Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Daily devotional: Love for my neighbor

Scripture
"Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him."
Luke 10:33 NLT (see vv.25-37)

Observation
Jesus affirmed that loving God with all that we are and loving our neighbor as ourselves were the two most important commandments. Several observations stand out in Jesus' illustration through the parable of the good Samaritan:
  1. Our neighbors are not just those who live nearby. They can cross national and racial boundaries.
  2. Our neighbors are not just those with whom we can relate to with common interests, or even those who treat us kindly. They may even persecute us.
  3. Our love should drive us to feel compassion for our neighbors.
  4. Our compassion is useless until it leads to inconvenient action on our part.
  5. Our love and compassion should reflect that of Jesus Christ.
Which of us can honestly say we live out the most important commandments? What would the spread of the gospel look like if Christians consistently lived this out?

Application
Pray for power and desire to truly love my neighbor, and then act--don't wait to get started!

Prayer
Lord, please empower me and live through me so that my life is characterized by total love and devotion to You and true love for my neighbor. Fill us with Your Spirit so that the world cannot deny the power and truth of the gospel. May Your name be made great, and may many come to know You personally as a result of the witness, character, and action from Your children. I love you!

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