If I Do Not Love Them
Between the church I attend and other Christian encounters, I receive the love of God through dozens of individuals. I am greatly blessed. There are many the Lord sends my way about whom I doubt that they have a single person regularly loving them with the love of God. If you are a believer there are also individuals like that who cross your path. They may be angry, profane, troubled, dishonest, offensive, evil speaking, mean or driving others away in any of a multitude of other ways. They are making it obvious that they need the love of God. Perhaps we should ask ourselves the question If I do not love them who will?
Matthew 22:36: Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
My Pastor wisely defined a neighbour as anyone I encounter who has a need I can meet. I would also define neighbours as those for whom only God could meet their need. Being a Godly neighbour sometimes begins with prayer and results in seeing a need YOU can meet. The Lord can and does turn total strangers into neighbours.
Luke 6:27: But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, 28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. 29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. 30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. 31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.