Friday, March 13
Love your neighbors
Scripture: Deuteronomy 25-27, Galatians 5
Galatians 5:13–14 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. 14 For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Paul writes to people who were in danger of abandoning the gospel of grace to go back to a works-based relationship with God. He calls them to live in freedom—freedom from the burden of law-keeping and performance to earn God’s favor. Live in the freedom of grace, knowing that God already loves and accepts you in Christ, the freedom of knowing who you are in Jesus and living joyfully into that.
Then he adds this instruction: don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but to serve one another in love, for the whole law is summed up in this: love your neighbor as yourself. Grace doesn’t free us to sin, but to serve in love.
This is an important word for us as our community, nation and world are reeling under the coronavirus crisis. Now, more than ever, Christians must love their neighbors and serve one another in love.
Yesterday, we were discussing how to handle the ban on large gatherings (which was implemented minutes ago). We discussed how to create an online church experience. One of our staff said, “If I was at home sick, I would appreciate a bowl of soup more than an online church service.” It reminded me that this crisis is an opportunity to love our neighbors.
Would you be willing to check on your neighbors, especially those who might be sick, elderly, have compromised immune systems, or have trouble getting out? Maybe make a run to the store for them, bring a pot of soup, or just listen and pray.
Let’s love our neighbors!
Prayer: Lord, we pray that you bring a swift end to this medical crisis, and help us to love our neighbors well while it lasts.