Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Commanded to Love

Commanded to Love
May 11, 2009
Romans 13:9 ". . .and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself.""

In the Old Testament, the Lord gave Moses two tablets of stone with the Ten Commandments written on them. This list of "Don'ts" was given by God as a standard to live by, rules that would make for a safe and happy life. But in the New Testament, it is unclear whether those original Ten Commandments were to remain in-force. Jesus spoke to that question and gave a new order to cover over the Ten Commandments. Jesus said that we are simply commanded to love. This "love" that Jesus spoke about, if enacted out, would be a way to ensure a safe and happy life as well as encompass all the original Ten Commandments.

In fact, we are not only told to love but required, as Christians, to love. We are required to Love the Lord, God, first and then required everyone else. We are required to love everyone else like we would love ourselves. Examine that last topic for a minute. Think about yourself and what it would feel like to be loved, really loved. No one can love you like you love yourself. You spend money on yourself, you take care of yourself, you want to be encouraged, you want to talk about yourself, you want to think about yourself; you want YOU to be happy. Basically, the human nature is t0 be selfish; it is all about you, you, you. If this love action was turned inside out, you would be spending money on other people, taking care of other people, encouraging other people, talking about other people, thinking about other people, and wanting THEM to be happy.

How about the unloveble? How do you love the unlovable? Consider someone you are having a hard time loving. If you can't love him like yourself, first try to love him like a friend. If you can't love him like a friend, then try loving him like your enemy. Either way, you HAVE to love. Even if you hate him, you have to love him. Even if you hate her, you have to love her.

This love that Jesus commanded is not a touchy, feeling warm fuzzy inside of you when you think about them. The love that He spoke about was intended to be an action. Loving someone means taking care of him and his needs. Loving someone is making sure she has what is needed in life to be healthy and happy. Loving someone, as it turns out, has little to do with a feeling at all. So even if you don't feel like you love your neighbor, enemy, or even spouse, start with the action first. The feeling might actually follow the action. Start taking care of everyone like you would take care of yourself. When you do that, they will naturally love you in return and it will be so much easier to feel love for them.

1. What would it look like if someone truly loved you?
2. Who are you having a hard time loving?
3. How can you love the "unlovable" like you want to be loved?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Lev 19:18, Matt 5:42-44, Mark 12:31-24, Luke 6:27, Gal 5:14, James 2:8

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