LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR!
This admonition from God, has no other meaning than what it says .. “Love him as you love yourself.” Lev19:18
In Matt 5:43,44. Jesus confirmed this command by saying .. that we should love our enemies also. For this is how the Father treats them.
It’s love under the new Covenant, where under the law you had permission to hate your enemies. Only Jesus could change the law.
It is a completely different attitude we should have toward them.
Love instead of Hate!
Blessing instead of Cursing!
Good deeds, instead of Avoiding to speak to them.
(Rejection is cruel when used as punishment.)
God is not partial in His love toward the righteous and the unrighteous.
He loves the spiteful and the sweet person.
He loves everybody, all the time.
This is what Jesus meant when He said,
“l have not come to destroy the Law, but to fulfil the Law and the Prophets.”
The New Testament makes this plain in eight different places. And gives weight to what already is a challenging rule.
Do we really understand the implications as we should?
Here are some ways you can handle neighbourly living ..
WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBOURS BY THE WAY WE SPEAK!
The Lord our God said,
“I WILL NOT TOLERATE PEOPLE WHO SLANDER THEIR NEIGHBOURS.”
“I WILL NOT ENDURE CONCEIT AND PRIDE.”
This is a fascinating verse, as it corrects our inner motive that speaks against someone in order to make ourselves look better. It is really pride and selfishness on our part.
We help our neighbours because they have a need, not according to their behaviour or status.
We quickly help ourselves when we have a need, despite our faults and failures. So let’s not limit our help to others in the same way.
That is how we love ourselves!!
WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBOURS, EVEN WHEN IT IS INCONVENIENT!
When they are hurting you should hold out the hand of friendship and help in any way you can.
WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBOURS FROM THE HEART! Pray about what..
Jesus would do in your sticky situation.
Let’s not be envious of our neighbour’s prosperity, be satisfied with what you own.
Don’t go into debt to impress them! ( keeping up with the Joneses.)
Read Exodus 20:17.
This verse not only means to be rid of envy, but to be happy when they renovate their home, or purchase a stunning new red Jag that purrs like a pussy-cat !!
It requires a heart that rejoices with them in their accumulated wealth.
Paul admonishes us to be content with what we have and who we are in Christ.
WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBOURS BY FORGIVING THEM!
Leviticus 19:18, reminds us.”DO NOT SEEK REVENGE OR BARE A GRUDGE, AGAINST A FELLOW ISRAELITE,
BUT LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF.”
This is difficult .. only true forgiveness can drive those adverse desires far from your mind.
When you do this, you are presenting a Christlike attitude that softens their heart toward you and your Christian faith.
You will be known as an attractive and noble person. You never know that you may be the person who will lead them to Jesus Christ!
Allow me to urge you to gaze at our lovely Lord Jesus who fully loves us.
We as his neighbours are freely, fully, and wonderfully Loved!
Jesus DIED for us when we didn’t deserve it,
at the greatest inconvenience to Himself and He forgave us.
He put aside all concern for His own image and reputation, and loved us from His Heart.
He died in your place to rescue you from all condemnation over how you failed others and yourself.
He rose from the dead in power, giving to you who are joined to him .. NEW LIFE .. and the ability to love the difficult, unlovely people as He does.
WHO IS YOUR NEIGHBOUR?
Don’t think that it is only the neighbours who live next door.
This includes everyone that God puts into your life..
Husband, Wife, Family, Relatives, Friends.
And .. Enemies!
The Orphan and the Widow, Strangers (as the good Samaritan cared for a stranger he had not yet met)
Church Pastors, Leaders and your Brothers and Sisters in Christ.
The Saved and the Sinner alike!
Finally as the Scriptures teach ..”Love those who offend you and mistreat you.”
Can we love God and not our neighbours?
No .. not really.
Can we “love” someone and not “like” them?
The emotions only are involved in liking someone,
“you feel favourable toward them.” ( Macquarie Dictonary.)
But God’s love also affects your will as well as your emotions .. yet in a more passionate way.
You choose with your will to love them unconditionally, forever! That is how God loves you.
So “love” and “like” are synonymous with each other.
This is my conclusion .. You love a person, but dislike their bad behaviour of sin. You let the Holy Spirit to convict them. (not your job.)
Your “Will” decides to continue to love them as God loves, but you hate their adverse behaviour. Maybe you cannot trust them, but you can be neighbourly!
Please read, 1 John chapter 4:7-21. Read it twice!!
Lovelessness is expressed by a judgemental attitude and that is sin. A critical spirit springs from this attitude .. unkind Words are spoken and physical abuse can easily follow.
Feelings say .. “I want to slap her down!!” But love endures all things. You, with the action of your will .. decide to “be nice.”
When things heat up .. get alone with God, and gather from Him all the Grace He can give, to help you in your time of need.
Try not to have higher standards and expectations of other people, and yet do the same things yourself.
God truly loves you as you are, and in that way you should love each other.
You may need some time out from that relationship to find His Will for your life.
Relationships that destroy each other are not acceptable to God. If you are at this stage, seek Professional advice from a Godly Counsellor.
Here is a prayer for you to pray in difficult times.
Some people in my life are very difficult to love. It’s so hard not to detest them when they try to pull down everything l hold dear.
Please forgive me for the hurt l’ve caused, and I choose to forgive them even though I don’t feel like it.
“You Lord can change my situation, so l surrender it to you, that through your Grace l will, having done all, to stand.”
“Please give me wisdom to make right choices.
Thankyou for hearing and answering my prayer.
I refuse to hold on to offence and stop spreading gossip about them to justify myself, so I bless them in your Name.
” I BATHE IN YOUR FOUNTAIN OF LOVE.”
In Jesus Name.