Context: This blog came to me in a split second, when I waswashing my face after getting up late. It was a few days after my hospital trip to London, and I was feeling drained, lonely and rather sorry for myself. God spoke to me so personally that I was nearly knocked off my feet:
The whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Loveyourneighboras yourself’ (Galatians 5:14; NLT).
Keep on offering your love to others, but don’t expect their love in return.
Keep on listening to others, but don’t expect them to listen to you in return.
Keep on taking an interest in other people’s news, but don’t expect them to show any interest in yours.
Keep on showing your sympathy to those who suffer, but don’t expect their sympathy in return.
Never try to elicit a caring response from those you think might ‘owe’ you some love in return. It won’t work, and the effort will only increase your sadness and loneliness.
When you’re too drained to support others, stop trying. Wait until you have some energy to spare. Say nothing; do nothing; rest.
Just keep on practicing Mother Theresa’s teaching on humility: “Accept being slighted, forgotten and disregarded” (reference below).
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love (Ephesians 4:2; NLT).
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind (Luke 10:27; NLT).
Through loving God,
We learn to love our neighbours.
Through loving them,
We learn to welcome strangers.
Through loving them,
We learn to love
Who thirst for blood,
And, loving them,
We learn to love ourselves.
Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 1027; NLT).
When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified – one on his right and one on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”
(Luke 23:33-4; NLT).
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. (Romans 12:9; NLT; my emphasis).
1. Love your family and friends,
Neighbours, strangers, too;
Foreigners, and enemies –
Serve all of them, bar none.
2. Say sorry to your family and friends,
Your neighbours, too;
Strangers, foreigners and foes
For every wrong you’ve done.
3. Forgive your family and friends,
Neighbours, strangers, too;
Foreigners, and enemies –
Then you’ll be like God’s Son.
As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world (1 John 4:17; NLT).
1. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8; NIV).
2. If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God (Matthew 5:23-4; NLT).
3. If you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-15; NIV).
When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And … Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34; NLT).
There is […] one God and Father,
who is over all and in all and living through all (Ephesians 4:5-6; NLT).
1. May I love each child, Lord God,
Because they are your cradle.
2. May I love each neighbour, Lord,
Because they are your home.
3. May I love each stranger, Lord,
Because they are your temple.
4. May I love each enemy,
Because they are your throne.
5. May I love you, Father God,
Because you make and keep me.
6. May I love you, Jesus Christ,
Because you cleanse my sin.
7. May I love you, Holy Ghost,
Because you never leave me;
8. And may I even love my self –
Because you dwell within.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love
(Galatians 5:6; NIV).
1. Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me (Matthew 18:5; NLT).
Jesus, […] though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:5-7; ESV).
2. Love your neighbour (Luke 10:27; NLT).
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them” (John 14:23; NLT).
3. Love the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; NKJV).
Show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).
You are the temple of the living God (2 Corinthians 6:16; NLT).
4. Love your enemies! (Matthew 5:44; NLT).
He loves all his people (Deuteronomy 33:3; NLT).
5. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind (Luke 10:27; NLT).
Your hands shaped me and made me (Job 10:8; NIV).
The Lord keeps me alive! (Psalm 54:4; NLT).
6. Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you (John 21:17; NLT).
I will cleanse them of their sins (Jeremiah 33:8; NLT).
7. He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love (Romans 5:5; NLT).
I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, [Comforter, Encourager, Counsellor] who will never leave you (John 14:16; NLT).
8. Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).
All who live in love live in God, and God lives in them (1 John 4:16; NLT).
The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others
and to give his life as a ransom for many
(Mark 10:45; NLT).
1. Would you forgo your hope of rescue,
So a foreigner is saved?
2. Or forswear your dream of freedom,
So a friend is not enslaved?
3. Would you renounce your chance of healing,
So a neighbour is made whole?
4. Or surrender your survival,
Just to save a stranger’s soul?
5. Would you resign your reign above,
So enemies are welcomed in?
6. Or face death by crucifixion,
Bearing many people’s sin?
7. Would you believe the Father’s promise,
Trusting you will rise anew,
8. And then give up your life for others – Just as Jesus did, for you?
1. Show love to foreigners (Deuteronomy 10:19; NLT).
2. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13; NLT).
3. Love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27; NLT).
4. Love the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:19; NKJV).
He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole (Isaiah 53:5; RSV).
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15; NLT).
5. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being (Philippians 2:6-7; NLT).
Love your enemies! (Matthew 5:44; NLT).
6. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8; NLT).
He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness (1 Peter 2:24; NIV).
7. Those who die in the Lord will live; their bodies will rise again! (Isaiah 26:19; NLT).
I trust in God (Psalm 56:11; NLT).
They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again (Mark 10:34; NLT).
8. We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters (1 John 3:16; NLT).