“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31 (NIV)
The Great Commandment we began to explore in our Lectio Divina yesterday is like a two-sided coin. Love for God is connected with love for others. One gives expression to the other. Our love for others is the greatest evidence of our love for God and it is only out of our love for God that we have the capacity to love others. Jesus gave the highest priority to love. Loving God and loving others topped the list as the first and second commandment. He said, “There is no commandment greater than these.”
Let this passage resonate in your mind as you read it out loud. What is God saying to you about your love for others? This may be one of the greatest challenges you are facing today. When I ask God to help me love others, I often find that He puts unlovely people in my life. Why is that? Even the people I love the most can be challenging to love at times. No doubt they would say the same of me. The fact is we are all in the school of relationships and none of us have graduated. So be honest with yourself as you meditate on this second part of the greatest commandment of all. How well are you doing loving others?
Now read the passage out loud again and ask God what you may be reluctant in wanting to hear. “What do you want me to do about this passage today?” Take note of the way God qualifies the love we are to have for others – as we love ourselves. There are times I wish He would have left that part out. Do I really love others in the way in which I love myself? How would my relationships be different if I did? Jot down some specific steps you are going to take today to enrich your relationships and demonstrate God’s love for others.
Our Lectio Divina today really ties in with Day 7 in our One Month To Love Challenge devotional reading. You will see the connection when you read it. Before you do, read the passage for today one more time out loud and allow the Holy Spirit to imprint it on your heart. Relax in the refreshing confidence that it is God’s love at work in your heart that enables you to love others as you love yourself. Now read Day 7 to find out the hidden benefit you receive when you practice this command.