Digging into love
Good morning brothers and sisters. I pray this day finds you more than you were yesterday. We have talked about love. But do we as human beings truly know what it means to love. I don't think so. I know that I don't. I get mad and I get frustrated with people. I have seen and heard say, "what is the hardest thing about being a Christian?" And the most common answer is people. Yes it is. Have we become so set in our traditions that we have set up a "false religion". And what I mean by that is Have we become so set in our ways, in the way that we have been taught, the way that we grew up thinking what scriptures mean. I know I did. But once I truly let go and let God take absolute control of my life was then what I had been taught is not always the truth. I want to look at a scripture that seems to float around a lot these days and has for many decades. Matthew 22:34-40: 34-But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35- Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36- "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?" 37- Jesus said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38- This is the first and great commandment. 39- And the second is like it; You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40- On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Now this lawyer knew what question to ask. But who is your neighbor? The person that lives next to you? The person that you work with? The people you go to church with? Those who are in your social circle? The person that you do not like? The person that has done you wrong? The answer is all of them. But we as humans do not get to pick our neighbors. Jesus is quoting Leviticus 19:9-18: 9-When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10- And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger. I am the Lord your God. 11- You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. 12- And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God; I am the Lord. 13- You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning. 14- You shall not curse the deaf, not put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God; I am the Lord. 15- You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. 16- You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor; I am the Lord. 17- You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18- You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord. Oh I know some of you are saying right now in your mind this is Levitical law and we are not bound by it. But these are the moral laws and yes we are still to obey the moral laws. If not then why did Jesus use them? Your neighbor is EVERYONE! We are to go out of our way to be kind and fair to everyone in our community and then outstretched it to the world. It starts small but like a wildfire, it can grow. In the community that you live, is everyone your neighbor and you treat them as such or just those that you chose to be your neighbor? I am guilty. But God has laid this on my heart to change in myself. I can't say that it will be easy but I am going to do what God has said to do and do it. So if you are reading this, I love you my neighbor. Have a blessed day and rise up children of God, rise up!