Daily Archives: November 4, 2020
Psalm 112:1-4 (NRSV)
Blessings of the Righteous
1 Praise the Lord!
Happy are those who fear the Lord,
who greatly delight in his commandments.
2 Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4 They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
Romans 13:8-10 (NRSV)
Love for One Another
8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
“You shall love” (Romans 13:9)
Imagine trying to reach a destination with directions that state only “Don’t take this road: or “Avoid that highway.” You’d probably never get to where you want to go! Instructions like “Don’t” and “You shall not” tend to stop us in our tracks. Of course, they are useful and beneficial because God knows, we need to be stopped from time to time! But the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, kill, steal, or covet” don’t move us to love more; they just keep us from failing to love.
On the other hand, “You shall love” propels us forward. It spurs us on to treat the people around us the way God treats us: with patience and kindness, with compassion and understanding. It urges us to forgive over and over, even seventy times seven times. It teaches us to let go of our grudges and to treat people with honor and consideration far beyond what they deserve – all because this is exactly how our heavenly Father deals with us. He doesn’t just not hate us. He doesn’t just not mistreat us. He lifts us up and fills us with every grace and blessing!
Think of the times you have known or experienced the love of God in an especially deep way. That is the love God wants us to show the people around us today. It’s a love that is patient with someone who is slow to “get it,” whether “it” is grasping an explanation, accelerating when the traffic light turns green, or placing a fortieth item on the ten-item express lane check-out. It’s a love that is kind, even in little things like holding a door for a stroller-pushing shopper or paying a compliment when it is least expected. It’s a love that extends consideration and honor to everyone, regardless of his or her social position.
“You shall love” (Romans 13:9). This command is for each of us, no matter how we are feeling. Our acts of love, however small or seemingly inconsequential, open the door for the Holy Spirit to come in more fully and change the atmosphere, both in our hearts and in whatever place we find ourselves.
Holy Spirit, give me a fresh outpouring of your love so that I can share it with everyone I meet today! Amen.