From My Heart

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 -NIV

The Great Commandment.

God’s word has a lot to say about loving others, forgiving others, and developing a servant attitude. They are all interconnected. The main building block for it all is the love we are to have for one another. What do the scriptures regarding “Christian love” really mean? Is it a warm fuzzy feeling? I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling for everyone I meet, Christian or not — does that mean I’m not a Christian? A Pharisee once asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and 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. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 According to Jesus, the very essence of the Law and the Prophets is to love God and to love others. “Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
In Luke, Jesus elaborates on this “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” principle. He says, “Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.” (Luke 6:30-36)
Christian love is giving to others those things that you would want them to give you if you were in their situation — and it’s doing so even if they can’t pay you back. In fact, it’s doing so especially if they can’t pay you back! Christian love is respect for others. It’s mercy. It’s charity.
It’s human nature to exaggerate others’ offenses against us and to downplay our offenses against others. Without a positive motive to do good to others, we won’t overcome our natural tendency to take more and share less.
Don’t count on tomorrow. Cherish and live each day as if it were your last. Live the life that God has given to you to its fullest potential. And live each day that God has given you for his glory. Don’t forget Jesus’ teaching about the two greatest commandments: “Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. . . . Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-40). Not just sometimes, not just when you have the time and it is convenient. Every day!
Your next encounter with your neighbor may be your last. Seek forgiveness and forgive those who have hurt you. Not tomorrow-today! Do to others as you would have them do to you. For all believers must some day face our Lord at the judgment seat (2 Corinthians 5:10). I want to be able to say I fulfilled the great commandment. How about you?

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