What does it mean to love a neighbor?
Roman 12: 1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
It is written in the Scriptures for us to love everyone including our enemies. One may ask how can we love Christ’s enemies? Love is preceded by absence of hatred. If we possess the world with no love, consider our possessions as nothing.
Once an elder asked a layman; “Do you know what it means to love your neighbor? The person answered, “Yes, it is when you save someone by shielding him from the bullet shot. The elder said no and started explaining; when your neighbor is seriously ill, and to get the medicine for him, you have to go through the forest at night far away; and if in spite of all kinds of dangers, you still go and save your neighbor – this means love. If you do so, you will directly ascend to heaven. That neighbor is the one who offended you and hurt you. This is what it means to love God and neighbor. Christ did the same thing. He came down from His glory to save us when humanity was at its worst. Then He had to deal with the hypocrisy of men for 33 years to be crucified at the end. That reasonable service in Romans 12 is more than logical and it means to worship and live according to Christ every single day.
Love without obedience of God is the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1 John 2:16). Only obedience to God, the only Lord of Creation, gives love its true direction and makes it fully love. True obedience is thus true love for God. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). The commandment is to offer that reasonable service which includes worship and serving our fellow man every day. In the old Testament times, daily offering was made every morning. The sacrifice today is to subject our rational minds and human logic, to the Logic of God and fully live in the Kingdom of God. There is a long way to go but we must start without delay and get-up when we stumble to stay on the road that takes to that ultimate love.
The Lord our God will demand love for God and the neighbor; whoever holds out to the end will be saved.
Ezekiel 46 : 13-15 “You shall daily make a burnt offering to the Lord of a lamb of the first year without blemish; you shall prepare it every morning. And you shall prepare a grain offering with it every morning, a sixth of an ephah, and a third of a hin of oil to moisten the fine flour. This grain offering is a perpetual ordinance, to be made regularly to the Lord. Thus they shall prepare the lamb, the grain offering, and the oil, as a regular burnt offering every morning.”
Now to our God be glory forever and ever. Amen.