Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hope Lives - Week 2 - God is Not Silent

Have you ever noticed that by rearranging the letters in SILENT you get the word LISTEN?


LISTEN happens to by my one word for 2012, so I was excited to reach week 2 of this journey and make this discovery.

God is not SILENT when it comes to the subject of poverty. The truth of the matter is that many of us are just not LISTENING.

In both the Old and New Testaments, God gives us directions, command if you will, about how we are to love our neighbors. Did you know there are 8 verses that mention "loving our neighbors as ourselves" in Scripture?

Leviticus 19:18 ~ "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself." 
Matthew 19:19 ~ "honor your father and mother, and 'love your neighbor as yourself.'" 
Matthew 22:37-39 ~ "Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" 
Mark 12:30-31 ~ "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." 
Mark 12:33 ~ "To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices." 
Luke 10:27 ~ "He answered: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" 
Romans 13:9 ~ "The commandments, 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' " 
Galations 5:14 ~ "The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" 
James 2:8 ~ "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing right."

I don't think it's a mistake that this command is repeated so often. God knows we are slow to listen and need to hear the same thing many times. My own two daughters know they are supposed to make their beds and get dressed every morning before coming downstairs. Yet I find myself reminding them almost daily.

We need to be reminded on a daily basis to "love our neighbors as ourselves." We are selfish beings by nature ~ instinctively looking our for our best interests and satisfying our own needs. God is asking us to be aware to those around us and respond to their needs, not only with our wealth, but also with our time, attention, affections, love, respect and dignity.

I would love to hear how God is speaking to you through this study. Please take a moment to share what has been significant to you so far on this journey.

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