Something to think about.
Love thy neighbor
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV)
The first commandment is about our relationship with God the second is an expression of our relationship with God. We can only fulfill the first command by engaging in the other. If we love God as we are commanded we will be compelled to share him with others.
Loving our neighbor is at the core of what God does and is. God is love and if we understand who God is then we can understand that the heart of God is love. By loving our neighbor we are an extension of who God is. It brings us to our primary purpose. It really brings us to our only purpose.
But how do we show love? In the story of the good Samaritan, we are instructed to care for our neighbor in physical ways. But is that the only way we are to express love for our neighbor. We express love to our neighbor in everything we do. In our business in our actions in our conversations. Loving our neighbor is manifested in our daily living.
Are we living every day doing the best we can in everything we do? Thereby glorifying God by our actions. Are our actions showing our neighbor Christ? Loving our neighbor is not about how we treat them, it is about how God treats them. He sent his son to die for them. Remember John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. The motivation for the sacrifice was not punishment for redemption it was love for salvation.
God gave his best for man. We are expected to give our best to our neighbor. We are to care for our neighbor whenever we can. But more than anything else we are to exemplify Christ in our daily living. This is loving or neighbor. When by our actions people can see us and recognize Christ we are loving our neighbor. Jesus came to do the will of his father. We are to do the same. We are to do the will of our father and his will is that we love because he first loved us.
God’s primary characteristic is love. Not judgment or commendation. We need to invest all of us in love. In loving God then loving our neighbor. Love has a lot of faces but in the end, it is about caring about one another. To fulfill the greatest commandment we must engage in the second. It is impossible to fulfill the first commandment without fully engaging in the second.