Let love be your only debt! If you love others, you have done all that the Law demands. In the Law there are many commands, such as, “Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not want what belongs to others.” But all of these are summed up in the command that says, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” No one who loves others will harm them. So love is all that the Law demands.
You know what sort of times we live in, and so you should live properly. It is time to wake up. You know that the day when we will be saved is nearer now than when we first put our faith in the Lord. Night is almost over, and day will soon appear. We must stop behaving as people do in the dark and be ready to live in the light. So behave properly, as people do in the day. Don’t go to wild parties or get drunk or be vulgar or indecent. Don’t quarrel or be jealous. Let the Lord Jesus Christ be as near to you as the clothes you wear. Then you won’t try to satisfy your selfish desires.Â Â Â Â Â Romans 13:8-14 (CEV)
Further Lectionary Texts: Exodus 12:1-14, Psalm 149, Matthew 18:15-20
The lectionary passages are beautiful and I hope that you will take the time to read them. The Exodus passage is God’s plan for the Passover. I cannot imagine the terror of that night in Egypt. Or maybe I can, just a bit. I remember the night that Hurricane Ivan blew over my head. It did sound like the hounds of hell! And it did â€œpass overâ€ and we were kept safe.
Moses brought God’s Law to His people. It was God’s way to teach His children how to grow up in a way that would bring them closer to Him. And then He gave His people a new covenant. Jesus came. He came to fulfill the Law. Jesus came to show us God’s Love in the flesh. The perfect Father, God raises His children with discipline that is characterized with rules (boundaries) and with love.
And here is where I soak today in Paul’s words about God’s love. When I love others, the â€œlawsâ€ of God covering my relationship with others will be covered. It isn’t easy to love. People aren’t always lovable. And I am not always loving. I want â€œfairâ€ and I want people to be appreciative of my love. Jesus’ example doesn’t read like that, does it? Jesus loved before I loved Him. Jesus loves me even when I do not appreciate His love.
The time is now to make a no-turning-back 100% commitment to God. To move forward in this world with Jesus â€“ it is vital to stop sitting on the fence with one hand held out to Jesus and one hand holding all that the world’s deceptions. God says that He is â€œjealousâ€ (Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 4:24) and will not share me with any other god. The god of the world is jealous too. Make no mistake that the temptations from this world are designed to suck me into putting my focus on what the world thinks is important. The question: â€œWho will you serve?â€ was not just for the children of Israel thousands of years ago but for me, today. And with that commitment comes promises for â€œsufficient graceâ€ (2 Corinthians 12) and whatever amount of wisdom that I need (James1).
Let the Lord Jesus Christ be as near to you as the clothes you wear. Let Jesus. â€œCome on in, Jesus, and have a seat. I’d like to talk to You.â€