaven’s begun

May I forget the crown I’ve won

While thinking still of – Others.

Others, Lord, yes others,

Let this my motto be;

Help me to live for others

That I may live like Thee.

Charles Meigs

















One Comment
  1. Larry permalink

    Another good one! This is the message we’ve been trying to get across to the children in our WE ministry. Children so soon learn the ways of the world and become self-serving. We’ve notice trouble with name-calling, which we try to counter with emphasis on loving our neighbor. It’s slow to sink in, but little by little it seems to have an effect.–Larry

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