THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2020
LOVE OF NEIGHBOR
March 2, 2020
God calls His people to holiness. “Be holy, for I, the
Lord your God, am holy.” (Lv 19:2b). To this end, God
gave His people various laws through Moses. These laws were
intended to let them know God’s ways and to keep them
on track. For us as well, to remain founded on Rock, we are
to listen to and act on God’s words.
the Bible, the very word of God, testify about itself? “The
law of the Lord is perfect” (Ps 19:8a). In this psalm,
the word of God is referred to in various wayslaw, decree,
precepts, command, statutes. In whatever way it is described,
the word of God is trustworthy, right, clear, pure, enduring
forever, true, just (Ps 19:8-10). What the word of God does
is to refresh the soul, give wisdom, rejoice the heart, enlighten
the eye (Ps 19:8-9). Is it any wonder then that the word of
God is “more desirable than gold, than a hoard of purest
gold, sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb”
words of God brings godly wisdom. For example, we know we
are to love God, but do we know we are to love our neighbor
as well? Many have no problem loving God, but many do not
manifest love for neighbor, especially the poor. So the Israelites
were told to act accordingly. They were to leave gleanings
for the poor when they harvest (Lv 19:9-10), not exploit their
neighbor, especially the poor daily laborer (Lv 19:13), not
put down the deaf or blind (Lv 19:14). But it was not just
about the poor, but about all their brethren in the Lord.
So they were not to steal or deceive or be dishonest or slander
or hate or take revenge or cherish a grudge (Lv 19:11,15-18).
Simply put, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
that God, in giving such instructions, was always saying,
“I am the Lord.” These were not just about wise
instructions, but about the very commands of God. They would
define the people’s relationship with God. And such
is crucial to our well-being, both spiritual and communal.
Obeying the words of God brings not evil but good.
took it a step further. He not only was the God who gave instructions
regarding our treatment of the poor, but he took on the very
person of the poor. Jesus said, “For I was hungry and
you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger
and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you
cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” (Mt 25:35-36).
Those who heard him were confused. Lord, when did that happen?
(Mt 25:37-39). And Jesus answered, “Amen, I say to you,
whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine,
you did for me.” (Mt 25:40).
was in the setting of Jesus talking about the judgment of
the nations. At that time, there will be one criterion on
whether one will inherit eternal life or go off to eternal
punishment (Mt 25:46). It is what one does or does not do
to the least of Jesus’ brethren.
there is much injustice in the world and the poor continue
to be oppressed, would there be many among Christians who
would not make it to eternal life? To not act on God’s
words leads to collapse, but acting on God’s words leads
to salvation. “By them your servant is warned; obeying
them brings much reward.” (Ps 19:12).
So we need
to be built on the Rock that is Christ. “Then shall
I be blameless, innocent of grave sin.” (Ps 19:14b).
Then we can rightly claim that Jesus is “Lord, my rock
and my redeemer.” (Ps 19:15b).