How Can I Love my Neighbor as Myself? Who is my Neighbor?

There are 2 commandments that Jesus gave to follow diligently.

Matthew 22: 37-40 says 37Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Only GOD and you know your faults yet God loves you and you love your self despite all the imperfections and so you should love your neighbor no matter how many faults you see in him.

Amazing ….this means the entire Mosaic Law of 10 commandments sits on these 2 commandments only……… How is that Possible???? The Mosaic Law has… You shall not steal, You shall not kill and so on…. These statements don’t even match with the commandments that Jesus gave… does it?… and if yes…. How??

The answer is SIMPLE….its ‘LOVE’

LOVE is the underlying statement or feeling that links these commandments.

I can try doing the 1st one but how can I love a stranger? No, No… Not possible….

But… These are the only 2 commandments that Jesus has asked to follow. To understand how we can love our neighbour, we need to dissect the characteristic of LOVE.

What is LOVE?

-As per dictionary LOVE is a noun. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend. sexual passion or desire.-

The Bible has an even simple description.

The bible says in 1 John 4:8 “GOD is LOVE

WOW… If God is Love, then whenever I say I LOVE YOU, it means I am pouring out the same Gods LOVE to you.

1 John 4:8 says He who does not love has not become acquainted with GOD, for GOD is love.

If ever in my Life I have ever experienced LOVE for anyone then that is GOD. GOD is pure LOVE….

Now the question is How much does GOD Love ME? And to what extent?

I have always asked my husband. How much do you love me, and he would say n to the power of infinity or as much as the number of the stars in the sky… And I would fall for these cheesy lines.

When I asked God, How much he loved me. He said refer to the following  verses:

  1. John 3:16 says 16For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  2. Isaiah 44: 3 says 3For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and currents on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring. 
  3. Romans 5:5 says 5And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
  4. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 says 12And may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone else, just as our love for you overflows,…

GOD sent his only SON to die for me and for my SINS. God pours out his Love on us to an extent that it overflows and when it overflows. God wants us to share that love or pour out that love to others. When God pours out his Spirit, he is pouring out his LOVE for us that we are not able to sometimes handle it and we are so overwhelmed by that LOVE. That love is poured in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who is already living within us. When we accept JESUS and acknowledge what he has done for us and how he poured out his love to us on that CROSS, the Holy spirit comes to stay in us to guide us and help us love Jesus and follow Jesus. When God pours out his Love on us, we feel so loved and cherished and we sob experiencing Gods Love. The bible says that in the end days God will pour out his Spirit. We need to desire that encounter with God and that Love of God and when we do experience that Love being poured, we will not want anything else because no one loves us like how God does.    

 I have to ask my husband how much he loves me, even when I know he does and even when I see the love in his eyes. I cannot see Gods love but I feel Gods love always, because he has never left me and the extent to which I love God, I will want to obey his commandments. And I will LOVE to obey his commandments. When you spend more time in GODs presence you will be surrounded by GODs love and that connection with God and that love of God is your strength and fortress and because you have Gods love you will want to pour out that love to others. Because anyone other than you, is your neighbor and you are called to love your neighbor. God is seeing your heart. He is always watching you.

Feeling LOVED and CHERISHED and CARED is what everyone wants and when one has that encounter with GOD where GOD pours out his LOVE, we just feel LOVED…and If you want to feel that LOVE….YOU NEED the Holy Spirit.

Now when GOD pours out his LOVE, Since Now it is GOD living in us i.e. the Holy Spirit Living in US. We want to pour out the same love to others and then LOVE your neighbor does not seem to be difficult because you see them as a child of GOD. You will not want to kill or steal or do bad to your neighbor because now you love them, with all their faults and shortcomings like how GOD does.

  • When we Love God we OBEY God out of respect,
  • We want to do his WILL because we trust him
  • We seek him because we know he is REAL and nothing else matters.
  • GOD loves each one of us. And because of that LOVE we LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR because it’s the same love being poured out to us.

GODs LOVE makes LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF POSSIBLE…

      How many of us actually want to pour out that love to others or are we just selfish and want it all for ourselves.God has made each of us unique and we should love ourselves, but not be self-obsessed.

SELFISHNESS is a choice. In this SELFIE ERA we only think about I, ME and MYSELF. We think of only SELF praise and Self Glorification. We choose to keep ourselves 1st. We choose to be prideful and think less of others. We think of Showcasing ‘Ourself’, at workplace or personal life. If we don’t do that, someone else will do it and walk away with the CREDIT/PRAISE/GLORY. We have become so absorbed in the world that we have shut the doors to the LOVE of GOD.

GOD wants to pour out that LOVE but we are content with US loving our self.

Love your neighbor as yourself……I cannot do that……Do you mean If I spent on me for food or clothes, Do I need to spend the same on my neighbor?

There are 2 ways of looking at these.

  • We need to do the same towards others how we expect them to do towards us.
  • We need to do the same towards others as we do for us.

If we are short of money and if we expect someone to help us then we need to ensure that we are also helping someone in need of money when we have been blessed with Money.

If I am buying a pastry for myself; and when I see someone hungry then I need to buy them a pastry too and not frown on buying a pastry when my heart says I should spend less to help someone.

The story of the GOOD Samaritan is a classic example of who is my neighbor.

Luke 10:30-37 tells the story of the Good Samaritan.

A man was travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho and on the way the thieves mug and wound him stripping him off his clothes leaving him half dead. By chance a priest passes by and when he sees the man lying down half dead, he passes on the other side. The next was a Levite who does the same.Then comes the Samaritan and when he sees this man lying down, he is filled with compassion and he bandages him, pours oil and wine on the wounds and sets him on his own animal and takes him to an inn and takes care of him and when he leaves the next day  he gives 2 denarii to the innkeeper to take care of this man and also assures him that if extra is spent then he will come back and repay.Jesus asks who among the 3 was a neighbor to the man.

The Priest and Levite, though considered being GOOD by the world because they have the knowledge of God, are religious and follow customs and traditions religiously were only stuck to the idea of GOD. The Samaritan on the other hand considered being BAD by the world because he would follow the religion or tradition less and have less knowledge about GOD, but even then since the person was moved with compassion to help the person in NEED, not expecting anything in return for this help and ensuring that till the person is well paid the innkeeper to take care and so is acknowledged as GOOD by JESUS .

GOD only sees your heart and nothing else. The heart is where that love comes from and if you have God in your heart and God’s love in your heart you will help others not expecting anything in return. That’s unconditional love, that one is asked to have as per the bible for your neighbour to do Good, to show Mercy, to show Love and above all to show OUR GODs LOVE. Because it’s only the love of God in you that will move you to have compassion and mercy and love for others. If there is no LOVE of GOD then you can never help your neighbour. Because LOVE is never SELFISH…

James 1:22 says But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

The Bible calls us to Love our Neighbors…

God has blessed you to be a blessing to others. To help your neighbors, to show compassion and mercy to them, to do GOOD. But what do we do when God blesses us. We start mapping our future, we prepare a checklist of worldly things….

A big house, A beautiful Car, Properties, Fixed Deposits, Upgrades, early retirement to enjoy this life….Blah…..Blah.                                                                                                                                               Is it wrong to desire these things? Does God not want us to be happy? The bible says ask and it shall be given to you then why can’t I ask these? If God wants to bless me why Can’t I desire to buy these? What is the blessing for if I cannot buy the luxury items for myself. If God wants to give me a perfect gift then why Can’t it be these?

The answer here is contentment… The contentment will come only if you have God’s love in your heart….

We can either be content with a small house or a huge house, it’s the holy spirit talking to you and you need to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and not give in to desires of flesh. If the Holy spirit says to you, that you are blessed to buy a new house then buy it, if he says give it to XYZ person then do that, If he says donate it to XYZ foundation or charity then do that. But listen to the Holyspirit.

Jeremiah 29:13 says..And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Matthew 6:32-34 says For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

God already knows what we want and what we desire, hence God says seek me and I will give you all these things but rather than seeking God 1st , we seek the worldly things 1st. The bible asks to seek the kingdom of GOD first and then all these things will be added to you.

When we face a problem rather than praying to God, we ask help from all the people we know around us and when we face disappointment we then turn our face to God and then trust in God that now only God can get you out of this situation and problem. But what God wants is for you to come to him 1st rather than going to others and is waiting for you to come to him so he can hear you.

When God blesses us with riches, he also blesses us to be a blessing for others. So now if I am richly blessed by GOD, rather than following what my heart needs, I should ask the holy spirit what I should do with this monetary blessing and the Holyspirit will speak to you and guide you what to do with that money.

For example….

There are 2 brothers and both pray to GOD for financial blessing on their life. The elder brother is financially blessed by God and has decided to use some and secure some of the money in fixed deposit for his future. The younger brother is crying out to the Lord for a financial blessing to pay back his debts and is living with difficulties. The elder brother says to the younger one. I’ll pray for you even though he has money lying in his bank. The Holy Spirit is speaking to the elder brother and asking him to help his brother financially but the brother is arguing saying I need the money for my future and shuns the voice of the holy spirit. Thus the younger brother is not being helped and is still in his sorry situation.

But what if the elder brother heard the Holyspirit speak to him and calls his younger brother and helps him financially not expecting anything in return, but helps out of love. The younger brother is now filled with love and gratitude for the elder brother for helping him in his time of need and praises and glorifies GOD for being good to him. God sees the heart of the elder brother and blesses him even more financially and the elder one too gives thanks and praises to GOD. Only through Gods LOVE can one pour out their love to others by helping others and in the end GOD is to be praised and glorified. So that the one who had abundant shares with the one who did not and they both are now sufficient.

God said do not worry about TOMORROW. I will take care and my grace is sufficient for thee.

If we have and can help, Gods blessing is in that, rather than saying if God blesses me abundantly only then I’ll help others. Start small, you don’t have to live in poverty. God has not asked you to live in poverty and help others. You can show Love by speaking tenderly, spending time, show mercy and compassion. He wants you to show Gods Love… The same love that God has shown you and has showered upon you so that others may GLORIFY in GOD’s LOVE. All you need to do is ask the Holy spirit and let the Holyspirit Lead you.

I Know who my neighbor is, DO YOU?

I WANT to share GODs LOVE with others what is your Choice?

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