by Wally Fry

Wednesday, September 25

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Leviticus 19:14-18

“Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD,” Leviticus 19:18.

God is clear here; we are to love our neighbor as much as ourselves. His Word is clear, yet, our shadings of that Word are often not. In the parable of the good Samaritan, the man questioning Jesus was quick to try to redefine just who our neighbor was. When preaching the Sermon on the Mount, we heard Jesus say, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth” (Matthew 5:38). Then, as now, everybody wants a loophole. We especially want to find that loophole when it comes to putting our own agendas aside and going along with God’s. We have much love in our hearts; the problem is we love the wrong person. We love ourselves.

There are not any loopholes; our Lord was crystal clear in this passage. Lest we misunderstand, Jesus told us Himself later, as He distilled the entire Law into two commandments, “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:39).

We do not save ourselves by keeping His commandments; yet Jesus taught repeatedly that if we do love Him, we will keep them. He does not make this difficult; He summed the entire Law up for us: Love God and love each other. Again, we never secure our salvation by our obedience; our obedience flows from that salvation. Obedience tells the world something. A simple refusal to obey tells the world something, too.

JUST A THOUGHT: We often spend much time worrying that folks get what they deserve. What if God applied our own philosophy to us?