Love as a Law
Verse 8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.
We finished our time together yesterday with the thought of helping our brothers and sisters in Christ for the glory of God. Today we talk about what really shows that.
Jesus had told His followers that the world would know that they were/we are His followers by the love shown to other believers (John 13:35). This is something that we don’t tend to give much thought to but it is something that is very important in our lives and the life of the Church. The last few days we have been talking about some ways to love those in our Church who may have different styles and finances than we do. The thing we have learned each time is the need to show them love.
James reminds his readers that loving one another is part of the great law that God gave His people and that He stills expects us to live by. Jesus even reiterated this law during His ministry. This is not a suggestion. We don’t get to choose who we want to love, we are commanded to love our neighbor.
This love isn’t a fluff kind of permissive love. James had watched Jesus love in the tough way. In fact, James had been on the receiving end of that love on more than one occasion. James had learned how to show this kind of love as we see in his interactions with Paul and the Jewish believers as they discuss what should be expected of the Gentiles who were coming to Christ (Acts 15:13-21). James wasn’t telling his readers to do something that he wasn’t willing to do himself. Even this letter was James’ way of loving on the brothers and sisters in Christ.
The questions we need to ask ourselves are, “Does the world see me loving other believers?” and “Do others see me loving those around me that aren’t like me?” These are the telltale marks of someone that is living for Jesus. This doesn’t mean we are perfect, but it does show that we love Him first, when we love one another.
Making It Personal
Have you ever felt slighted in love from someone? Who have you failed to love as yourself? Who do you need to go show love to today?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever felt unloved by someone? How did it make you feel? Who have you made to feel unloved? How can you show others the love that comes from loving Jesus?
Father, thank You for the way You continuously love us even when we don’t deserve it. Teach us to love each other as You would have us, so that we can shine Your light for all to see. In Jesus’ name, amen.