Who Do You Love?

Romans 13:8-14

13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that lovethanother hath fulfilled the law.

13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

13:10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.

13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

13:13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

8

When we’re saved, we are no longer bound by the old rule of obedience, but are given liberty in the Lord. This was partly symbolized in Peter’s vision on the rooftop.

10:9 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: 10:10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, 10:11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: 10:12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. 10:13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. 10:14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. 10:15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.

This was done to show Peter that the Gentiles were allowed in the Church, but the symbol of meats no longer being forbidden is used elsewhere. To paraphrase Jesus’ correction of the Pharisees, it’s not what you put in your mouth that defiles you, but what comes out.

However, we’re not to use this liberty to satisfy our own selfish desires.

Galatians

5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

The Holy Spirit will allow us to walk in such a way that we’re not living to fulfill the desires of our flesh, but to serve the Lord in love.

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This is a simple summary of the “man facing” portion of the 10 Commandment, but it is not new. Leviticus is one of the books of the Bible that explains The Law in more detail.

Leviticus                              

19:17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.

God has been showing man that salvation is simple from the beginning. We want to make it complicated. In our pride, we want it to be something we can do ourselves.

10

Love is easiest to see when we act in love toward each other. However, we’re also to love God more than ourselves. That is, more than the life we live here in the flesh. In Mark, Jesus gives an advanced lesson in the Law to a young scribe.

Mark

12:28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?  12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 12:31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Here we have both the God facing and man facing sides of the Commandments boiled down to the most basic elements. Love God more than anything, and your neighbor as yourself. If you could live up to that, you would fulfill the Law. It’s a good “short version” to use as a guide.

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Whether we meet the Lord in the air as a group, or if we depart before then and meet Him individually, every day brings us closer to that time. By design, none know when that will be.

Mark

13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. 13:34 For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. 13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at  midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 13:36 Lest  coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 13:37 And what I say unto you  I say unto all, Watch.

Jesus has left this house for a season. He’s left us all to do our work until He returns.

12

The darkness of this world has an end. The day will soon dawn when Jesus will return. Until then, we are to strengthen ourselves in the armor of God and keep the faith. We are all engaged in battle every day and must be prepared.

Ephesians

6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

13

This world is in darkness and the rats and roaches are at play. We’ve probably all been in a place where they run away when the lights are turned on. God has given us this example to show how wicked men react to His light.

John

3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Many try to pick apart the Bible and the Church, not because they have a real issue with the truth, but because they love their sin too much and don’t want to let go of it.

I ran into an interesting example of a hidden truth of the Bible the other day.

Proverbs

6:6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 6:7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, 6:8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

Now, like all the Proverbs, this is terrific advice, but there’s more here than first meets the eye. Almost all ants are female. All the workers are female, and even when the nest “queens” and the flying male and female ants emerge, most of those are female. So how did Solomon 2700 years ago know that? He didn’t of course, but when God gave him this little piece of wisdom, He placed an extra little nugget of truth in there for us to find.

To get back on message then, none of us are perfect. However, if we desire to be in the light, God will use His Word to show us what we need to work on and help us to become the true image of the Father we were created to be.

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Luke

12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 12:31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 12:33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 12:34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 12:35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 12:36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 12:38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

All together, or one by one, Jesus is coming for us some day, maybe even today. We are to try to use each day for the purpose God gave it to us. If we’re having a hard day, we should learn the lesson God is giving us. If we’re having a good day, we should thank God for the rest he’s provided before the next battle. There is a reason you have today. Use it to draw closer to God and seek His will.

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