“Jesus replied…honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19: 18,19)

By the word “neighbor” we are to understand, “any person who is near us.” the Good Samaritan, when he saw the wounded man on the road to Jericho, felt that the man was his neighbor, and he was bound to love him. That includes all people—rich or poor, different religion or nationality, competitors in business, enemies, the vulgar and outcasts and lepers. The law of God knows no exception; it claims my love for all. I must love all and love them as I love myself. What would our world be like if this were carried out? How many believers really love their neighbors? How many love all the people who go to their church?  What about those who differ from you in their opinion? Some hardly love their own brothers and sisters. Indeed, some are at daggers drawn with their family members. How can you expect to love your enemies if you do not love your friends? We are bound to love everyone not for their goodness or care toward us but simply because God demands it. To love is a positive command. It is not the not doing, it is the doing. It is not enough to not hate your enemy; it is to love him. If the path of love is rough, tread it boldly, loving your neighbors through thick and thin. If they are hard to please, seek not to please them but to please your Master. If they reject your love, your Master has not rejected it, and your deed is acceptable to Him as if it had been acceptable to them. Love makes us at all times ready to serve our neighbor, ready to be his footstool if it must be so, so that we may be children of Christ. Let love, unconquerable love, dwell in your heart, love that many waters cannot quench, love that the flood cannot drown. Love your neighbors.

Adapted from “In His Presence”