Love your neighbor as yourself.

Leviticus 18:19 ” “‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”

We continue reading of God’s laws and commands for the people of Israel. Among them the Lord tells the people to not be vengeful or hold grudges, but rather, they were (and still are) required to love their neighbors as themselves. Why? In short because God said, “I am the LORD.”

Jesus was once asked what are the greatest commandments. He replied, “To love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And the second is like it, to love your neighbor as yourself.” The 10 commandments are a figurative shadow of the cross Jesus would bear. The first four teach us about relationship with God (the vertical beam) and the last six about relationship with our neighbors (the horizontal).

The parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us just who our neighbor really is. It is everyone around us, both believer and unbeliever. And, to love your neighbor as yourself means to put others before yourself. Jesus went to the cross to die for the sins of the sinful world. He was sinless, so He didn’t die for Himself. He gave of Himself for everyone else. He then taught us a new commandment: to love one another as He loved us. He sacrificed all for us, do we put others ahead of our wants, desires and goals? Or, are we selfish and demand our rights??? Love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Father, help me to put into greater practice this new commandment of loving one another as You have loved us. Yes, I love you with all I am and my neighbor as myself, but I want to go beyond the expected and do the more of loving as You loved. You gave Yourself for us to the point of suffering and death. Help me to love my wife on that level, my family on that level, my church on that level, my neighbors on that level, and everyone on that level. Also, help me to love myself and not to be critical and judgmental toward myself. Thank You. I love You above all! In Jesus’ name, Amen.