Loving Unselfishly

When we study the Old Testament of the Bible, we must always read it in light of the New Covenant Relationship God now has with his people who believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of their lives. And, this particularly applies to when we read Old Testament and Old Covenant law, such as in Leviticus, from which our passage comes today. If any of this is repeated for us, the church, in the New Testament, then it applies to us.

Leviticus 19:1-5 ESV

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.

“When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted.”

All of these are repeated for us under the New Covenant with the exception of one. We are not required to keep the Sabbath as the Jews were, of old. Now our Sabbath rest is our salvation, and we rest in the Lord our God, and every day is a day unto the Lord. But, we are not restricted from having one day a week that we deem more sacred than others. It is just no longer required. For, now we have God living within us, and we are his temple.

Yet, we are still to honor our God in worship of him, and we are still to gather together with other followers of God, of Christ, for the teaching of the Word, and for fellowship, for the breaking of bread and for prayer. And, we are not to forsake meeting with one another, but we are to encourage one another daily in the Lord, and in our faith, to walk holy before our God in submission to him as Lord of our lives.

And, the sacrifices now required of us are of giving our lives to the Lord wholeheartedly with humble spirits in submission to our Lord, and they are sacrifices of praise and adoration of our God. For, we are to present ourselves to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, for this is our acceptable worship of him. And, we are to no longer be conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed in heart and mind, of the Spirit of God, away from sin to God and to his righteousness (Rom. 12:1-2; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

And, we are now to live holy lives unto God, separate (unlike, different) from the world of sin because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ.

Therefore, we are not to be idolatrous or adulterous in our relationships with Almighty God. We are not to go after other gods of fame or fortune, entertainment, pride, selfishness, stubbornness, self-will, and sinful addictions, but we are to make God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – our only God whom we worship with all our hearts, minds and souls. He is to be Lord (owner-master) of our lives now that we are being saved from our sins.

Leviticus 19:11-14 ESV

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

“You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.”

When Jesus Christ walked the face of this earth as fully God yet fully man, he summarized the Old Covenant law for us in two laws: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” And, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:36-39).

If we keep these two laws, therefore, we will do all the law that is required of us under the New Covenant. For, if we love God in this way, which is to prefer what he prefers, which is what is holy, pure and honest, we are not going to lie to each other, or steal from one another, and we are not going to profane the name of our God by using his name in a way which is dishonoring to him.

And, stealing from one another is not just about taking one another’s possessions without asking, but it is robbing one another of honor, value, respect, kindness and justice, too. For, it has to do with taking advantage of others and being selfish and self-consumed to where we don’t consider one another’s needs and what is in each other’s best interests, but we are just looking out for number one, for ourselves.

And, lying to one another is not just about telling outright lies, either. It is a lie if we withhold information from those to whom it is due. It is a lie if we do a non-denial denial, i.e. if we skirt around direct questions so that we evade having to answer them, when we are in situations where we are required by law or by conscience to answer the questions with the truth. And, it is a lie to willfully deceive others to believing something to be true that is a lie, no matter what methods we use in order to deceive others, which could be just willful subliminal messages. So, we are not to lie to one another.

But, we are to walk in the fear of the Lord. We are to live our lives in full respect, honor, submission and obedience to our Lord. This does not mean we will live perfectly, that we will never sin, or that we will never fail God. But, what it does mean is that it is our practice, it is our lifestyle, the way we conduct our lives day in and day out, in honor and praise of our God, in submission to his will for our lives and in obedience to his commands.

Leviticus 19:15-18 ESV

“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

We are to love one another as God has loved us and as he gave his life up for us on a cross so that we might be delivered out of our slavery to sin and have eternal life with God, our Lord. And, again, to love in this way means to prefer what God prefers, which is what is holy, pure, moral, upright, godly and honest.

So, we are not going to take advantage of one another for our own personal gain. And, this includes not giving people false compliments or false hopes or withholding the truth from them so that they will like us. For, many people think they are being kind when they lie to each other, thinking they are sparing the other person’s feelings, but what they are really concerned about is wanting the other person to like them.

So, it is an injustice to others to withhold the truth from them thinking we are sparing their feelings, when we may be sending them straight to hell because we cared more about what they thought of us than we cared about their relationship with God and where they will spend eternity.

Some people, too, in order to spare themselves, will slander others to their advantage. And, to slander is to willfully lie about others to make them look bad so that we look good by comparison. And, that is the ultimate in hate, which is murder, because we are taking the life of another and we are stomping on their hearts so that others will not like them but they will like us, instead. And, sometimes people do this out of revenge, to get even with those who they think have done something evil to them.

But, if we are to judge one another, we are to do so righteously, according to God’s Word, and to do so for the purpose to help others to find salvation in Christ Jesus, or to forsake their sins and submit their lives to God, or to help them out of the pit of sinful addiction. Judging should always have a good purpose, to help others, not to hurt them. But, this does not mean that they will not be hurt in the process. And, all judging must be according to scripture, too, not according to our own thinking or believing about stuff.

And, at the core of all of this is that we are to love God with all our hearts, mind and strength, and we are to love one another as God loves us and as he gave himself up for us that we might be delivered out of our slavery to sin and walk righteously before our God.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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