On Monday, we saw Jesus tell the lawyer (who had been sent to trap Him with His answer) tell those assembled that the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. Today, we go to Paul’s writings to see how the law applies to the Christian.
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 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. Romans 13:8-10 (KJV)
So what does love look like? When we love, we don’t commit adultery, kill, steal, gossip, covet. We want to do no harm to a person. We delight in our loved one’s joys.
As Christians, are we to be more interested in “keeping the rules” or “acting in love”? Does acting in love mean we keep the rules?
We see the same story of the question/answer session in Mark’s gospel, but he has recorded an expanded conversation.
And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. Mark 12:32-34 (ESV)
How does the Pharisees’ answer help us to understand the importance of the two commandments? Do you see that it’s our heart that God wants even more than our ritual offerings?
How does this all apply to your life? Are there areas where you do well? Do you try your best to treat everyone as you would want to be treated (in thought, word, and deed)? Do you spend time with God, searching His scriptures, praying, singing joyfully to Him?
Are there areas where you don’t excel? Do you gossip? Do you look at the fancy car your boss has with jealousy? Do you forget to read the Bible regularly? Is your prayer life weak or nonexistent?
Take some time to assess your life based on the scriptures we’ve studied so far. Thank God for the places where you are doing well, and ask Him for help in the places where you are weak. If you would like me to pray for you, or help you in any way, email me or leave a comment on the blog.
One more study this week – see you Friday!