Love Came To Our Neighborhood
During Jesus’ time of physical ministry on Earth there was an expert in the law who asked Him a question, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” We find His response in Matthew 22:35-40, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” In His simple response Jesus makes life pretty simple, love God and love others but what does all of that really mean?
How do we love God? In my humble opinion it begins by accepting His love, repenting of our sin, and choosing to take on our true identity and children of God. When we do this we have an identity shift, when your view of yourself is changed then your view of others will follow. The change in your view of yourself is important in the following the second most important commandment which is to love our neighbor as ourselves. When our view of ourselves is in the right place then our view and love for others will be in the right place as well.
In John 3:16-17 we find some clues into how we should view ourselves based on the love of The Father, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” When we realize that Jesus came to our neighborhood not to condemn us, (even though we deserve it) but to save us, because He loves us…that’s powerful. Love came to our neighborhood to save us.
You cannot understand who your neighbor is or what it means to love them if you don’t first believe that Jesus loves you. Before you can even ask who is my neighbor? Or should I love my neighbor? Or how do I love my neighbor? You must first understand how much He loves you because He does and you cannot give out that love if you haven’t first received it yourself. Before we love our neighbor lets first learn to love ourselves because in the end we have to love our neighbors as ourselves.