Devotional for Today:
Be Kind To Your Neighbor

 Our Daily Devotional: 

The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”… If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. – Galatians 5:14, James 2:8

 We are being asked to do something that is impossible for us to do in our natural state of being. We are told to love others, even those not related to us, or that we may not even know, as we love ourselves. That is a tall order.

I can easily have a certain level of respect for others, and I can be generous with them, to a point; but to love them as I love myself, that is a very difficult thing. After all, I love my pleasures like food, and fellowship with people I like, how can I have the same desire to see others pleased that I may not even know? Frankly, I can’t, and neither can you, but we are being asked to do just that.

How are we going to accomplish this loving our neighbor as ourselves? We can do it by God’s grace and kindness that he places in us. When we come to Christ he gives us the Holy Spirit to influence our lives and guide us into his righteous way of living. We can be kind to our neighbors and love them as we love ourselves, because of the grace of God that has been released in us.

What does it mean to love our neighbor as ourselves? Paul gives us a picture of that. In Ephesians 5:25-32 he is talking primarily about the husband-wife relationship, but the principle is the same. Read what Paul writes, and I am substituting “people” for “husband” and “neighbor” for “wife”:

“[People].Love your [neighbor], just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… In this same way, [people] ought to love their [neighbor] as their own bodies. He who loves his [neighbor] loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it.”

We can be kind to our neighbor when we love them just as we love ourselves and we can do that only through the grace of God.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the love and kindness you have shown me. Grant me the grace to love others as you have loved me. In Jesus name, amen.

Principle:  Love others, even those not related to us, or that we may not even know, as we love ourselves. 

Affirmation: Loving others as myself and being kind to my neighbor is made possible by the spirit of God in my. By God's grace and the power of Holy Spirit I love my neighbor as myself.  

Reflection: What did you think of the "rewrite" of Ephesians 5:25-32? Reflect on ways that you can apply that passage to your neighbor. You may find that you have to appeal to God to give you grace to fulfill this command.   

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