For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”Galatians 5:14
The heart of Jesus’ message is love. First, we see his love toward us (John 3:16; Romans 5:8 et al). His insistence to his disciples to love your neighbor as yourself is also clear. If we would wear the name Christian, we must learn to love as Jesus did.
Love Your Neighbor As Yourself May Be Very Hard
The command, also given in Matthew 19:19, 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; and James 2:8, is very easy to say but so hard to do.
First, biblical love is more than a feeling. Feelings come and go, rise and fall but Christlike love is a commitment. Sometimes, as a husband, my wife may not like me. But she always loves me. We made a commitment decades ago to love one another “’til death do us part.” We are committed to one another regardless of some circumstance or trouble. There is a statement in Romans 5:8 that underscores the Lord’s commitment to us.
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8
This passage is remarkable because it describes true love from God. We love because of him (1 John 4:10, 19) so we should peer deeply into his love so that we might learn to love like him. What do we learn here? We learn that we should love in spite of others! That is, we love the very people who do not and will never love us.
Christ died for us.
We were sinners.
We were enemies in rebellion.
He still died for us.
He died for us because he loved the unloveable: Me.
I would die for my family. I would die for my close friends. Would I die for the person who hates me and tries to do me wrong? Honestly, I hope so but I am not so arrogant to say yes.
But Jesus did.
He died for the very people who put him on a cross. Meeting the needs of enemies is biblical love.
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,Matthew 5:44
For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?Matthew 5:46, 47
Love always involves actions and that makes it so hard.
CHALLENGE: Pick out the person who causes you the most grief, the one who hurts you the most. Do something good for them within the next 7 days.