The Kind of Love Christ Requires
By Kristen Terrette
“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
We can’t choose ours neighbors, but we must love them all.
Quite a few families have come and gone during the seven years we’ve lived on our street. Having homes within throwing distance surrounding ours has proved to be an adjustment for my husband. He grew up on acreage and never lived where he couldn’t walk outside to get something in his underwear. He’d never had to be kind to people that he didn’t choose to associate with, especially when their dog leaves a mess in your yard or their children ride bikes through your precious grass.
Jesus demonstrated that “neighbors” aren’t only those who live within yelling reach. Our responsibility to treat others as Jesus would extends far beyond proximity and socio-economical similarities.
So how do we love anyone we encounter each day as much as we adore and care for ourselves?
The answer lies in the first part of today’s verse. First, we must love God with an “agape” love—a sacrificial and supernatural love the Holy Spirit births within us. We must wake up and go to sleep praising and talking to Him. We should ask for a willing attitude to obey however He leads and a longing for the Bible. When God becomes the joy of our days we’ll be able to love others as He desires allowing Him to live in us and through us.
If both parts of this verse don’t align in my life, then I’m likely not adhering to the first command from Jesus. I’m not loving God correctly with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. If you’re like me, ask God to give you clarity to where you’re not loving Him or your neighbor the way He’s told you to.
Kristen Terrette holds a Master's degree in Theological Studies and served as a Children's Ministry Director for five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives 45 minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. She’s following her dream by writing Christian fiction during the day and being a wife and mom come early afternoon when the family starts to arrive home. She’s serves on the Wholly Loved Ministries team, serves at her local church on the women's leadership team, and writes for Crosswalk.com. To see her blog and novels, check out her website at www.kristenterrette.com.
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