Love your neighbor as yourself

By Pastor Mark Burd - Your pastor speaks

Jesus did in fact tell us to love our neighbors. In context, He said to love your neighbor as yourself. The Pharisees (religious leaders of Jesus’ day) tried to test/trap Him when they asked: 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

In other words, if you do these two things, you will please God!

But, how do you “practically” Love God in 2022? By Loving your neighbor. How do you Love your neighbor?

Let me start by asking this: how do you demonstrate your love to those you care about? What then is the best way to demonstrate love to your neighbor? First, does God love them? How can you love them? How can you best show them that God loves them? What if they’re having a struggle, or a (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual) need? Or a difficult/hopeless situation that they’re dealing with? How would you know if they were? What would/could you do about it? pray. Ask how you can pray for them? Why? Can you personally fix every issue for them? No, but God can! Introducing them to God is the best love you can offer them! He is the answer to every problem. Pray and teach them to Pray to Him. Have you ever heard the saying: Give a man a fish and you Feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish and you Feed him for a lifetime! Are you saying that it’s wrong to feed a man (food) if he’s hungry? Absolutely not!

Matthew 25 says 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

If you only feed him today with natural food, you may also have to feed him again tomorrow…

A great example of this is when Jesus spoke to the woman at the well in John 4 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” He didn’t just give her a drink, He taught her what/how to drink… The Eternal life drink! She went and told everyone in her city about it! (John 4:39, 42). Would it be safe to say that she learned about love from Jesus, and then went and loved her neighbors like she had learned from the Master Himself? Her whole community was changed by His love!

This is how we love our neighbors and how to love on our community. That’s what we teach Christians to do through reviveOHIO. We say “success” is achieved if we Love on our community. How did Jesus influence/affect His community? He loved on them. He prayed for them. He healed them. He taught His disciples to do likewise! He showed them how to deliver the Gospel (Good News) to their neighbors.

Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:37 and said … go and do likewise!

He also used the multiplying of the fish and loaves in Matthew 14:13-21 to teach his disciples to trust God and rely on Him to effectively minister to the needs of His people.

Let us love our neighbors (as ourselves) well! Our community will be truly blessed by this, and we will prosper together! (Proverbs 11:9-12)

By Pastor Mark Burd

Your pastor speaks

The writer is the state chairman for reviveOHIO

The writer is the state chairman for reviveOHIO