LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR
There is a beautiful short story in the book of Luke called the Good Samaritan. This story helps us understand what it means to love our neighbor.
We learn here from Jesus that love is not merely words, or a way of thinking. Love requires action, compassion and sacrifice.
Jesus calls His people to “follow Him.”
To follow Christ means to be involved in His work of love, serving, sacrifice and hard work.
MATTHEW 16:24, NIV
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
LUKE 10:25-37, NIV
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead.
31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side.
32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.
34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him.
35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
How does the story recorded in Luke 10:25-37 personally inspire you to love others?
Is there a person or group of people that you find very difficult to love?
How is God calling you to love these people through your actions today?
“Father God, I confess that my ‘heart is deceitful above all things’ (Jeremiah 17:9). It is so easy for me to be too focused on my self. Would you soften my heart so that I might see people through your eyes today? You have been loving and gracious with me. Thank You. Please help me demonstrate love to those who I find it difficult to love. Forgive me for holding too tightly to my reputation and comfort. I choose to love others with your sacrificial love today! In Jesus name I pray, Amen”