Tag: love your neighbor

Faith and Love work together!

Scripture reading for February 25th:  Mark 12, Psalm 40, Proverbs 9

Key Scriptures: Mark 12:28-31 “And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that He answered them well, asked Him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this:  ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.””

Jesus was asked by a scribe to give His opinion on the most important commandment.  Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and Leviticus 19:18 about loving God and loving your neighbor.  Love is foundational to faith.  We can trust someone we love.  We believe someone we love.  Love always wants the best for the one loved.  Love for God is first enabling love for your neighbor.

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I love You with all my heart and soul and mind and strength and want to please You through obedience.  Thank You for helping me love my neighbor as myself.  I am still growing in both.  (Action step:  Show God or your neighbor you love them today in a tangible way.)

Psalm 40:8-9  “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.  I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation.”  

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The Great Commandment

Scripture reading for January 30th:  Matthew 22, Psalm 22, Proverbs 22

Key Scriptures: Matthew 22:35-40 “And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and 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.””

Jesus answered the Pharisee’s question concerning the most important commandment in the Law.  He stated plainly that it was all about love and relationships.  Loving God completely and loving one’s neighbor summed up all the Law and Prophets.  The Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus, but Jesus gave them truth that stopped their test.

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I love You with all my heart, mind and strength and depend on You to help me love my neighbor as myself.  Action step:  Seek a way to show love to one of your family or close associates that you may be struggling to get along with.

Psalm 22:22-23 “I will tell of Your Name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You:  You who fear the Lord, praise Him! . .  .”

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Love fulfills the Law!

Scripture reading for June 29th:  Job 23-26, Romans 13

Key Scriptures: Romans 13:8-10  “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.  For 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, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” 

Love is the fulfillment of every commandment of God’s Law.  All breaking of God’s Law is a violation of love for our neighbor and for God who gave the commandment.  Disciples are to live a life of love.

Job 23:12 “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my portion of food.”  

Prayer:  Lord, teach me to so love You and my neighbor that I totally fulfill Your awesome commandments.  Amen.

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Jesus loved His neighbors!

Scripture reading for February 12th:  Leviticus 16-19, Mark 3

Key Scriptures:  Mark 3:1-5  “Again He entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.  And they watched Jesus, to see whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.  And He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.”  And He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?”  But they were silent.  And He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”  He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.”

Jesus came to forgive sins and heal the oppressed.  Religious people watched Him closely, not to marvel at the miracles and learn from the Son of God the way of forgiveness and salvation.  They wanted to catch Him in their rules and destroy Him.  Jesus was grieved and angered at their hardness of heart.  There was no love for Him or for their fellow brother.

Leviticus 19:18  “”You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself:  I am the Lord.””

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank You for Your great compassion for the lost and hurting.  Help me to never judge others by religious rules but to be Your hand extended in grace and love.  Amen.

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Listening to Jesus

Scripture reading for January 30th:  Exodus 24-27, Matthew 22

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 22:35-40  “And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and 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.”  

Jesus was being tested and the Pharisees desired to trap Him with a question concerning the greatest commandment in the Law of God.  Jesus gave them His answer, in two parts:  Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  Jesus stated that these two commandments summed up all the law and the prophets.

Exodus 24:12-13  “The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandments, which I have written for their instruction.”  So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for these great commandments.  Your love is shown to me by the careful instructions you give and the blood of Jesus that covers my disobedience and ignorance.  Let a river of Your love flow in my life towards You and my neighbors.  Amen.

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Thankful for God’s love!

Scripture reading for February 2nd:  Leviticus 15-19

Key Scriptures:  Leviticus 19:18, 32-34  “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  . . .Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God.  I am the Lord.  When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him.  The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born.  Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt.  I am the Lord your God.”

God instructed His people to love their neighbors.  The world holds grudges, shows prejudice  and exalts youth.  But God’s people are to honor the elderly, love the alien and release those who offend them.  We are to be people who love our neighbors as our own selves!

Attitude of Gratitude:  We can be thankful for a God of love who treats all people with honor and dignity and love!  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  “Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”  (Matthews 22:36-39)

 

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“Mercy triumphs over judgment!”

Scripture reading for November 2nd:  James 2

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  James 2: 8-9, 12-13  “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.  But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.  . . . .Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.  Mercy triumphs over judgment!”  

Jesus summed up the Law in one commandment with two parts:  “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.”  James quotes the second part and encourages believers to live a life of love towards all men.  Favoritism and preferential treatment is sinful and breaks this royal law of love. We are all going to stand before the Lord in judgment for our words and actions (deeds).  Believers at the judgment seat of Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:10) and the lost at the Great White Throne. (Revelation 20:11-15)  If we have not shown mercy as Christ has given us mercy it will not go well with us at the judgment!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers live lives of love towards all their neighbors showing mercy and seeking their salvation without favoritism or prejudice.  “Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before Him, and around Him a tempest rages.  He summons the heavens above and the earth, that He may judge His people:  . . .  for God Himself is judge.”  (Psalm 50:3-6)

 

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“Love your neighbor as yourself!”

Scripture reading for June 30th:  Romans 13

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Romans 13:8-10  “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no harm to its neighbor.  Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”  

Paul taught that the Law, the Ten Commandments, were all about love.  The first four commandments were all about loving God with all our heart, soul, minds and strength.  But here, the second tablet of the Law was partially quoted to show that those who loved would fulfill the requirements of these commandments.   If you love someone, you will not commit adultery with another man’s wife!  This is not love!  If you love someone, you will not purposely take their life, steal their goods, or even covet what they had!  So love fulfilled the law supernaturally by changing believer’s hearts to flow in Christ’s love and truth.

Observations for over-comers:  Christians don’t work to keep the law, but fulfill the law by living a life of sincere love that comes from the Holy Spirit residing in them and guiding them into all truth and its daily application.  “I hate and abhor falsehood but I love your law.  Seven times a day I praise You for Your righteous laws.  Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.”  (Psalm 119:163-165)

 

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Imitate your Father (In Heaven)!

Scripture reading for March 11th:  Luke 6

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Luke 6:35-36  “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”  

The prevailing teaching was one of ‘an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth!’   God’s people were to show restraint in paying back others who wronged them.  But Jesus came along and changed the rules.  He asked His people to show love to their enemies by doing good for them.  If they were hungry, disciples should feed them.  If they were thirsty, drinks should be provided.  If they hit you on one cheek, the other was to be turned.  The new rule was: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  (Luke 6:31)

God, Himself, is kind and loving to the wicked and ungrateful!  He provides rain from heaven, the earth and all its bounty for food, and meets the needs of even the atheist and satanist!  He gives them grace–the opposite of what they deserve in hopes of drawing them to repentance.  He promises to reward those who follow His example!

Observations for over-comers:  All revenge belongs to God.  It is His goodness that leads people to repent.  God is kind and good to all to win some and we must imitate our Father!  “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against on of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.  I am the Lord.”  (Leviticus 19:18)

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The greatest commandment!

Scripture reading for February 25th:  Mark 12

Key scriptures for over-comers:  Mark 12:28-31  “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating.  Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”  “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this:  ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”

Religious people like to discuss theology and God’s word.  It was no different in Jesus’ day. The teachers of this time had identified the ten Mosaic commandments and over 600 other commandment from the Scriptures.   Each teacher had their own interpretations of the various laws and scriptures.  One of these law teachers came to Jesus with an honest question:  “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”  Jesus did not hesitate for a moment, but identified two that comprised the greatest commandment:  Love God completely and love your neighbor as yourself.  Jesus taught that these two summed up all the laws of God.  In loving God, we eliminate idolatry and giving God second place.  We won’t profane His name or His day–the Sabbath.  In loving our neighbor, we won’t murder, commit adultery, lie, steal or covet and we will honor our father and mother.  This complete love fulfills the law.

Observations for over-comers:  Love involves relationship–first with God and also with our neighbor and ourselves! Love never fails!  “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness of His own name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3)

 

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