Love Your Neighbor As Yourself?
What comes to mind when you read this verse? (Mark 12:31) What does it look like to accomplish this! What stirs within you when you hear Christ say this is the second greatest command?
I often feel inadequate. Don't you? Sometimes certain "neighbors" come to mind that I have a hard time loving. I think of circumstances where I have been misunderstood and have a strained relationship with a "neighbor." Or a "neighbor" has said something or done something that has left me drained or wounded. These are all valid situations. I am sure you have a list too!
But what I would rather draw attention to with this verse is actually initiating love to all my neighbors. How about focusing on trusting God to reach them with His message. Love is active. Love strives towards someone. Love would rather be guilty of moving towards someone rather than being passive. Yes! Amen! But how do we do this?
Start with prayer. Ask the Lord to give you a heart for your neighbors. Pray for them by name when you know it. Pray for their children. Pray for their work. Pray for God's protection and blessing in their lives. Pray the Gospel would be heard in their houses.
And then what? _____________________________. You fill in the blank. As you are praying, my guess is that God will give you ideas to communicate His love to them. He will whisper to you to write a note to someone. He will purposefully have you run into another who needs encouragement. He will want you to take cookies to a young family. How about starting a neighborhood Bible study? I still remember the peanut butter pie that we received 9 years ago when we moved in....and who brought it?....my godly, loving neighbor who reached out to us with Christ's love. And she is my co-leader in my neighborhood Bible study!
Love takes action. How will you "love" your neighbor today? How have you loved your neighbor?
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