Matthew 22:39 And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself.
After Jesus had silenced the Sadducees because of their lack of knowledge concerning the scriptures, the Pharisees got together and one of the experts in the law attempted to test Him. He asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment in the law. Jesus did not surprise the Pharisees with the first part of His reply… “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind.” Please note the emphasis He placed on the second part of this statement. He equated it as equal to or like the first part. His answer was “love your neighbor as yourself” and that ALL the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments!! This is a bold, powerful, and demanding statement. Where do you find yourself positioned in reference to your relationship with your neighbors? Who do you consider to be your neighbors?
As for myself, I have faltered and failed God in this matter. I indeed feel shameful. In the twenty third chapter, Jesus went on to say, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices- mint, dill, and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should practice the latter, without neglecting the former – you blind guides. You strain on a gnat but swallow a camel.” When it comes to doing things for myself, whether it is personal or financial, I seem to do it with much more zeal and willingness than I do for my neighbor. I do know that Mexico is a neighbor of the United States. The disparity between the two nations is beyond description. I have argued and even lost friends over my position as being an advocate for these poor people. Too many times I have been asked why I did not devote Lifeline’s care and attention to the poor of my own country. I have remained consistent with my response. The Mexican poor do not have the privilege of being provided with the following: completely free education, mortgages, social services, Medicaid, Medicare, food stamp assistance, welfare support, government housing, unemployment insurance, decent highways and infrastructures, and the list goes on and on. Yet these people have an abundance of I-Care (I care for you), love, faith and starvation for the gospel of Jesus Christ. They possess an abundance of joy and appreciation for everything we do for them. These type conditions are not limited to Mexico, but include Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and most of all Central America. I know there are needy people in our country, but in comparison to the neediest of these other countries, even our needy are blessed.
I know I am not going to get to heaven by my mission efforts. I will only accomplish that by my faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for me at Calvary. I simply want to face Him knowing that I made an effort to make life better for a few people and meanwhile I need to do a much better job of loving my neighbor as myself.
I am so blessed to be an American and that is just The Way I See It!!
I continue to remain in His service,