Letterwinner Devotional by Boyd Brigman

 

The devotional below was authored by Boyd Brigman.

Boyd Brigman is a freelance writer, Christian blogger, and football letterwinner (1983). Boyd resides in College Station, Texas. See more of Boyd’s blogs at bigosbibletime.blogspot.com.

Matthew 22: 36- 40 

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Jesus highlights “loving your neighbor” by including it in His answer, even though it was not part of the question … While the church has rightfully focused on loving God …our response to loving our neighbor has often been to look for loopholes. 
In Luke chapter 10, a lawyer asked Jesus, “who is my neighbor?”  What he meant was, “who do I have to love?” …or more to the point “who do I NOT have to love?” Instead of reducing the number of people who qualify … Jesus flipped the question, making it the lawyer’s obligation.
 
Jesus told a story about a mugging victim and discussed how different people responded when they came upon him injured … He did not tell the lawyer how to identify a neighbor – he told him how to be one.  Jesus basically said – it is your problem – being someone’s brother is “on you” … it is your responsibility, not theirs. You cannot limit who you love by race, occupation, political affiliation, or even how they treat you …you are to be a neighbor to everyone God puts in your path. Love them like you love yourself…THAT is the second greatest commandment – and Jesus said it is like the first.
 
The importance of brotherhood is in our DNA… In Genesis – God said, “it is not good for the man to be alone” – and that is not just talking about marriage.  Psychologists who study solitary confinement say that it “destroys people as human beings.”  Lack of community can cause anxiety- panic- Depression- Anger- Cognitive disturbances- etc.  If we ever doubted that isolation is dangerous, the statistics from this pandemic have made it crystal clear… As God said, “It Is Not Good.”
Stop looking for someone who looks like you to be your neighbor. Just love the people God has placed around you. It is not up to others to be your neighbor…it is up to you to be theirs. 
“If someone says, “I love God,” and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar” – John (1 John 4:20)

 

 

 

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