We Must Learn to Love God and Our Neighbors

By Riley Nelson

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  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. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:36-40).  The occasion of the preceding discourse was a time when some of the Pharisees seeing Jesus quiet their adversaries the Sadducees, sought to tempt our Lord. Trying to see just how well He knew the law. How surprised they must have been when they were given an answer that summarized the entire law of God. Love of God, and love of fellow man.

As we approach the holiday season most everywhere the attitude of care for our fellow man is shown. The world for a few short weeks seems for the most part to be a really caring place. Food drives, toy drives, etc. are everywhere. Those who are known to be “Scrooge’s” most of the time are seen becoming “Scrooge the morning after the dreams”. It is good that people can realize just how they ought to be treating their fellow man, and especially those who cannot help themselves.

This attitude of caring for others should not be unusual for the child of God. It should be the way they live their lives, always seeking to do good to others and to show and share the love of God with those about them. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith”(Gal. 6:10). “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of other”. (Phil. 2:3-4). Sadly this is not always the case. Some have fallen in to the snare of Satan by only looking to their own wants and needs. Many such Christians do not even realize the “snare has been sprung” about them. However their example shows that Satan has them in his grasp. Many Christians who fail the caring test are extremely versed in the scriptures, but knowing the scriptures is not enough. We must act upon what we know. James put it this way, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). We can deceive ourselves into thinking we are everything we need to be, but we need to take stock of ourselves from time to time, less we be “snared” and “unaware”. We have to put our Christian love into action.

We need to remember how the early Christians acted toward God and each other. They obeyed the gospel of Christ, and then began to care for each other. “And all that believed were together, and had all things common” (Acts 2:44); “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32).

While the world may only see and feel the need to look to God and their fellow man only once a year, children of God should and must keep this spirit of caring each and every day. Let us always remember the words of our Lord, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself”.

            In one of His lessons Jesus told of how Christians must think of others. He gave a picture of the Day of Judgment. To those who would be told to come and inherit their reward he said, “For I was an hungered, 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” (Matthew 25:35, 36). This attitude of putting others first tells mankind that we are to lean on each other. What a contrast to what we see so many times in the world today. Imagine how great life would be if we all put God first and our fellow man second. “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  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. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matt. 22:36-40). 

This entry was posted in Articles. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.