Love Your Neighbor

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Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments. -Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT)

As I was reading these verses, I noticed the words “equally important.” It made think of the importance that our Savior put on loving others. We see it shown throughout scripture how He would go out of His way to meet the needs of others and to be in community with them.

So often I focus more so on the first commandment of loving the Lord and immersing myself in his Word yet I don’t put as much energy into the second commandment. I know I have been guilty of not loving others well; of putting myself ahead of others and at times just not being as willing to step out of my shell to meet the needs of someone else.

These verses are such a beautiful picture of the Gospel. A picture of loving God and equally loving all of His people unconditionally. Not just those who are easy to love but intentionally choosing to love everyone He places in our path.

Father, thank you for sending your Son to be a perfect example of how to love others. Please convict us in moments where we put ourselves before loving others. Constantly remind us of how much Jesus gave of Himself for other people. Show us how to love all of your people unconditionally.

 

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How much longer Lord?

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Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way. How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.-Psalm 13:1-6.

As a child, I would often play hide and seek with my sister and friends. It was a fun game where you chose to hide yourself from an individual and wait for them to go on a search to find you. The best hiders were the ones who were never found.

As an adult, most of us don’t choose to be hidden. We don’t choose to be in position where we don’t want anyone to notice us or find us yet there are some seasons we go through where we experience this. The feeling of being overlooked, trampled on and forgotten. There are moments where it seems like everyone else is reaping the benefits while you remain stagnant.

How long, Lord?

We never know how long a storm will last but I am comforted by David’s words because he shows vulnerability in his prayers. He speaks from his heart and then concludes with “but I trust in your unfailing love.” David knew that God was with him but he felt the need to acknowledge his hurt/circumstances. He was honest with God but always reaffirmed his trust in God.

The truth is God knows our heart and He knows our innermost feelings so there’s no need to hide them. I love that we are able to go to God respectfully with our feelings whether good or bad, but I also love that we can hold on to His truths in the midst of every storm  knowing that He is with us and is working it out for our good.

Father, I pray for my sisters who feel as if you have hidden yourself from them. I pray that they will draw closer to you and experience you in a new, different way. Whatever season they are in, I pray that your Holy Spirit will fall fresh on them as they wait on you. Help them to trust in your unfailing love regardless of the circumstance.