Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. Leviticus 19:34
“[God] reminded them to welcome foreigners because they themselves were once foreigners (Leviticus 19:34). Not only were they to treat strangers with kindness (v.33), but they were also to ‘love them as [themselves]’ (v.34). God had rescued them from oppression in Egypt, giving them a home in the land ‘flowing with milk and honey’ (Exodus 3:17).” Amy Boucher Pye
This devotional reminds me of the great commandment: Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. The question that the religious scholar follows up with is stunning. Lord, who is my neighbor? Christ upon hearing the question responds appropriately in essence saying, “love the one who needs a neighbor.” In light of this answer, we should love everyone because everyone needs a neighbor.
Yet loving our neighbor isn’t easy. Sometimes, its very difficult. It takes time, effort and energy. How can you love your neighbor if you don’t even know how to? How will you know how to, if you don’t even know them? How will you know them if you never leave your house, or go over to their house and ask how they’re doing?
This devotional talks a lot about strangers in a new country. However, there is a great problem right in our backyards. We are strangers in our own communities. We have strangers in our own communities who we know nothing about. We don’t go seeking them out. Whether that is because we’re too busy, or too scared, or too intimidated, we do not know the stranger, we do not know our neighbor.
Yet Christ laid down an example for us. He left His home to find us. He left the comforts of heaven to dwell among us as John 1 says. Through his actions, to find us, to welcome us in and to know us, we now have a great salvation in Him. Let us be driven by His love for us, to love others as He first loved us. Go to love and serve your neighbor because of how Christ loved us!
Prayer of the Day: “Father God, You welcomed me with open arms, for You loved me day after day. Give me Your love to share with others.”
Parkland Community Church:
We Exist to Develop People Who Love Jesus and Serve Others.