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What Does Love Thy Neighbor Mean?

Jesus told us the second great commandment is, Matthew 22:39-40, "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

 

Of course, Jesus didn't just leave it to us to figure it out. He went into great detail on the subject. Then, after He told us, He showed us what love is by the how He lived and died. Near the end of His earthly mission, He revised the second commandment, John 13:34, "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another," and explained why this is so important, John 13:35, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." It is the way that leads to the completion of the great commission Jesus gave before He returned to the Father. Mark 16:15-16, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

 

God had already told us, Isaiah 58:6-8, "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward." If people are hungry, we are to feed them. If people are thirsty, we are to give them something to drink. If people are strangers without a home, we take them in. If people are naked, we are to provide them with clothing.

 

Jesus came not only as our Lord and Master but as our teacher, John 13:14, "If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet." That we might witness the correct way to live this life. Matthew 25:40, "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." We do these things for the least of our brethren so they might experience God's love. This is how they are drawn to Him, John 6:44, "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day." we do this by fulfilling the Law of Love, Romans 13:8, "Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law." by not abusing our freedom, Galatians 5:13, "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another." but instead by longsuffering, kindness, and forgiveness, Ephesians 4:2, 32, "With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;" (Patient and forgiving) ... And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."

 

We do this individually and collectively, 1 Corinthians 1:9-10, "God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment." we can't divide the church Jesus is building, we must learn to be of one mind, Romans 12:16, "Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits." which means we do not hold to our individual beliefs when they oppose God's Word, but we walk in the light, 1 John 1:7-8, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."

 

We cannot judge others and continue on the path of unity, Romans 14:13, "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way." instead we are to provoke others to unity with our love and good works, Hebrews 10:24, "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:" for there is only one lawgiver, James 4:11-12, "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?"

 

How are we to have unity? 1 Corinthians 12:25, "That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another." we begin by loving others, Romans 15:14, "And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another." which means we do not hold grudges nor return evil for evil, 1 Thessalonians 5:15, "See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." we do not lie to each other, even when we think it will lead others to good, Colossians 3:9, "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;" we bear each other's burdens, Galatians 6:2, "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ."

 

We are to be doers of the Word, James 1:22, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." otherwise, we will not like what we hear on the last day, Matthew 7:21-24, 26, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock...And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:"

 

God has placed us in unique places throughout this world. This blog is about sharing His Word; please share it with those you believe would be blessed by hearing it. Bless you! If you want to receive the Quarterly Newsletter, email us at bill@reasoningwithgod.com. If you want to read past blogs, go to https://www.reasoningwithgod.com/blog.

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