Romans 13:8 ‘Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law’.
Love isn’t something we have to grapple with to find it, to crave it or to demand it. We already have love because we are created in God’s image, the key is how do we spend our love and where do we focus our love.
Last week we saw that our first expression of love needs to have it’s focus on God, for he is worthy to be worshipped and glorified. It is actually for our good to worship God, it turns our hearts away from serving ourselves as god, which is treason and deserves the death penalty.
Today let us consider the second part of last week’s verse ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. Here we see that we don’t just place ourselves in the position of being god of our own lives but we actually live as if others should regard us as god of their lives too.
This is the root of all conflict and war. You are not doing what I demand you to do.
When you stop and think about it, it sounds absolutely ridiculous, doesn’t it?
As humanity we are going around attempting to live in a world that was not of our making, that we had no hand in creating but we expect others to worship and love us as if we did. Every single person who does not love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength are doing that very thing….we are declaring ourselves as god.
We see this reflected when we feel we haven’t been loved enough or we believe others don’t love us as we should be loved, instead of loving we begin to hate. We hate how others treat us, we hate others for not loving us enough, we become embittered towards others and spend our lives rejecting them even if they weren’t the ones who rejected us in the first place.
Bitterness is the hate that grows inside and hardens the heart to the ability to love.
Once again, this moment in time requires God’s intervention; we once again need a moment of reorientation.
This comes in the words of this verse ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’. The god self, the sinful self, the hardened heart cries out that’s impossible, why should I love my neighbour when they don’t do that for me’.
Once again God is asking us to do something that is impossible for us to do. But it is only impossible because we believe ourselves to be god of our own lives and we believe that we are the god of the lives of others.
Once God is in his rightful place in our hearts and that he is the God we serve, worship and love, then we or reorientated to love others. Can you see the beauty of God’s solution, can you see how every single person on this planet would be loved, no one would be missed out, everyone would be working towards one another rather than away from each other.
Instead of mini-me worlds colliding into each other we would all be reorientated into God’s environment, then we would begin to see that we are actually held together in the circle of God’s love, protection, provision etc.
In Jesus there becomes no barrier between us and God but also there becomes no barrier between each other. In Jesus we become brothers and sisters of one another, we grow in our desire to put one another first, we grow in our desire to bring comfort when one of our family is hurting or help reorientate those who are losing focus on God’s love.
But it doesn’t stop there because we also grow in our compassion to a broken self-focused world colliding into each other through their demands and expectations, because we recognise without the love of Jesus we too would still be caught up in a world of self.
As God says ‘we owe it to one another’.