Last week we took a look at The Ten Commandments God handed down to Moses and discovered how the first four pertained to our relationship with God. Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, for me, is summed up this way— love believes, worships, honors and dedicates. The next six Commandments show us how we can love others. Here they are….
1-Honor mom and dad. “Children, you belong to the Lord, and you do the right thing when you obey your parents. The first commandment with a promise says, ‘Obey your father and your mother, and you will have a long and happy life’” (Ephesians 6:1-3 CEV). Love honors your parents. When we love others as ourselves, we show honor to our parents when we respect them, speak well of them and obey them. God said if we honored our parents, our lives would be long and happy. Take a good look at your relationship with your parents. Do you honor and respect them? Do you speak well of them to others? Remember love honors mom and dad.
2-Do not murder. “You know our ancestors were told, ‘Do not murder’ and ‘A murderer must be brought to trial.’ But I promise you that if you are angry with someone, you will have to stand trial. If you call someone a fool, you will be taken to court. And if you say that someone is worthless, you will be in danger of the fires of hell” (Matthew 5:21-22 CEV). Love respects life. If we believe God is the Creator of life, we respect His creations. When Jesus was speaking to the crowd of people about having anger in their heart towards others insulting them, He was pointing out that murder begins in the heart. Recently I watched a 20/20 show about two people who sought out “Murder for Hire”. The woman shared how every night she would lay in her bed and ponder, over and over, ways she could kill the woman she hated. It consumed her thoughts. This is why Jesus went on to say: “If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God” (Matthew 5:23-24 NLT). We must love others enough to take care of our issues quickly.
3-Say no to adultery. “As the Scriptures say, ‘A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:31-33 NLT)). Love is committed to the one you marry. Loving our neighbors as we love ourselves leaves lust in the dust. Jesus told us not to even look in the direction of another with lust in our heart (Matthew 5:28). Families are broken when a spouse begins to wander and allows the lies of the enemy to convince them happiness can only be found in another. We’ve forgotten how to serve one another out of love. Many couples have this read at their wedding: “love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NLT). Yet the same couples fail to follow this example in their marriage; they forgot to commit to the covenant spoken between them.
4-Don’t steal. “If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need.” (Ephesians 4:28 NLT). Love gives; it doesn’t take. When we love others as ourselves, we don’t steal from one another. It seems as though lately, the nightly news is filled with stories of yet another company who has been the victim of a security breach, causing great concern over the safety of confidential information. Wouldn’t it be awesome if those who worked so intently on hacking into secure, private information desired, instead, to put their knowledge to good works? Rather than working to steal, work hard and give to others! Love doesn’t steal what wasn’t worked for.
5- Don’t lie about your neighbor. “So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body” (Ephesians 4:25 NLT). Love doesn’t spread untruth about anyone. When we love others as ourselves we don’t lie about them In fact, as a Child of God, there really is no need to lie at all. One of the seven things the Lord detests is “lying lips”(Proverbs 6:17). Lies lead to bondage because a small lie, leads to another lie, to another and so on. A little white lie is still a lie. An exaggeration is a lie. Any untruth is a lie. Love doesn’t lie to others, about others, or for others. Love speaks the truth in a loving manner.
6- Don’t want what belongs to others. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5 ESV). Love does not envy others. We love our neighbors when we rejoice in their success and let go of the envy we might feel over what they have. Envy and jealousy go hand in hand and Proverbs 27:4 asks: “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?” (NIV). Always wanting what others have causes you to view them through critical eyes instead of loving eyes. Love is contentment with what you have. Are you content?
Before you can love others, you must first have a healthy love for yourself. Not a boastful, arrogant love, based on pride, but a love based on the knowledge and understanding of who you are in Christ and HIs love for you. When you recognize how deeply God loves you, then you can and will love others in the way God has purposed you to do. So when we wonder what love has to do with it; we know the answer is simply, everything.
"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other" (John 13:34 NLT).