And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
The apostle Paul reiterates that love is the fulfilling of the law: “The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:14). To treat others as you would like to be treated is one of the best outward expressions of inner love. If everyone would do that, there would be no need for law. Thus, it really can be the fulfilling of the law.
Suppose someone wrongs you. The natural human response is to try to get even—hurt him back. This is exactly what gives rise to a great deal of crime and violence. If in response you treat that person as you would like to be treated, then no crime would occur and there would be no need for law. Forgiveness has been and always will be the key to treating others in Christlike ways when we have been treated badly.
There are two rules for determining the best action or reaction: (1) What would Jesus do in this situation? and (2) what would I like done to me in a similar situation? If we would always let the answers to those questions govern our actions, there would be much less pain and hurt in our world.
According to Paul, Jesus has shown us how love is the fulfillment of the law: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. 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.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law” (Romans 13:8–10).
Father, I am so grateful for Your amazing love and grace toward me. Help me to learn from You and to love others as You love me. Pour Your love into my life that I might be able to treat others as I wish to be treated. Help me to take my attention off myself and put it onto You and the people you have made. May my life of grace-filled love reflect Your love to everyone I come into contact with so that Your kingdom can be lived out more fully in me.
–Adapted from Encountering Jesus: Praying the Commands of Christ into Your Life by Norval Hadley. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Extra Commands to Pray. A FREE PDF DOWNLOAD that goes along with the book, Encountering Jesus: Praying the Commands of Christ into Your Life. It includes content for additional commands that the book does not cover.
Encountering Jesus is also available on Kindle and Nook. One Kindle reader said: “While I knew (know) of Jesus biblical commands, I did not really know how to translate them into my life on a daily basis. Norval Hadley’s book showed me how. It will put energy into your prayer life.”
Praise God that he is trustworthy. Give thanks that his unfailing love surrounds all who trust in him (Ps. 32:10). Confess any doubt you find in your heart. Commit yourself to knowing God better. Ask him to reveal himself to you through his Word and Spirit in the midst of life’s circumstances.
Pray for laborers to be called into God’s harvest field. Ask that hearts may be prepared to accept the gospel, and that the necessary tools, such as Bibles and Christian literature, may be readily available.
“Who rises from prayer a better man, his prayer is answered.” —George Meredith
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