#DailyDevotion Jesus Loved His Neighbor, I.E. You
Romans 138Don’t owe anyone anything but to love one another. If you love the other person, you have kept the Law. 9The commandments: “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” and any others are summed up in this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no wrong to another person. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.
Remember, Christianity is not a list of dos and don’ts. Sure, much of chapters twelve and following have a lot of dos and don’ts but they are all just illustrative of the verses above. We are to owe nothing to anyone but to love one another. When we are indebted to others then they can exert a certain amount of pressure over us to possibly do things they want us to do which may not be in line with the will of God. It can get us into more trouble than it is worth.
To love one another though is a much higher calling than being indebted to someone. For when we love one other we are called to self-sacrificial for the other person’s benefit. To show love to others is do them only good without causing harm to others. We may though, in the course of showing love, cause harm or loss to ourselves, because this love is sacrificial, even as our LORD Jesus Christ’s love toward us is sacrificial.
So in loving one another, we are fulfilling the Torah. Paul lists several of the commandments from the Decalogue (Ten Commandments) and says any other commandments as well are kept when we love our neighbor as ourselves. Love does no harm to another person. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.
Now much of chapters one through eleven are about keeping the commandment to trust in Jesus, the one whom God has sent. Jesus says in John 6, 29“What God wants you to do,” Jesus answered them, “is to believe in Him Whom He sent.” Jesus said in Matt. 2237“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the greatest and most important commandment. 39The next is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” John writes in 1 John 3, 23“He orders us to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ and to love one another as He has ordered us to do.” James calls “loving your neighbor as yourself” is keeping the royal law. These two things go hand in hand, trusting in Christ and loving your neighbor. From trusting in Christ who loved his enemies (us), his neighbors (us) by his sacrificial death flows from us love for our neighbor, the guy next to us in everyday life.
John would remind us in his epistle, as well as James, if we do not show love for the neighbor who we can see, we cannot be loving God whom we cannot see. Love for our neighbor demonstrates our love for God. Our neighbor is the image and likeness of God. How we treat him is how we treat God. Do you want to show God how much you love and trust him? Show sacrificial love for the person in front of you. For that is what God has done for you in Christ Jesus.
Heavenly Father, you have shown your great love for us by sending your Son Jesus Christ to be the atoning sacrifice for our sin. Grant us your Holy Spirit that we may show our thanks and love towards you by loving sacrificially the person in front of us today. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.