Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 25 - Your Neighbor's Life

Today's Reading:
Leviticus 18:1-20:21
John 5:31-47
Psalm 34:1-22
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:  
Leviticus 19:15-18
15 "Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. 16 Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the LORD. 17 Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. 18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD."


Jesus said that all the law and the prophets were connected to two fundamental principles: 1) To love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and 2) love your neighbor as yourself. Keeping these primary principles in mind is a great help when reading through all the laws of Leviticus.

The law of Leviticus 19:15-18 is very straightforward. Be fair to everyone regardless of social and economic standing. Respect the reputation of others. Guard against negligence and be careful to protect the well-being of others. Have goodwill in your heart toward others. Be honest to people who are in need of rebuke. Don't turn a blind eye to problems or wrongdoing. Be merciful and gracious and forgiving--letting go of grudges and revenge. Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Do all of this out of reverence for God.

Response and Action:True reverence for God and goodwill toward others go hand in hand. How can I claim to love God, who is unseen, if I do not love my neighbor who is right before me? My love for God leads me and calls me to look toward the best interests of everyone around me.

Dear Lord, help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. Help me to remember that my lift affects the lives of others. Help me to look not only to my own needs and interests, but also to the needs and interests of others. Help me to bring good to the lives of my family, my friends, my colleagues, my neighbors, and even those around me I do not know––at the store, on the freeway, in the elevator, on the sidewalk, at the gym, in the library. Make me a blessing to others. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: 
1 John 4:7-9
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

Love Beyond Reason: Moving God's Love from Your Head to Your Heart
by John Ortberg

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