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About-Him.Com Devotional 03-02-2013

Loving God and Our Neighbors as Ourselves

Romans 13:8  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.  

Last week’s devotionalcovered the preceding verses  of Romans 13, where  Paul stressed that we owe allegiance to our various levels of civil government. Now he stresses our responsibilities to each other. Our sole requirement is to love one another as Christ loved us. I haven’t arrived yet in that regard. Have you?  

Romans 13:9  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law

Adam Clarke states that if we love our neighbor as ourselves, we will not deprive him of his wife, his property or his good name. if we love him as we love ourselves, we will have fulfilled the law.  Jesus stated the same in the golden rule.  

Matthew  7:12 ¶ Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  

A lawyer questioned Jesus as to which commandment was the greatest of all. Jesus replied that we are to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (De. 6:4-5). All of the law and the prophets are based on these commandments (Mt. 22:36-40).  

James called it the royal law.  

James  2:8 ¶ If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:  

Paul reaffirmed it throughout his epistles.  

1 Timothy 1:5 ¶ Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned:  

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Jonathan Edwards referred to 1 John 4:8  with this quote:  

1 John 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.  

The apostle tells us that “God is love”: and therefore seeing He is an infinite being, it follows that He is an infinite fountain of love. Seeing he is an all sufficient being, it follows that he is a full and overflowing  and fountain of love. And in that He is an unchangeable and eternal being, He is an unchangeable fountain of love.

We cannot love as the scripture requires unless we have first been born of the Spirit of God, because His love, his infinite character is   infused into our spiritual DNA by the Holy Ghost that is given to us.  

Romans 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  

Peter said that we have been made partakers of His divine nature.  

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.  

John told us to consider the manner of love that God has bestowed upon us, even to the extent that He has allowed us to be his sons (and daughters).  

1 John 3:1 ¶  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  

Being a son of my natural father, I’m told that I walk, talk and even preach like him. Well, being a son of my heavenly Father  means that the infinite fountain of love that constitutes His being resides in me also.  The world didn’t recognize Him when He walked in this world, and it won’t recognize us either.  

In 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Paul makes a distinction between  an outward show of love and that which is motivated by the indwelling Spirit of God.  I might speak with the tongues of men and angels, give all that I have to the poor and even give my body as a martyr and find that it profits me nothing.  If the motives aren’t right, it’s not the love of God.    

I Corinthians 13:1 ¶  Though I have all of the spiritual gifts and speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Then Paul describes what the love of God is:  

I Corinthians 13:4 ¶  Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5  Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6  Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7  Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

The resurrected Jesus spoke to the Ephesian church from heaven and condemned them because they had left their first love. They were going through the motions but they had lost the fire in the belly that they had when they first encountered Christ.    

Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  

Jesus also spoke to the church of the Laodiceans. Obviously they had left their first love also.  They were lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. They had a lot of earthly stuff and considered that they had need of nothing. They were self-centered, self-absorbed and self-sufficient. All of which leads to separation from God.  

Revelation 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:  

Do we see any similarities of the church today? More to the point, can I find any of these traits within myself? If I do, the infinite, full and overflowing fountain of love that constitutes God’s being cannot be manifested in my mortal life.  

I remember an old  chorus sung by The Nancy Harmon Singers, that is my prayer and I’m sure it is your’s also.  

Let Your love flow through me, Let Your love flow through me,
Make me a blessing wherever I may go
Make me pure, make me clean
So that You may be seen
Let your love, let your love, flow through me.  

Deuteronomy 10:12 ¶ And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,

Somebody Has Said
Genuine love is so contrary to human nature that its presence bears witness to an extraordinary power. - John Piper

Free Ebooks That You Can Download.

An Expository Study on the Book of Colossians  

The I AMs of Jesus   

Thoughts on the Lord's Prayer 

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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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