Today’s Verse of the Day goes to the heart of what I believe to be the greatest misconception of the Bible. Most people simply miss this point. Let’s look at our Verse of the Day:
Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
The context of this verse joins together the law mentioning some of the Ten Commandments and love and finishes with this statement. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. What does that mean? Well, it takes us back to the words of Christ that taught us that all the law was summed up in love for God, love for neighbor, and love for self. He was challenged by a religious leader at the time asking, “Then who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). Jesus then gave us the now famous parable of the Good Samaritan ministering to the Jewish man who had been mugged. Because of the severe racial tension between Jews and Samaritans (John 4:9), Jesus clarifies ‘neighbor’ to be defined even as our enemies. Jesus taught us that if we loved people, this would fulfill the law (Matthew 22:38-40).
Christians look at the Bible many times as a list of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.
We look at those things that are sinful and those things that are holy. But the Verse of the Day and the teachings of Christ reveal to us that the law, all of the commandments, are simply teaching us how to love better. The Bible teaches me that love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). In other words, when you get into an argument with someone, don’t bring up everything they have done wrong the last ten years. This is not loving.
And for a moment, I want to remind you Jesus came that we might have rest (Matthew 11:28-30). He called us to a lifestyle of following the law, which will produce love, and the end result of this love is rest for our souls. He was not speaking of eternity and neither am I speaking of eternity. Love for God creates a communion with Him that we might be in His presence and benefit from all that He is. Love for self keeps us from harming ourselves with destructive behavior and addictions. Love for our neighbor brings fulfillment that we are making a difference in people’s lives. And love for our enemies reduces the drama in our life because our kindness causes even those who don’t like us to act peacefully toward us (Proverbs 16:7).
No wonder the Bible is under such attack.
Teaching the nuances of how to love people in their diverse complexity helps us to love each person differently as they need. This requires great wisdom and I have been speaking a great deal about this. This wisdom, which is the law teaching us how to interact with others in a loving way, fulfills the law, increases our love, and brings peace. And the last thing the devil wants any of us to do is be at peace. He wants us anxious, angry, stressed-out, running around like headless chickens. Yep, that’s what he wants.
When you read your Bible, start reading it not from a perspective of a list of wrongs and a list of rights. Start reading it as wisdom to help you become a better lover. I don’t mean sexually, but a better husband, a better father, a better daughter, a better friend. When we love better, we will find our soul in a place of greater peace.
I hope you all have a great weekend. Try to get to church. It does the soul good 🙂
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Live Blessed and Be a Blessing!
Pastor Lee is a pastor and Biblical life coach. He has been helping people through counseling, pastoring, teaching, and preaching for 20+ years. His ministry focuses on helping people overcome the strongholds of the past and press on into God’s plan for an abundant life. He has been married to his wife, Amy for 28 years. He has three sons and one daughter-in-love. For more about Pastor Lee or to get some Biblical advice, go to the About page.