NEW The AMI QT Devotional for today is provided Joe Suh who serves as a pastor intern at the Church of Southland (Anaheim, California).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Love Your Neighbor”
“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
This pandemic has been an interesting time for everyone. Life as we know it has changed and we are in unfamiliar territory as it comes to living life as we have lived it. One thing that has not changed and in fact has become an even bigger problem for many is the need for basic necessities.
As the pandemic has continued and the loss of jobs has become more and more of a reality for many, the struggle even to meet the basic needs of the family has become an issue. And one of those needs is a major need . . . food.
Recently, at Southland, we have started a food pantry for our local community. The demographic surrounding our church is a group that absent the current situation would not be struggling with these basic needs. The food pantry has been an amazing opportunity to bless our local community by providing for their physical needs, but more importantly it has been a time to also bless them with prayer and sharing the gospel.
Interestingly, as a church, this time of serving those around us has actually been an even bigger blessing for us. It is such a great thing to be used by God to bless others. The time sacrifice is a few hours every other Saturday, but to be used by God to change someone’s life is priceless. The time to love one another is now and to do so is what God called us all to do.
Mark 12 reminds us of the greatest commandment and the second great commandment. Focusing on the second, loving your neighbor as you love yourself, is not always on our priority list. Admittedly, life is very busy. I would say even more so now. We all have our own things to take care of; we all have our own needs to meet; and we have our own issues to deal with.
But Jesus commands us to love our neighbors. Who are our neighbors? The answer is everyone. We are called to be a neighbor to everyone, and it starts with us being a good neighbor. This means that we don’t wait to receive from them first; instead, we give love in all the ways that we can. We are to love them as we love ourselves. In order to love others, we have to love God first. In loving God we truly learn what it is to loves others. So what we receive, we should also give—as “the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for loving us the way you do. Continue to teach us what it is to love You and also love our neighbors. Especially in a time like now, I pray that each of us would go beyond what we normally would do and take the opportunities given to be a loving brother or sister in Christ. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Chronicles 17
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 13:8-10 (NASB): Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Questions to Consider
- What do we have to do in order to fulfill the law?
- How does loving your neighbor summarize the law?
- In what ways can you express your love to others around you?
- We have to love our neighbors. (v. 8) Love is an amazing thing. We are reminded to owe no debts except to love one another. God loves each and every one of us. How do we know that He loves us? He sent His son to die for each of us. To love our neighbors fulfills the law because we can do no wrong by loving. (v. 10)
- By loving your neighbor as you love yourself would inherently imply that you would not murder, steal, covet or commit adultery. (v. 9) This summarizes the law because everything would become moot by loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
- Personal response.
Did I have any opportunities to love my neighbors? Was I paying attention to what God may have been nudging on my heart to do. Take some time this evening to think back through your day and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any opportunities that you may have missed to be a blessing and pour out love on another person. Pray for boldness to take action the next time the opportunity presents itself.