"One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, 'What commandment is the foremost of all?' Jesus answered, 'The foremost is, HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; AND YOU SHALL 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, YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. There is no other commandment greater than these.'" - Mark 12:28-31

LOVE IS A DECISION OF THE WILL

Loving God means faith in action. If that’s the case, how do we live that out? Answer: faith in action means obeying the commandments of God. That pretty much covers the first part of the scripture referenced above; to love God with everything we have. But today, we’re going to focus more on the second commandment in the verse, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” “Yeah, right,” you might say. “Obviously, you don’t know my neighbor.”

First, I want you to understand what the word “love” means. It has nothing to do with feelings. It has nothing to do with emotions. It’s not a feeling. It doesn’t even have anything to do with liking another person. It’s a decision of the will. You may wonder, “How can I love somebody if I don’t even like them?” Well, you really can. Here’s how. You can be fair to them. You can show respect for them. You can be honest with them. Keep your word. You can show you care about them. That’s what it means to love people, even if you don’t like them.

But that’s not all. You should also care about their eternal destiny. How many of us know our neighbors? I mean REALLY know our neighbors more than just to say, “Hey!” when we’re getting in our cars to leave for work, or mowing the grass, or maybe grilling hamburgers. Loving your neighbor as yourself also means knowing that you have loved them enough to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them. Now, that is faith in action.

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