Monday, September 23, 2013

Neighborliness is next to Godliness

The Greatest Commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And the second greatest commandment is like the first: love your neighbor as yourself.

It is like the first. They go hand in hand. They are similar. Neighborliness is next to Godliness. And neighborliness is cemented by covenant.

The Lord gave us these commands because our obedience displays His holiness and character. But how does God display these attributes? By the way He relates to (and loves) Isreal, and consequently the Church. By making an everlasting covenant with us, where we shall be His people, and He shall be our God. And by drawing us near to him through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

What are the implications of these attributes of God's character?

First, because God is perfect we know that He loves Himself with all of His being. This is good news. Second, because God is perfect we know that He loves His neighbor as Himself. This is great news! Because God has drawn us near to Him through the blood of His son Jesus and the promised Holy Spirit, we are now God's neighbors. We are a part of that divine love. And because we are God's neighbors, He promises to love us as He loves Himself. And because He loves Himself with all of His heart, soul, mind, and strength, in the same way He will love us with all of His heart, soul, mind, and strength.

So be encouraged: if you are in Christ, God loves you as He loves Himself, no matter what. Nothing will change that reality.





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