Verse of the Day: November 3rd — Leviticus 19:18
“Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
Even though this exhortation from the Lord came during Old Testament times, it would later become one of Christ’s central and foremost Commandments: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37-40) — [see also Matt. 5:43-48; Lk. 6:27-36; Prov. 25:21-22]. This verse compromises the Second Greatest Commandment mentioned by the Savior of the World … and it is not optional. It is a requirement.
Loving our neighbor ‘as ourself’ (and even our enemy!) is not easy. There will be many people we don’t necessarily feel like loving (or forgiving). But just like we don’t deserve God’s love and forgiveness, He gives it to us unceasingly. In return, He asks that we do the same for our neighbor — friend or foe. Our love for others not only assists in our eternal placement, it frees and heals us from the bondage and pain of holding onto bitterness this side of Heaven. Not only that, loving others will open the door to God’s miraculous blessing in your life. The truth is, your neighbor needs your love and mercy; just like you will need theirs — and just like we pray for God’s. It’s cyclical. So as you go about your day today, ask God to give you a heart like Jesus … and He will.
“Lord, Your Word teaches us not to hold any grudges but to instead love our neighbor as we love ourselves. This is difficult … but as with any challenge we believe we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We ask today for a heart like Jesus; for eyes to see only the good; and a tender conscience … willing and able to love, forgive and bestow mercy even when we don’t feel like it. We know all things work for the good of those who obey Your Commandments; and while this is not easy for feeble flesh, our deepest desire is to please You. Please forgive our unforgiveness, Lord, and bless our neighbor as well as our enemy. Thank You for loving us unconditionally. May we go out into the world and do the same. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.”