A couple of weeks ago, I did a post where I talked about a Bible verse that my sister said she had read multiple times, but it suddenly took on a different meaning for her. That exact thing happened to me this week, and with a verse that I have heard for years.
I am pretty sure that almost everyone reading this has heard or read these verses in Matthew.
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Every time I read these verses, I always concentrate on the “love thy neighbor” part. I’ve wondered who my neighbor was and why I should love them. I’ve also wondered exactly HOW to love them, especially if I didn’t know them or like them. Figuring out how to love someone that you didn’t like was another issue.
But, when I read the verse the other day, the part that stood out to me was, “as thyself.” Do you love yourself? I guess I have always assumed that everyone loved themself, but what if they don’t?
So many people are filled with self-loathing. They don’t like their lives, are unhappy with their choices, and hate the person they have become. So, if they don’t love themself, how can they actually love their neighbor?
For me, I struggle with forgiving myself for things in the past. I KNOW that the Lord has forgiven me, but I can’t seem to let go of my past transgressions. This voice in my head keeps whispering that the Lord wouldn’t really love me if He knew the things that I’ve done.
That same voice was with Jesus in the desert, with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and with you also. The voice is a liar, a thief, and a deceiver who wants to separate you from the Lord. Listening to “that” voice will lead to heartache and pain.
But, there is another voice, one that is cheering for you. The Holy Spirit is also talking to you, and if you only listen, He will guide you in the truth. He will tell you that NOTHING can separate you from the love of the Lord!
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The voice in your head seeks to destroy you, but the voice in your HEART seeks to redeem, forgive, guide, and love you. Turn to your heart’s voice, and remember, “not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
So, yes, we should love our neighbors, but we have to love ourselves before that!
To God Goes The Glory!
Have A Blessed Day!