How We Treat People Gauges The Degree Of Our Love For God

Over the past few decades, citizens of our country have become overwhelmed by the thousands of rules and regulations put on the books by our Congress. Just think of how the Jewish people must have felt as they tried to keep up with more than 600 rules from the Old Testament and many more rules that had been imposed on them by the religious leaders of their day (cf. Matthew 15:1-20; Mark 7:1-13) .

Then imagine their surprise when Jesus simplified things by narrowing the list down to just two — “love the Lord your God” (Matthew 22:37) and “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).

In these two commandments, Jesus is telling us that the way God knows we love Him, is by how we treat people (John 13:34-35; cf. 1 John 2:7-11; 1 John 3:13-18; 1 John 4:19-21).

Many times, loving our neighbor can be a daunting challenge. But when we do it to express our love to God, we unleash a powerful motivation that loves, whether the person deserves it or not (Romans 12:20-21; cf. Genesis 50:15-21; 1 Samuel 24:16-19).

And as we love God and our neighbor, everything else falls into place. If we love our neighbor, we won’t bear false witness against him, covet his wealth, his wife, or his possessions. Loving others for God’s sake provides the grace and strength to forgive those who have heaped injustices upon us (Matthew 18:21-22; cf. Matthew 6:14-15; Mark 11:25-26; Colossians 3:12-14).

Beloved, let’s ask ourselves, “Who needs to see God’s love today through me?” Remember that the more unlovable the person, the greater the degree is our love for God (Matthew 5:43-48 NET).

Mike Riley, Gospel Snippets