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“Never Skip the First Part”

Jesus commanded us to: “Love your neighbors as yourself.” I wonder

sometimes what we think that means? Is it that you love your neighbor when

they “do what you do” or when they “do what you want them to do”? I guess that

would be like loving yourself in the short run for it would be an extension of

yourself, but I don’t believe that is what the command is about.


When we expect our neighbor to be just like us then we are holding on to

an inward focus. A sin driven self-focus that will destroy society. For the truth is

we will never all see things exactly the same, our neighbors have their own ways,

their own plans, their own minds. It is what makes them unique.


So how can Jesus expect us to love our neighbors as ourselves when it

seems impossible? Well that is where the first part of the command comes in to

play, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with

all your mind.” 


When we focus on the first part, the rest will happen. Have you ever looked

at it in those terms? When we focus on God and His word it will fill us with His

wisdom, we will learn how to do the impossible without even realizing it.


In our world everyone wants to put their own definitions and their own

expectations on things. We all love to say we are right; we all love to say we have

the right, and we all get confused. God says let me show you the way and you can

all live together. You can love your neighbors as yourselves for you will know what

love is.


So the next time you read: “Love your neighbor as yourself” don’t get

frustrated when you don’t seem to be able to do it, remember to never skip the

first part: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and

with all your mind” then it will all make sense.


Just My Thoughts

Pastor Scott

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