Love Your Neighbor

January 20, 2017

 

"For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself." 

Galatians 5:14


One of the most difficult classes I took in college was biblical Greek. Learning an ancient (dead) language is difficult in that no one really speaks dead languages. So it's not like you can strike up a conversation in the local Greek restaurant. What made the course difficult to me was all of the declensions and memorization. First year Greek was easily the most difficult class I have ever taken, short of Algebra, and there were two more years of it. I wished there had been one formula that could have been used to figure out and use the whole language. It would have been a lot easier.


Maybe that's why I love Jesus' great commandment so much. Love God and love your neighbor. All of the commandments are fulfilled in these two commands. I love this because it is easy to remember, not because it is easy to do. Living out these commands in our everyday life is challenging to say the least. But the clarion call for our life is to love God and love our neighbor.


Paul is writing to the church in Galatia and reminding them what it means to love God and love others. He recounts for them the words of Jesus. Love your neighbor as yourself. He then tells them that there is a battle going on within them that works to prevent them from doing just that. This battle makes the command a little more complicated. In essence the battle is between our bent toward our own selfish desires and the Holy Spirit's leading. In order to love God and neighbor we only need to die to self.


Once we are willing to put aside our own selfish desires we are able to fully love God and love neighbor as Jesus commands. I look forward to exploring this with you this Sunday as we continue the series "My Neighbor." I can't wait to share more with you about how we can love our neighbor. I look forward to seeing you at church.

 

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