レビ記 19:18 「あなたの隣人をあなた自身のように愛しなさい。わたしは主である。」

Almost everything listed in the overall passage (11-18) seems a matter of course to most people today, but that's because Biblical values have largely permeated society. Without Biblical instruction, these things are not so obvious. I'm reminded of the time I told someone who had given his wife a black eye that wives aren't for hitting, and he said, “Who says?” He had no emotional or intellectual framework for that sort of value. All true morality and ethics spring from the two commandments Jesus quoted as of prime importance, and this verse is the second of those. As both Paul (Galatians 5:14) and James (James 2:8) point out, true obedience to this little short passage takes care of every facet of human interaction. The world would be a much nicer place if this were obeyed! However, we have strong resistance to acknowledging that other people have as much value as we do, and that poisons our thinking, words and actions.


Like Paul said, I've got to be careful that after preaching to others I don't fall short myself! (1 Corinthians 9:27) I've got a way to go before I can say that I'm loving even my brothers and sisters in Christ in the same way as He loves us. (John 13:34) In our finiteness we are inescapably self-centered, but I must not let that be an excuse for shortchanging those with whom the Lord brings me into contact. That's why the Bible specifically talks about our “neighbor.” We can't love someone we've never heard of! With the Internet and other news coverage we find out about far more people than anyone could in past eras, but unfortunately that sometimes tends to dull our response to everyone, even those close to us. I must not let that happen, but let God's love and compassion flow through me unhindered. Recently I've not been consistently reading and praying about the reports from Intercessors Network, and that's not good. I need to accept and rejoice in the responsibility and privilege of praying for those in the Body of Christ who are suffering for their faith, however geographically distant from me they might be. At the same time I must not close my heart to those physically close to me either, but let the Holy Spirit direct me in expressing God's love to all.


Father, thank You for reminding me that I will always have room to grow. Keep me from drawing back from that in any way. May I press on into Christ, expressing Him more and more fully in every area of my life, so that the works of the devil may be destroyed and more and more people be brought into Your family, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

お父様。いつも成長していかなくてはならないことを、思い出させてくださり有難うございます。このことから、たじろぎ引き下がることのありませんように。キリストに寄り頼み、人生の日々の中で、ますます十分にキリストを示していけますように。そうすることで悪魔の働きを打ち壊し、ますます多くの人があなたの家族となり、救われますように。あなたのご栄光のために。 感謝します。神様を賛美します!

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