How do you love?

June 7, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
(1 John 4:20 (NAS))

Just as God can see into the hearts of men, we must see into our own heart. God can see our hearts better than we can, yet we unceasingly try to tell God that we love Him. Jesus told us when asked:

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

This is the first and greatest commandment.

And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
(Matthew 22:36-40)

If we have been instructed to love our neighbor as ourself, yet hate your brother, then we are not doing the Will of God. Those who truly love God will earnestly seek to do His Will in all that they do, including loving those whom the world says we should not love.

Do you love as the world loves or as God loves?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Christmas every day!

December 1, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “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.”
(Mark 12:28-31 (NIV))

With Christmas only a few short weeks away, this passage caught my attention in a different way than it normally does.

Oh, come on. I can hear you thinking that this has nothing to do with Christmas, but let me explain what it is that made me think this.

We are to love God with all of our heart. We are to rejoice at His love for us and we are to love Him in return. Now, think about this in terms of what God did for us that began one cold night in a manger.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

For His great love for us, we celebrate the fulfillment of the promise of the gift of salvation, a gift that took human form and lived among us so that we could learn. A gift that came to be given to all so that all may live. A gift that was freely given to you and I and to our neighbors, no matter where they may live.

If God loves us enough to send His Son for our salvation, we love God in turn. If God sent His Son for the salvation of everyone who will believe, then we must love as God loves. we must love our neighbor.

In my eyes, Christmas is a joyous time for the whole world. Too many people think that Christmas is about family. They are partially correct. I believe that they need to expand their definition of family. Family is not only immediate family, but the whole family of man. This is a family where every single member is in need of a Savior. They are in need of the love that God has shown through the birth of Jesus. They are in need of the love and salvation that we celebrate. We must love our neighbor and tell them of this wonderful gift that has been freely given to all.

Do you love God with all your heart, all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength?

Do you love your neighbor as yourself?

God loves your neighbor as much as He loves you.

If we could simply live out these two commands, then we could celebrate Christmas every day.

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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And who is my neighbor?

October 27, 2011

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
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.’ ”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
(Luke 10:25-29 (NIV))

“And who is my neighbor?”

How many times have you asked that very same question simply because you did not want to be put outside of your comfort zone to help someone who was in need? I hate to say this, but I am guilty of this more than I care to admit.

Let’s face the truth. It is human nature to be concerned only with ourselves or those who immediately impact our lives. We become so wrapped up in our own little worlds that we fail to recognize the simple fact that we are only a small part of God’s creation, and, more importantly, we are not the center of that creation.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 (NIV))

If God loves each of us that much, then each of us, no matter how many miles may separate us, are neighbors. We must continually strive to remember this the next time that we feel outside of our comfort zone.

What if Jesus decided that He did not want to come to earth as a man because He was going to be outside of His comfort zone?

Copyright 1998 – 2011 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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