Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
8Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 9The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
So why is it important that we continually are showing love? Paul’s answer is: it fulfilled the law of God. Love, not mere external conformity to rules, is the essence of the Law. “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14-15)
This is what is referred to as the law of Christ, it’s to love God with all of our being and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. A scribe once asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments, which one is the most important?” Jesus said that the most important one “…is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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.”
For the follower of Christ, the avoidance of sin is to be accomplished out of love for God and love for others. It’s not to be some kind of checklist of does and don’ts. Love is to be our motivation. When we recognize the value of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, our response is to be love, gratitude, and obedience. When we understand the sacrifice Jesus made for us and others, our response is to follow His example in expressing love to others. Our motivation for overcoming sin should be love, not a desire to legalistically obey a series of commandments. We are to obey the law of Christ because we love Him, not so that we can successfully check off a list of commands that we obeyed.
The great thing about love is that it can get us down to brass tacks. How so? Well look at the commandments found in v 9…. All of them involve taking something that is not ours, all of them bring harm to someone else, and all of them bring pain and suffering. And at the very core of these sins is a lack of love for another. Love does no harm to another! Love keeps us from wronging another person. If we can cultivate a Christ-like love for others we’ll begin to move in a direction that closes the gap in our relationship with Christ. This is what God wants us to do. You want to know how to please God? Simply love God, and love your neighbor.
I know that there are folks that are hard for us to love, but honestly, we really don’t get to opt out of loving them.
Jesus said: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” (Luke 6:32-36)
So, for me the question is: Will I trust God, will I take Him at His word? Despite how unloving a person is, or may even be towards me, will I love them with a Christ-like love?
Ask God to help you love as Jesus would Love, ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to love.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.