WHAT DOES LOVE TO NEIGHBOR LOOK LIKE? – Part I

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Key to blog text

Bold highlighting = Important terms and concepts. Blue highlighting = Words, terms, and concepts containing primarily a spiritual sense or TRUTHRed highlighting = Words, terms, and concepts containing a sense directly related to The Lord Himself or LOVEGray  highlighting = Words, terms, and concepts relating to Evil and Hell.  Italic letters in (parentheses) = My emphasis

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You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength”  (Deuteronomy 6:5)

Jesus repeated this commandment while on earth;

He said, “Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?”  Jesus answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” (Matthew 22:36-37). So then this is the GREATEST COMMANDMENT. All others are secondary.

But Jesus went on to say “And the second command is like the first: Love your neighbor the same as you love yourself” (Mat 22:39). So in this discussion we are looking at this second command. How should a child of God follow this commandto love your neighbor as yourself”?

It Takes Wisdom and Sound Judgment to Love the Neighbor

We cannot love the neighbor so much that we give them all the worldly processions we own to express that love to them, do we?

I am Wisdom, and I have insight; I have knowledge and sound judgment”  (Proverbs 8:12)

When Looking at your Neighbor Always Look Up!

When we are pondering love to the neighbor, the Christian first looks up and asks themselves a question. Will this love toward the neighbor extend the Lord’s kingdom? What I do toward the neighbor, will bring the Lord Jesus Glory?

By doing this we are honoring the GREAT and FIRST COMMANDMENT to “Love the Lord your God”. Everything else is secondary, including the neighbor.

This may on the surface appear to be a contradiction. In one instance we are told the second great commandment is to love the neighbor. But in this verse, Jesus firmly established that our primary consideration in our Christian walk is this action to “Love the Lord your God”.

In the Bible, there is Actually a Hierarchy of Love to Neighbor

A. Love to the Brethren

Love each other in a way that makes you feel close like brothers and sisters. And give each other more honor than you give yourself”  (Romans 12:10)

Why is this at the top of the hierarchy? Because we love the brethren because of what is found in each and every one of them. And that is God Himself! And where God is dwelling that is where heaven is found!

B. Love to the “Gentiles”

The “Gentiles” in the Bible are those that know not God. We should love them because God loves them.

The ruler of this world has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They cannot see the light of the Good News—the message about the divine greatness of Christ. Christ is the one who is exactly like God”  (2 Corinthians 4:4)

C. Love to the “Enemy”

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies. Pray for those who treat you badly. If you do this, you will be children who are truly like your Father in heaven. He lets the sun rise for all people, whether they are good or bad. He sends rain to those who do right and to those who do wrong“.  (Matthew 5:43-45)

We can see from the Lord’s teaching here that we should be like our Father in heaven who loves everyone. As long as any person is alive in the world He is always calling them to join Him in a heavenly paradise forever.

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So the Christian must use wisdom and discernment when dealing with the concept of “love to the neighbor”!

Since God loves all people, to have them hurt and destroyed violates the first GREAT COMMANDMENT to love God. All other commands are secondary! This is why in order to follow the SECOND command “to love your neighbor” you must always have in view the FIRST GREAT COMMANDMENT.




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