Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Love Others - Fulfill the Law

Romans 13:8-10 stood out to me today as I was reading.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law.  The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself."  Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

Prior to these verses Paul talks about submission to Authorities, Unbelief, Future Glory, God's Sovereignty, Dead to sin, alive in Christ, Marriage, Sin, Slaves, Faith, Peace, Joy, Faithfulness -God's...and much more.

There's a lot packed into the book of Romans but these verses stood out and what grabbed my attention are the words; "for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law" and; "whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: Love your neighbor as yourself."

It seems to me that we can distort these words to say, it's okay, just love one another.  That my behavior really doesn't matter, or shouldn't matter to you.  If we just say, Love your neighbor as yourself and don't go into more detail we missed the boat! 

How I read the word of God this morning was through the lens of what I do affects those around me.  My actions are not just specifically mine.  When I chose Jesus as Lord of my life, I gave him full deed to my being.  Not just a part here or there, but every part.  I'm in the process of a spiritual renovation so to speak, and one that will continue until I see Jesus face to face.  Jesus bought and paid for a run down, used up home, with a pink with gold speckled back splash, a leaky roof, a leaky foundation, probably some ant infestation, old windows, poor insulation, a broken fence (boundary) and the list goes on!  Slowly in time, He beings to renovate.  One area at a time.  Sure He can probably tear down the whole house, but he chooses to renovate the way He needs to and the way I need him to. He respects me, and in this place I think He commands me to live well.

If I love Him, love myself and love my neighbor, I will realize that to commit adultery, murder, steal, or whatever 'other' commandment there is means that I am not living in love.  When I view my actions as just my own, I am living a life not pleasing to God, nor others or myself.  I am not walking in love.

Culturally speaking, I have the right to be whoever I want to be.  My choice or decision is mine.  No one has the right to speak against this decision.  If you do, its a violation of my human right.  Or is it?

The culture around us has set up some rules, some boundary lines for us in the laws they have set up.  These are good.  But why are people breaking them?  Maybe because it's all about us?  It's my life!

Law is set for our good and the good of others.  If we didn't have it humans would be left with their broken vices and that is a scary thought.  Yet in the midst of set laws we push the boundary lines, blur the edges to see how much I can get away with.  Maybe I won't be caught!

Let's use speeding as an example because this causes a bit of stir whenever I talk about it.  We have laws of speed control for reasons of safety.  Yet, this is usually one of the areas we want to break or give excuses to break;  "Everyone else is doing it," "There aren't any police enforcing this area," "I always do it," "I'm a safe driver."  Until we get caught.  Then we grumble, complain, and spout out our anger at the law set for us for our good and the good of others.  What happens when we speed, cause an accident and maybe kill someone else? 

Using this example, we see that we thought of ourselves.  We weren't acting in love, rather we in our selfishness decided that it was all about us.  We weren't concerned about others or the ramification of our decision and choice on another person.  To really love my neighbor would mean, I see past my own "feeling," "my right" and see that they have more value than me. 

So today, as you live for JUST TODAY...how can you set down your own rights, your own feelings, and think of others.  Think of how you can behave in a way that takes the focus off you...and on to another person.  In doing so the fulfillment of the law happens.  When you begin to love others, you begin to follow the law.  Jesus came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it.  As we walk in obedience, denying ourselves and taking up the cross and loving others, we live in accordance to the boundaries set for us. 

No comments: