Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

When asked do you believe in God, many automatically respond ‘Yes, of course I do.’ Who knows your heart? Who chose you before the foundations of the earth? Who is the one who condemns? Who can judge you? ” If God is for you, who can be against you?” Who can honestly bring an accusation against God’s elect? Paul reminded the court of king Agrippa that all Jews knew that he lived according to the strictest law as a respected Pharisee. “Now I stand on trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers…I am being accused by the Jews because of this hope. Why is it considered incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?” Acts 26:7 The Apostle Peter was shocked that the resurrected Jesus repeated His question “Peter, do you love Me?” After denying Jesus 3 times, Jesus forgave Peter and asked him to feed His sheep God’s Word, the Bread of Life. “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

God chases after those He loves, and He is relentless until we surrender to His love for all of us. Our Father’s strong affection towards us includes equal admiration for anyone who lays down their plans for His. “For God so loved ….” John 3:16 Our Father has done all He can to make Himself known to us. Each sunrise, sunset, lightning strike and thunder roll is a demonstration of His power and love. He desires a one of a kind intimacy with us. We are challenged to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, but how exactly? When we shine the Light of Jesus in this dark world, when we offer compassion, kindness, patience, mercy or offer our testimony of how He changed us, we are loving God will all our heart, mind, soul and strength. “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 and “God is love” John 4:8 and “Love never fails” 1 Corinthians 13:8

The 2nd most important command to obey is: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Mark 12:31 But how do I love my neighbor as myself? Who is my neighbor? God is love, and it never fails, but when we submit to God, His love pours out towards all humanity, which our Father hopes to love through us. “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” John 16:13 The Holy Spirit enables us to “walk this way” and to keep His commands as He calls us to remember scripture. MEMORIZE THIS SCRIPTURE: “Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen.” Jude 1:24-25

The TRUTH of our SALVATION. “When we believed” On Jan 1, 2022 all who were sitting at the table, raised their hands in agreement that we believed Jesus died on a cross for our sins, that Jesus defeated death and walked out of the tomb, in order that the promised Holy Spirit would mark us with a seal that we are His, at the moment we believed.  God made known to us, the mystery of His will, that none should perish.  We were included in Christ when we heard the message of truth, the gospel of our salvation.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.  In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in Him with a sealthe promised Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:3-14

Like many of us, I overheard a woman humbly admit that she struggles with her identity in Christ as she whispered “I struggle with loving myself”. We were chosen to believe in the Gospel. Once upon a time, before Christ, we all felt unworthy of His love and forgiveness. The Good News is that in our baptism, we died to ourselves, and we were supernaturally changed. Our Father through the Holy Spirit gave us all different gifts, as He determines. As His chosen, born anew babes in Christ, God uses our different personalities for His purpose that He may reach the ashamed, the deceived, and the blinded. Our Father does not force His love on anyone, we must choose Him. In false humility we might criticize ourselves for not being all that God intends, perfectly, all the time…but by the grace of God, and His fresh daily mercies, He pursues us, and He reveals Himself in His Word. When we admit we fall short, and that we are sinners, this is true! He forgave us and gave us a new identity ‘in Christ’. The 2nd greatest command IS to love our neighbors as ourselves! We obediently love who God loves, the confused, the doubtful, the lost. Any disobedience to the greatest command, to love ourselves is to be confessed. For we no longer live, but Christ lives through us, therefore we are commanded to love ourselves. Loving who God loves (me and you) is a command. He adopted, anointed, and equipped us with the Holy Spirit and gave us a purpose. As a new creation in Christ, dead to our old sinful nature, we are enabled to love the unlovable, the haters, and the obstinate through the overflow of love that dwells in us. To judge ourselves as deficient, is unbelief in His Sovereign power. Is not Christ all sufficient in us? YES LORD, in obedience I love myself as You created me. You changed my heart of stone to a heart that breaks for what breaks Yours. We cannot truly love God without fully embracing this truth. “nothing can separate us from the love of God.” What our Father values most, is the time we spend with Him. We all have different gifts, and different personalities, that we might all come together in unity as His church. His purpose for redeeming us, was to transform us, and to equip us to live ‘in Him’ and bring God glory. Do you believe that every Word of God is God breathed? The Holy Scriptures all testify that there is no condemnation for those that live ‘in Christ Jesus’ and obey His commands. Our Father is faithful and His sacrifice of His son paid for all our faults, shortcomings, and sins by the innocent perfect sacrificial Lamb, the bloodshed by Jesus.

Our Father’s one-on-one relationship with each child of God is unique in that He knows our every wound, doubt, reluctance to give up our ways for His. Our Father, our Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are One in the same and combined they are mysterious, yet willing to include us in their divine plan for all of us. From Genesis to Revelation our God shares how He has dealt with countless generations for their obedience and disobedience. We exercise our faith in the unseen by seeking God in all that we do as we become His willing, and obedient vessels of change in this condemned world. “Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning Me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with Me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting Me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” John 16:33 The Message also says “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it NOT by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit (works) deeply and gently within us.”

God’s Word is clear, and it never changes. We serve a just God who rightly disciplines those He loves. Wisely seek His counsel and His way. Walking confidently in the Spirit, we share our testimony. We share how God has literally loved the mess out of us! The Message Ephesians 2:4-5 “It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose His temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, He embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on His own, with no help from us! Then He picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in the company of Jesus, our Messiah.” Fill your minds and your hearts with the Word of God so it will be the first thing that comes out of your mouth. 2 Corin 12:9-10 “But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions,in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Strong in Him, strong in reliance upon the Holy Spirit, and strongly loving the one who says “walk this way”.

“The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please Christ, and then do it.” Ephesians 5:8 The Message  The words of the Bible will wash away any old mindset as His living and active word creates in us the mind of Christ. “Be not conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Romans 12:2 Our Father is prepared to download His way into our minds and hearts. “As a man thinketh, so is he”.

Mt Carmel in Jerusalem, October 2019 Read 1 Kings 18:27 about Elijah

In fact His promise to us is “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26 – The truth is that our secret weapon is the unseen Holy Spirit who is wherever we are as His lives in us. Acts 1:5-8 That same power of the Holy Spirit that was used to raise Jesus from the dead. The Holy Spirit is unlimited and invincible! Jesus tells us that “My sheep know My voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow.” John 10:27-28 – the Holy Spirit gives us discernment, counsel, and wisdom. The Holy Spirit is not stagnant or unaware of any doubt, thought, unbelief, thing, demon, person or lying scheme. If the Holy Spirit prompts you to do something odd, trust Him – obedience is better than sacrifice.

The greatest command of God to obey is: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Well said, teacher, the man replied. You are right in saying that God is One and there is no other but Him. (Father, Son, Holy Spirit}  To love Him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to — love your neighbor as yourself — is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask Him any more questions.” Mark 12:30-34

Word of God delivered on January 2, 2022 by Blanca and translated by Susanna.  Romans 8:26-35 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified. More Than Conquerors!  What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? (Jesus intercedes for us in prayer on our behalf)  Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. (God knows who is His, and nobody else) Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, Who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”  Read the book of Romans chapter 8.  In prison, Paul  was famished, naked, and in danger, and yet he determined to cling to the love of God, convinced that he could not be separated from the one who promised to never leave him or not intercede on his behalf. Psalm 139:7-10 “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there;  if I make my bed in the depths, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn,  if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there Your hand will guide me, Your right hand will hold me fast.” We were called according to His purpose, to use the gifts He distributed, that His will shall be done on earth. Believe in His Word that says “Nothing can separate you from the love of God.” AMEN Encourage post A Royal Invitation

4 thoughts on “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

  1. Pingback: A Royal Invitation | Living Abroad

  2. The JOY of the Lord is truly contagious! “Love the Lord your God with all your heart ❤️ and with all your soul 👁, mind, 🧠 and with all your strength 💪. How does one truly obey Deut 6:5-6? God asked us to keep this command on our hearts. During the great war, the Lehman family composed a Hymn to worship God and His “Indescribable” love ❤. God’s love has many amazing facets, like a brilliant prism. We grow to understand how to love what we cannot see through faith. We sense or feel His holy Presence in nature. We come to know Him through reading His Word. His Holy Word magnifies 🔎 His love and faithfulness towards us and we come to understand. Along our Pilgrims journey we begin acting out our faith while trusting the Truth that He will never abandon us, even when we cannot see Him, or feel Him. Loving God with 💯 percent of our multi-faceted heart, is to know that our heart has the mind of Christ within it. When we surrender to the Truth, we begin to understand His love which allows us to serve Him by acting out His love for others. The child in me that wanted to love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength was encouraged by how the Lehman children wanted to assist their dad in writing the 3rd verse of a song. Enjoy ❤️ this heart warming film and be blessed.

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  3. “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” In Spanish with translator. Message begins as you click this number 13:25 . Enjoy and share with your friends.

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  4. “What matters supremely, therefore, is not, in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it – the fact that He knows me.” J.I. PACKER

    Liked by 1 person

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