The Greatest Commandment

In the introductory part of the John 3:16 revelation series, I mentioned that what enhances an eternal life of exploits, is God’s kind of love – agape love. I further added that we can recognize and reciprocate God’s love for us by loving Him. Loving God is the most important commandment, but the greatest of all the commandments is showing love to your neighbor.

“And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31

Jesus knew that God gave the Israelites 10 commandments in the wilderness. He came up with the conclusion that the greatest of all is loving one’s neighbor. Of a truth, carefully looking at the 10 commandments as highlighted in Exodus 20:2-17, one would realize that they are all a function of love. For example, in verse thirteen of Exodus 20, the Bible says, “Thou shalt not kill.” Looking at it from a human angle, killing one’s neighbor cannot be done out of love.

Who is our Neighbor?

A neighbor, within biblical teachings, is not just someone next door around one’s residence. A neighbor is anyone you see or interact with anytime and anywhere. The Parable of the Good Samaritan is vivid example that explains who a neighbor is. The Samaritan did not bother about the sex, religion, tribe or race of the robbery victim he met on his way, but provided the needed care. Your neighbor can be your parents, siblings, family relatives, friends, enemies and every other person in your society.

Loving Yourself

Jesus said we should love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We need to know how to love ourselves before we can love someone else. Those who love themselves ensure that they avoid anything that will hurt them and do all they can to take good care of themselves.

Some people do not love the way they look and what they have in their possession often leading to low self-esteem. We must appreciate and love ourselves because God made us wonderfully.

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalms 139:14

Many do not love themselves by engaging in acts that are dangerous to their minds and health physically and spiritually. A man who batters his wife does not love himself because any harm done to his wife is done to himself with cost implications.

“So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.”

It is clearly written on cigarette packs that medical practitioners have warned that tobacco smoking is dangerous to health, and smokers are liable to die young. Despite this warning, so many, both young and old, are addicted to smoking.

Further, the Bible warns us in 1 Corinthians 6:18, that we should flee from sexual immorality because any sexual sin is harmful to the body and our body is the dwelling place of God, but those who do not love their bodies take pleasure in it.

Another area some have failed to love themselves is dwelling in the past. They begin to hate themselves and feel guilty each time they recall past mistakes. The Bible says we should not remember the former things because God is doing something new in our lives.

“Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19

If you have given your life to Christ, remember that He has justified and glorified you, so every past mistake is wiped off by the blood of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!

“For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30

Friend, I urge you to decide today to drop every habit that is harmful to your body and spiritual life. Rise up, forget about every past mistake or failure and have a positive outlook about your life.

Loving Your Neighbor

One can show love to God by loving his or her neighbor. Jesus Christ told His disciples that inasmuch as they show love to people around them, they have demonstrated love to Him.

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:35-40

Relating this passage to the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), that act of kindness shown to a stranger, is recorded in Heaven and attracts bountiful blessings. Moreover, from this Bible passage, we can see that God places much importance on showing love to one another.

We can love one another by living in peace (1 Thes. 5:13); providing counsel (Rom. 15:14); giving preference (Rom. 12:10); accepting one another by withholding judgment (Rom. 14:1); speaking the truth (Eph. 4:25; Col 3:9); showing compassion (Col. 3:12); forgiving one another (Col. 3:13); encouraging one another (1 Thes. 5:11); seeking good for one another (1 Thes. 5:15); and esteeming one another in love (Rom. 14:5; Phil. 2:3).

Many have failed to forgive others concerning past hurts and conflicts. This is not an indication of love and can hamper one’s relationship with God. If God keeps records of our wrongs, none of us can stand His punishment.

“If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Psalms 130:3.”

So God wants us to forgive others the same way He forgives our sins. Every one that does not show love to neighbors is not born of God (born again). The Holy Spirit helps those who are born of God to show love because love is embedded in the fruit of God’s Spirit.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.” 1 John 4:7

“And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:5

It is the love for lost souls that can spur you up to engage in soul wining through prayers, evangelism and follow-up. When you find it difficult to love people you can see around you, how can you love God whom you have not seen?

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”1 John 4:20

As I conclude, let me drop this piece by T. D Jakes with you.

If you are holding on to something that doesn’t belong to you and was never intended for your life, then you need to……
    LET IT GO!!!
If you are holding on to past hurts and pains, you need to …….
    LET IT GO!!!
If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction……
    LET IT GO!!!
If someone doesn’t treat you right, love you back, and see your worth……
    LET IT GO!!!
 If someone has angered you or hurt you and you’re holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge…..
    LET IT GO!!!
If you have a bad attitude……
    LET IT GO!!!
If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better……
    LET IT GO!!!
If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship…..
    LET IT GO!!!
If you keep trying to help someone who won’t even try to help themselves……
    LET IT GO!!!
If you’re feeling depressed and stressed …………
    LET IT GO!!!
If you’re stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to a new level in Him, then you need to………
    LET IT GO!!!

Sunday Omori

Published by Healing Evangelical Ministries Int'l

Raising an end-time army that preaches the gospel to the captives and healing all that are oppressed of the devil. (Luk 4:18; Act 10:38)

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