Accept the love of God to ‘love your neighbor as yourself’

Take a moment to thoughtfully consider this question: “How would it change the way I live if I decided every day, in every setting, I will treat every person just exactly as I would like to be treated?”

In Matthew 7:12, Jesus says to “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” What would happen if we really began to live out this principle in our families, in our workplaces and in the world each and every day? I think it would change the world. It is a simple application of the Golden Rule. It is about loving your neighbor as yourself. But in order for me to “Love my neighbor as myself,” I must accept the love of God.

Let’s be honest, it is not always easy to love our neighbors as ourselves. Sometimes, in my own power and in my own ability, I don’t always have what it takes to love other people as I should. But out of the overflow of God’s love, I know I can learn to love them better.

With his help, it can happen. We can look for excuses or copouts on why we don’t do what the Bible says or we can ask for God’s help to enable us to live as he has called us to live.

When Jesus was asked, “What is the most important commandment?” he said commandment No. 1 is “Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Commandment No. 2 is “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The first commandment is about loving God — vertical. The second commandment is about loving people — horizontal. Until we get the vertical thing right, it is going to be all but impossible to get the horizontal thing on the right track. Accepting God’s love for me is what makes it possible for me to truly love my neighbor as myself.

God’s love for us would not allow him to stay distant and disconnected. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into our world to touch, to feel and to take the sins of the world to a cross.

I want to encourage you first to open your heart to your Heavenly Father. Then you will be ready to open your heart to that person or group you love the least. Ask God to help you love them as only he can. I think you’ll be glad you did.

You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at steve@gotothepoint.com.