From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: Is there a difference between man’s law and God’s law, and does God command people to love others regardless of what they may do to us? – L.G.
A: The religious leaders of Jesus’ day had more than 600 man-made laws they were required to obey. The people couldn’t keep all those laws; it was impossible. Yet the rulers believed that those laws had to be obeyed in order to win God’s favor.
But God’s laws for the spiritual world are found in the Bible, and Jesus summed up God’s Law with two commandments: “Love the Lord your God,” and, “Love your neighbor.” And He used a special, all–encompassing word for love, a word that includes everyone. He didn’t give exceptions; in fact, He even said that we should love our enemies. Imagine that!
When we find ourselves in conflict, we must look to these commands and honestly ask ourselves if we are being obedient to God. Do we really love our neighbors when they irritate us? Do we really show compassion to those who may lash out at us for reasons we cannot comprehend?
The Greek word for love that Jesus used implies the right kind of action that demonstrates we are followers of Christ. This kind of love is not passive, it is an action word and we are to show our love by our actions, and this is accomplished through prayer. How can we hate someone when we sincerely lift their name up before the Lord in prayer?
God gave us a perfect example of love in action when He sent His Son, Jesus, to walk among us and demonstrate the love of God. We must pray in faith, asking the Lord to strengthen us every step of the way so that others will see Christ lived out in our lives, for the Bible tells us to pray for those who spitefully use us so that we may demonstrate the love of God to them (Matthew 5:44-45). This is the loving work of the Christian.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
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