Friday, August 3, 2012

Love your neighbor... yourself. (Leviticus 19:18)

The golden rule is to treat others as you would want to be treated.

I sat in church sunday night thinking about that.  A kind hearted and godly woman was telling me about a need that she has, or hopefully by the grace of God, she had.
She mentioned that she was dealing with a big financial hurdle that was put in front of her.

I thought about the passage that states, love your neighbor as yourself.

I thought about how many times I have been in that same state. How in a day or two I would most likely be in that state once again.

I knew that I did not have the resources to fully meet the needs of this woman, who is part of the body of Christ.

But what I did have, was four bucks.

That may not seem like a significant ammount to most people. That may not seem like much to me at the time of my giving it.... but, it was.  That was lunch for a day at work.

It was a sacrifice.

And I thought about how if she could find a handful of other people willing to make a small sacrifice, then not only will she feel the love of the greater body of believers, but it will meet her need.

I loved the neighbor the way I would hope to be loved.

I've sat and heard men passionately preach on giving lately
and in some cases, when they were aware of my need they just looked on by.
I thought of that too when I gave.
 Then again, there was also a man that passionately preached on giving and when the time was right, he gave very sacrificially. He gave in a way that was inspiring.

I don't want to be that person that thinks, that everyone else is part of everyone elses responsibility. That someone else will get it so I don't need to. That if I see someone going hungry, I'm sure someone else will feed them

I've grown up in ways that were me just taking care of myself...

and they suck.

They are cold and they are lonely.

Now, we can say that God is the one who provides.  We can talk about tithes and offerings and first fruits.... and these things are right, and righteous to give...

but in those same breaths we should breath deep the meaning of the words " I desire mercy more than sacrifice" ( Hosea 6:6, Matt 9:12-13)

Love is something that is inspiring....
We need to be a people that inspire each other.
Invest in each other.

Believe in one another.

I think about the words of the Savior in Mark 7

For Moses said, ‘ Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘ He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’;  but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God),’  you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”

How can we sit there an talk about giving with one hand to God, while with the other we are shielding our eyes to the needs of our family. What gift can we really give to God in the form of money? He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. Our giving to him is a symbol of our faith in him.
...just as our love for one another will prove that we are his disciples to the world.  ( John 13:35)

..and we are called to Love our neighbor, as ourselves.

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