Having established that the 1st and great commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and might, we learnt that our first reason for existence as a Christian and as a church is to WORSHIP God; we will now move on to the 2nd commandment…
The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. – Mark 12:31
“And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and made trial of him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
And he said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.” – Luke 10: 25-28
LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF! Our second reason for existing is to perform the duty of SERVICE/MINISTRY to our neighbour.
Who is your neighbour?
This is a person who lives (or is located) near you. Your neighbour can be anyone from your husband/wife to your colleague at work.
What is Service/Ministry (in this context)?
It is work done by one person or group that benefits another. An act of help or assistance.
We must be familiar with the popular saying “Heaven helps those who help themselves”, well I stand to tell you that this is not the truth as the correct saying should be “Heaven helps those who help OTHERS”. Ephesians 6:8. If you don’t make it happen for others, it can hardly happen for you, because it is what you give out to others that will multiplied unto you. Luke 6:38.
As Christians who form the body of Christ (that is, the church) we must be ready to use all the resources, talents and gifts God has put at our disposal to make a difference in someone else’s life. We must love our neighbour, not lesser than ourselves but AS ourselves.
The lawyer in Luke 10:25-28 asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. After loving God, loving our neighbour is the next thing to do to have access to abundant life (the kind that the devil cannot steal, kill nor destroy) and every other thing you need!
It is not until you earn big that you can help some other person – even with your little, you can make a huge difference in your neighbour’s life. No matter how bad you think your situation is, there are others who are suffering a worse fate; just like in that tale of the man with no shoes, who kept on complaining because of his lack of shoes but one day came across another man with no legs – it finally dawned on him that his situation wasn’t so bad after all.
We are in church to build a family, doing everything TOGETHER. Loving, serving, helping and ministering unto each other. We are not to kill others, we are to fix others. Anyone that loves his neighbour will not backbite or be slanderous against him neither will he think of his own profit or what he’ll tend to gain if helps such neighbour – Psa. 15:3-5.
“If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions,make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.” – Phil. 2:1-4
Just as God asked Cain where Abel was, some day He’ll ask us about our neighbour/brother. Will you answer like Cain “am I my neighbour’s/brother’s keeper? We must strive to be each other’s keepers. Get rid of every spirit of selfishness so as not be cursed like Cain was for not loving his brother enough!
I pray today that the grace not to help others out of pride, selfishness and for the purposes of material/immaterial gain, the Lord will bestow unto each and everyone of us in Jesus’ name!