40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 7 – Bible Study

15 Comments

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)

 

What a privilege to have the Holy Spirit as our teacher to guide us into all truth.  Please take some time to give thanks for this privilege.

Over the last two days we have considered how much God loves us, and how much he expects us to love Him.  How about our love for others?  The command in the passage is to “Love your neighbour as yourself”.  Some may argue that the command to love others is more daunting than the command to love God.  Please prayerfully consider the command, “Love your neighbour as yourself” and answer today’s questions.

 

Today’s Questions for comments:

  • What is the biggest challenge you face in obeying the command to love your neighbor as yourself?
  • In your opinion, what are some of the most memorable Biblical examples of this command being practiced?

Your comments are a blessing – keep them coming.

15 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 7 – Bible Study

  1. Question 1 – Ouch, I want to fix them more than I want to love them! Question 2 – One memorable example is the good Samaritan, he loved selflessly and unconditionally in action while maintaining boundaries. This is a difficult balance to strike sometimes and more than often I end up not loving at all in these types of situations. Stephen and Jesus were so gracious and loving by forgiving those in the moment who were hurting them. They see their persecutors as God sees them, lost and in desperate need of a Saviour. They verbalize and demonstrate hearts of love and compassion instead of anger, hurt and poor me! Ouch again, this is convicting!!!

    • I also have a problem loving my neighbour. Because I find them so selfish and worse because they go to church every Sunday.
      Guess I have a long journey ahead of me.
      But when I remind myself I feel a sense of God’s presence and realize this draws me closer to him.

  2. Re question 1 – It’s my tendency to be impatient and intolerant of what I assess as a fault or deficiency in someone else. I have to consistently remember God’s merciful response to me and that as he treats me I need to seek to treat others. What The Lord has taught me over the past couple of years is that the root cause or major obstacle to being consistent in obeying him in this area is my pride. It has been very helpful to ask The Lord to forgive me and take away this sin and ask him to help me to look at others the way he does and ask him to develop humility and gentleness in me. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 and Ephesians 3:16-19 are two passages that I have prayed over the years that i believe he Lord is using to develop more consistency in this area of my life. The questions reminded me how far I am from where I ought to be.
    Re question 2 – a couple of examples that come to mind is Jonathan’s love for David; Barnabas love for the apostle Paul when the apostle Paul was first converted; Joseph and his brothers and I know this was a parable but, the father and his prodigal son.

  3. “Love your neighbour as yourself”. This is a question I’ve wrestled with many times, and I’m not sure I know what it’s asking or if I’m capable of loving someone outside of my immediate family LIKE I LOVE ME. The question for me isn’t if I can love and do for my neighbouor because I do, it’s (LIKE MYSELF). But thank God He’s still working on me 🙂
    Q2.. Ruth and Naomi.

  4. The biggest challenge I had to face about this commandment of love your neighbor as yourself was when I experienced being so much humiliated by someone in my husband’s job when we were living in Oregon, USA. Being a foreigner wife of a Japanese diplomat, I had experiences that made me wonder why some people can be very rude and selfish. There was a time in my life were I was treated like as if I was not existing by the person I was bowing to, to show my respect (Japanese polite way of greeting especially to higher official in the company/embassy). This person also showed me in may instances that she doesn’t like me so she ignores me when I smile or talk to her especially in some diplomatic functions.There were many more awkward behavior that were shown to me but I won’t mention here anymore. At least you got an idea of what I’m trying to share. I will be very hypocrite if I would admit that I didn’t feel bad even though at that moment I still managed to smile and act professionally as if nothing happened. To be honest, it was hard for me to respect that person after what she did to me, and God knows after that incident when I went to gym the next day, I used the punching bag there to release my irritation to this person. That was not the end of that experience. Actually, it was just the beginning since I have to meet this person very often especially in may official gatherings. I even told my husband that I don’t like this person, and I don’t want to work with her, or simply I don’t want to do anything that would involve meeting her again, which was actually impossible to happen because I have to meet her and interact with her whether I like it or not for the sake of my role as a wife of a diplomat So, when i’m with my close friends at bible study/fellowship group, they can hear and see from what I’m sharing with them that I was hurt. It really feels good to release to my Christian friends my frustrations about this person, and in that way they pray for me and for the one who offended me as well.

    One night in my quiet time at home, I prayed to God and asked him to remove this feeling of not wanting to see this person again,. i know I need to get rid of my ill feelings to her so I prayed and tried to find some verses in the bible that would encourage me. The verse in Ephesians 6: 7-8 “Serve wholeheartedly as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does whether he is slave or free.” With these verses I was able to remind myself that I am doing everything out of my love for the Lord, and it’s Him who knows my heart. That way, I was able to perform my duties and my role for my husband’s work even though this person who was mean to me keeps treating me with contempt and her bad attitude was so embarrassing to others who witnessed it. She even gives me cold shoulder when I try to approach or talk to her. Later on, I don’t feel anything any more but just enjoyed my life and my role as a wife of a diplomat. I continued to be involved in my activities at home, church and in international, local and diplomatic communities. My husband was assigned in that country for four years and I must say I was able to muster all the ‘patience’ I need for all those years because I have a LORD in my live whom I can call on any time ,and tell all my complaints and frustrations. I also asked forgiveness that I cannot love this person. I also have a group of ladies (in every country I’ve lived) where we study God’s word and have fellowship which allowed me to grow in my faith. When we got the news that we will be assigned in Trinidad and Tobago after 4 years I was happy to start a new beginning in that Tropical country. I won’t tell here what kind of boss/couple my husband and I had in T&T…but one thing I’m sure about, was that Ephesians 6:7-8 became handy and useful for me in this world of my husband’s job. I also learned that it’s good to meditate on the verse, Philippians 2:3 ” Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yours.elves” This one helps me to love people who are not easy to love and can be offensive with their words and actions at times. If there’s no humility in us, it will be difficult to move on when we are hurting. To me, it is only because of God’s grace that I can share the overflowing joy I have in me, because I believe I am loved unconditionally by Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I’ve learned that if some people hate me or don’t like me, it is their problem, and their lost. As for me, I will always remain true to my friends and people I interact with, everyday. I feel God is blessing me abundantly and it’s a joy to share and love others even though my action may not be reciprocated by the other party. God can see everything!

    1 John 4:7 “Let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and known God. whoever does not love, does not know God,
    1 John 4:11-12 ” Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

    Sorry my comment became very long. 🙂
    Aurora

  5. sorry for many typing mistakes..

  6. What is the biggest challenge you face in obeying the command to love your neighbor as yourself?
    Ouch indeed – I agree with Lee. In my current challenge with this command, it’s more about being the one in need than it is about wanting to save people. I’ve grown up in the church and I’m really familiar with the whole set up of people trying to reach others, and at this point it often feels like an empty performance and empty words from other Christians. I can’t relate to people who aren’t saying “You know what, I struggle!” and who are in the church but aren’t noticing the bleeding others all around them. I find myself wishing that people would stop trying to do so many good things and that they would instead just be a good person – from the heart. What I think the commandment is asking me to do is love the strong, the hurting, as well as the misinformed. Yesterday’s summary mentioned not being misguided in our zeal, and I admit that I struggle most with loving my neighbours in this category as I do myself.

    In your opinion, what are some of the most memorable Biblical examples of this command being practiced?
    The good Samaritan, The forgiven debtor who did not forgive his debtor (an example of consequences to not obeying), Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.

  7. I think one of the biggest challenges is trying to love someone who does not love or respect you, or who doesn’t show any care for your humanity or feelings.

    The Good Samaritan was already mentioned, and I think it is a great example of the kindness and love God wants us to have not just for people we know or have high social standing, but for strangers and those who are marginalized.

  8. I’ve been thinking about this one for most of the day and this is what was revealed to me. My biggest challenge is remembering who my neighbor is.
    The scribe asked, “Who is my neighbor?” And Jesus answered – paraphrase – the people I put on your path. So today I tried to remember the parable of the Good Samaritan as I went about my day – the folks I pass on my morning run-the man that takes care of the facilities at our condo- the clients at work-the older friend in rehab-the man who dropped the $5 on the floor in front of me-the guy who I let merge into my lane instead of blocking him out with my big truck 😊. Today was an eye opener.
    What is the biggest challenge you face in obeying the command to love your neighbor as yourself?

  9. The transparency on display in the comments today are a powerful exhibition of God at work. Thank you!

    Three of you mentioned the Good Samaritan in your responses. Your responses reminded me of a comment I heard from a renown theologian, Dr. Kenneth Bailey. Dr. Bailey noted that the man who was helped by the Good Samaritan was left naked and unconscious. Therefore, there was no way of determining his social status, profession, tribe or other “key” distinguishing features. He was simply a person in need like the many people who cross our paths daily. Dr. Bailey further states that as a Samaritan the star of the story took extreme personal risk that none of the others who passed by were prepared to take.

    We are called to love the poor and the rich, male or female, every nationality, every race, every religion, and yes, even the guy who cuts us off in traffic. Often we are called to be a good neighbor to these people at personal risk. The Bible reveals this expected standard of love for others and praise God it also reveals our power source to achieve this standard. We can miss so much if we don’t study our Bibles.

  10. The commandment love your neighbour as yourself. The biggest challenge for me was that I did not love myself. I was filled with self loathing due to some bad stuff happening. You can only love your neighbour to the extent you love yourself. In other words you cannot give to others what you do not have.

    As Jesus Christ has poured HIS love in and on me (literally) I have found myself loving people more and more. I find myself restraining myself not to blurt out to my siblings that I love them – we did not grow up like that – and it would be AWKWARD. Where did I find that love – Jesus Christ gave that to me – I certainly did not have it in me most of my of life!

    I find people easy to love – I can always find something I respect or can learn from a person. Now I have struggled to love individuals. I try to feel compassion, as I do with most people I encounter through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am reminded of Matthew 5:46: If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? (NIV)

    You cannot truly love someone you do not know. Therefore since we really do not know many people we come into conact with, the commandment love thy neighbour as thyself really is an exhortation to treat others with respect, kindness and compassion. Sometimes it involves struggle to obey this commandment when we have to deal with unlovely people but it helps to know/understand that “hurting people hurt people” – I used to be one of those.

    Ques 2: The Good Samaritan immediately comes to mind.

  11. 25 / 02 / 2015

     What is the biggest challenge you face in obeying the command to love your neighbor as yourself?

    It easy to love some of my neighbors, if not as myself, very close to how I love myself. The biggest challenge to for me to practice radical obedience to Jesus. This requires my spiritual growth.

     In your opinion, what are some of the most memorable Biblical examples of this command being practiced?

    The Good Samaritan is an outstanding example for me.

  12. Q. What is the biggest challenge you face in obeying the command to love your neighbor as yourself?
    A. ‘Ouch!’ as Lee Bane put it. This again! The great divide between scripture and life application.

    The law of reciprocity comes to mind.
    For me, it’s reflexive to demonstrate love when its meted out. However, it is like climbing Mt. Everest in high heels when it comes to obeying the commandment to love my neighbour as myself, when that neighbour deliberately sets out to hurt, betray or when it is patently clear that they have no regard for the concept of neibhourly love. My mother has correctly summed it up as I love with conditions, but I’m working on it through God’s grace and desiring to answer the call to put my faith into practice by truly loving my neigbours, especially the not so good ones.

    Q. In your opinion, what are some of the most memorable Biblical examples of this command being practiced?
    A. (1) Jonathan and David, (2) King David and Mephibosheth (unknown son of Jonathan)

  13. Two days behind… ouch!

    So, the biggest challenge I face in obeying the command to love my neighbour as myself for me lies in the definition of ‘neighbour’. I feel that I can truly love those closest to me as myself (or maybe approach doing so would be more accurate). My family, my closest Christian friends, even close non-Christian friends, but the acquaintance?… hard, or the stranger?… hmm, harder.

    My most memorable Biblical example of this command being practiced would be the Good Samaritan, and wouldn’t you know it, he was loving a complete stranger! Ouch…

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