Love Your Neighbor

Love Your Neighbor

The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

When my grandparents were raising their family, almost every house had a front porch. The porch was a place of community. Families and neighbors would spend hours relaxing and sharing life. Today, there are few front porches. And, if a house has one, the residents very seldom sit out and visit with each other or their neighbors. In most neighborhoods today, people pull up to their house, open the garage door automatically and pull their vehicle inside, not to step foot outside the rest of the day. Do you know your neighbor’s names? Would you know if they are struggling? Jesus commands us to love our neighbors. So, is that limited to just the people who live near us? Absolutely not.

Jesus’ words were not a suggestion but a command. We are not just to love others. It would have been one thing for Jesus to stop there but He added “as yourself” which takes things to a new level. The Golden Rule says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Everyone wants to be loved. So, in return, we must be willing to love.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: who has time to love and minister to people? We’re busy! How easy it is to fall back on this well-worn excuse of being busy to keep from loving others. But, we simply must fight to not allow our personal agendas to interfere with meeting the needs of others.

Does this verse mean I have to love difficult people? Jesus goes so far to say that we are to love our enemies. As believers, we do not have the option of holding onto bitter feelings, resentment, or even hatred toward anyone. To do so goes against everything Jesus taught.

We teach our children that name calling is not acceptable and to be kind to your friends. Maybe we need to take heed to some of own teaching and apply these to our grown-up life.

 

How can you show love to someone today? Make a point this week to get to know at least one of your neighbors.

Constant

Constant

 

The resurrection of Jesus is hard to believe. If I am really honest, it is difficult for me to wrap my mind around the idea that Jesus’ physical heart stopped, and three days later, it started again. How could one go from death to life? Nothing I learned in science class tells me that this is possible. I, like the apostle Thomas, want to see it for myself.  I want to understand the how. I am, by nature, a skeptic.

But this is the beauty and the mystery of the Gospel story: it doesn’t depend on me. Despite my unbelief at times, this story does not fade. Nothing I do or think makes the Great Narrative of God any less true.

In Mark 9, a father brings his demon-possessed son to Jesus. The father pleads with Jesus to heal his son, if He is able. Jesus responds by saying that anything is possible for the one who truly believes. To this the father cries out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” He recognizes the deceitfulness of his own heart. Though Jesus himself stands before him in the flesh, this man is still having doubts.

So often, I am just like this doubting father. God has shown me his power time and time again. I can testify to his faithfulness in my life. Scripture reminds me of His character. Creation itself is a daily reminder of the almighty Creator. Yet I still must cry out to my Savior: “I do believe! Help my unbelief!”

Christ has died, Christ is risen, and Christ is coming again; I know this to be true, even in the moments that I don’t feel it. Today, I rest in the fact that I can lean on the finished work of Christ and not the fickleness of my heart. I am thankful for a resurrection and a Gospel that can never be made untrue.

A Giveaway!

A Giveaway!

 

To celebrate the upcoming launch of Bible Studies for Life , we’re giving away an iPad mini plus an entire year of Bible Studies for Life for your whole church!

Do you want in on that giveaway? Click here to learn more. Hurry! The giveaway ends this Thursday night!