Loving My Neighbor
July 4, 2007
In this passage of Scripture, the Lord is having a dialogue with one of the Jewish Scribes concerning which of the commandments was greatest of all. Keep in mind, beyond the Ten Commandments given on Mt. Sinai, there were an additional 613 commandments that had to do with every aspect of life.
When asked which of the commandments was greatest, the Lord quoted Deut. 6:4-5, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
This is the great confession of faith for every pious Jew. It is called the "Shema," coming from the first word of the confession which means "Hear."
Then in (vs. 31), the Lord quoted Lev.19:18, which emphasizes love for one's neighbor. Jesus made love the most important thing in life, because love is the fulfilling of the Law. In Romans 13:10b, He said, "…therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
It follows then, if we love God, we will experience His love within ourselves and we will express that love to others. We do not live by rules but by relationships--a loving relationship with God that enables us to have a loving relationship with others.
Now the problem presented this evening is this: We, unfortunately, do not always take time to love our neighbors…and when I say neighbor, I do not necessarily mean the neighbor next door (although he is included in this command). When I say neighbor, I mean anyone with whom we come in contact…and particularly, those of the household of faith. Paul wrote, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Galatians 6:10).
QUOTE: The great Roman philosopher, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, said, "Men are created that they may have love for each other."
QUOTE: The Roman writer, Plautus, said, "Acts of kindness to good ...
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