Scriptures: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35 NIV)
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second one is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31 NIV)
Song Inspiration: Help Us To Love (feat. TheHamilTones) – Tori Kelly
In the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy, we can find the ten commandments that God instructed His people to follow. These ten commandments are of high importance because The Lord God spake each and every word himself. (Exodus 20:1). In addition, the Lord also wrote these laws on tables of stone so that Moses could teach these commandments to the Israelites. The first commandment states that we must love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength and the book of Mark specifically tells us that there is no commandment greater than this. (The books of Matthew and Luke also have similar passages.) When we think about what it means to love God, we can turn to 1 John 5:3: “In fact, this is Love for God: to keep his commands.” This is why Galatians 5:14 tells us that the whole law can be summed up in the first commandment. While all of this rings true, there are many more commandments that we must follow, if we say that we are His children.
The commandment that I would like to focus on today is given to us in the New Testament: Love your neighbor as thyself. This is the second-most important commandment, yet we witness so much hate in the world, a lot of which is in the church. 1 John 4 states that “God is love.” He tells us that we simply cannot love Him if we hate our brother or sister. Whoever does so, God says that they are a liar. In fact, He says that they don’t even know Him. As children of the Most High, we must understand that we cannot walk around with hatred in our hearts and expect God to be pleased. Loving our neighbors is not a suggestion. It’s very much a requirement. Yes God gives us the freedom to choose, but we should not use our freedom to justify our sins. Instead, we should use that freedom to love one another. (Galatians 5:13)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV) Keep all these things in mind when it comes to determining what it takes to love someone. Since God is all these things, remember that you can always turn to Him when you need a little help showing some love to your neighbors.
God, thank you for loving us. Thank you for sending your son Jesus to die on the cross, to pay the price for us all. Fill our hearts with overwhelming love. Help us to love, just like you love us. In Jesus name, Amen.
There’s a friend of mine, that stays closer than a brother
Love laid down his life, so why do we still fight one another?
All this hate I see on the TV screen
In my country ‘tis of thee
God help us to love, to love the way that you love me