Love Your Neighbor as Yourself #283

39  “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:39)

A person cannot love God with all his heart, soul and mind and yet hate his neighbor. Love for God forbids it. God explains that the love we must have for others corresponds to the good will we have for ourselves. In another place Jesus put it this way, “whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12). God’s law to Israel hung on the two commands to love God and love one’s neighbor. These two supported all the particular laws God gave Israel through Moses and the prophets. As we hear Christ today, we too much love God completely and our neighbors as ourselves. Without love for God and others, we cannot know God and walk with Him now, or eternally. Make it a point to love your neighbor today. By doing so you will also be expressing your love for God.

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Love the Lord your God #282

36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37  Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38  This is the first and great commandment. (Matthew 22:36-38)

One of the biggest lies is that you can love God on your own terms. You cannot. Jesus said loving God requires all of yourself. You cannot compartmentalize God. You know – like giving God a few hours on Sunday and then live for yourself the rest of the week. That is not love, and we deceive ourselves if we think it is. Jesus said to love God with “all your heart” – Love Him with every motive, intent, goal, thought and emotion of your heart. Love God with “all your soul” – Love Him using every fiber of your being, every activity and every action. Love God with “all your mind” – Love Him with your intellect and every decision you make. When we love God this way it is plain to see why “this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 Jno. 5:3). A person who loves God first obeys Him joyfully. If obeying God is a burden to you, it is because you are not yet loving Him with all your heart, soul and mind. Start doing so today!

Love Your Wife #281

So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. (Ephesians 5:28-29)

A famous football star punches out his fiancee (now his wife) and it is captured on video. He loses his job, his livelihood and his dignity. There is something even more important than all these; his soul is lost due to sin. If you are a husband, respect and honor your wife just like Christ does the church. Treat her with loving regard, not with violent acts that harm and destroy. Losing control of your temper and hurting the one you claim to love is a shameful sin and crime. Kindness, gentleness and self-control are marks of strength of character. By which of these will you define yourself? Love you wife like Christ loves the church.

Know God #280

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17:3)

Knowing God and His Son, Jesus Christ, is essential to eternal life. Knowing God certainly involves faith, without which no one can please God (Hebrews 11:6). Since faith comes from hearing the word of God, we cannot know God and be saved apart from knowing His word (Rom. 10:17). Knowing God also involves obedience to God’s word (without which, faith is “dead”, James 2:20). Knowing God, then, involves much more than a desire, a feeling or an experience. John also wrote, He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 Jno. 2:4). Commit yourself to knowing God the way He wants you to know Him; by living a faithful life of obedience to His word.

Wisely Use Knowledge #279

Wise people store up knowledge, but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. (Proverbs 10:14)

Amassing knowledge for its own sake is not the counsel of this proverb. Pride is invariably the result of that endeavor (1 Cor. 8:1). Wisdom uses one’s knowledge properly, beneficially, godly. Therefore, without a storehouse of knowledge, one’s wisdom is necessarily limited. As we remember the terrible events of 9/11 this day, knowledge helps us honor the fallen and wisely protect ourselves from future attacks. The spiritual application is even more important. The fool refuses a knowledge of God and His will. careless faithlessness, the day of eternal destruction is hastened. Be wise today. Know “the only true God, and Jesus Christ” whom He sent to the world (Jno. 17:3). Here is how knowledge and wisdom combine: “By this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments” (1 Jno. 2:3).

Are You Listening? #278

1  Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2  For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3  how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4  God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (Hebrews 2:1-4)

Having already stated that God has spoken to us by His Son in Hebrews 1:2, our inspired author now returns to his point in chapter 2:1. We must not neglect what God says to us by His Son! The word He speaks to us by His Son Jesus Christ is so certain that no one who refuses His word will escape a just judgment. His apostles continued to speak what the Lord Jesus began to speak. Their word is validated by the miracles that attended their preaching of the gospel (Mark 16:15-20). In other words, what they said is true. Are you listening to God? You are if you are reading, learning and living the apostles’ words. That is what the first Christians did (see Acts 2:42)! The apostle Paul said, “the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37). God is speaking to you today through the writings of the apostles. Are you listening?

How God Speaks To Us #277

1  God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2  has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds… (Hebrews 1:1-2)

Many people believe God has spoken directly to them, giving them some personal message of warning or assurance. Some claim God sends them an experience that comforts them. Others, that an angel appears to them. Still others, that Jesus spoke directly “to their heart” — and on it goes. These claims do not harmonize with the Scriptures. There is only one verifiable, reliable, objective way God speaks to all of us today: by His Son Jesus Christ. Christ speaks to us all by the gospel message He sent His apostles into the world to preach (Matthew 28:18-20; Hebrews 2:1-4).Jesus said, “He who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me” (Jno. 13:20). To know what God expects of you, you must spend time reading the Scriptures. There is no new revelation today. God is not going to say something to me but not to you. God speaks to us all in the same way. Listen to what Jesus is saying to you today by spending time with His New Testament. Then your faith will be in Him and not in the emotions, distractions and distortions of men.