2018 Fasting Guide – Day Nineteen

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ALL IN – LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR

We are in these scriptures pretty deep now. And it’s about to go deeper. The next two parts of what Jesus sums up for us to do are the most challenging. Loving God is one thing. I mean He is perfect, loving, kind, and altogether wonderful. But now Jesus is asking us to do the hard stuff.

And the second is like, namely this, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
Mark 12:31 KJV

 

Neighbor means, “brother and sister, literally and figuratively.” I am pretty sure you have come across some “neighbors” that are pretty hard to love. They can be takers instead of givers. They can disappoint. They can steal, wound, and say or do things that scar your mind and heart until Jesus heals you. And yet, Jesus tells us this is a commandment and it is not a suggestion. So how is this even possible?

 

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 NIV

 

If you see people from God’s perspective, you will realize that hurting people hurt people. And you will see it is not meant from them personally to hurt you—not the real them. It is the effects of the enemy in their lives that is striking out against you. It is only from that perspective that you can stay steady no matter what is thrown your way.

I remember a story from Todd White about a steward on the plane that just kept giving Todd such a hard time. He was so angry at him because Todd wanted to pray for a woman who needed medical help. He knew Jesus was the best medical help! But the man was indignant against Todd and just thought he was a weirdo. He eventually said he was going to turn Todd over to the police when they arrived. But throughout their conversations, Todd said all he could really hear the man saying to him was “please tell me who my Father is.” He was seeing him through God’s heart. He cared about him, no matter how he spoke to Todd. The end result was that Todd was escorted by the police right to the woman, and he was given permission to pray for her. She was healed and the steward saw it and his perspective and life was changed.

There is no way in the natural that we will always feel wonderful, ooey-gooey love for every person. No, it is challenging. But not if we see everyone from God’s eyes and through His heart. I am always amazed at those who have exercised this in their lives when I hear their stories. Though I have many stories of my own, I recognize my own need to go to another level of allowing God’s heart to be the prevalent deciding factor of how I feel about every person in every situation. I am determined that this will be one of my standards to live by and I am believing this fast will help me, and all of you reading this to do just that.

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:34-35 NKJV

 

So let’s take this a little further than just what we think of in our everyday life. Let’s think of this commandment in terms of loving our city. What does that look like? Didn’t Jesus send His disciples out to the surrounding areas to heal the sick, cast out demons and preach the gospel? Why? Because the people are out there! We have a wonderful Church and wonderful people and we can learn to love them more and more.
But I believe if we are ALL IN in loving our neighbor, then we must be all in as far as going beyond our four walls. We must go to them, and love them and give them what they need. They need the love of God demonstrated by the power of the Spirit moving through us. We should all be on a quest to have the kind of relationship with God where His power flows through us because that is a calling card to God. People aren’t drawn by words as much as they are drawn by what they experience. The power of God is tangible, and it is given to us.

But the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
Daniel 11:32b KJV

 

Cities can be changed by our love as demonstrated by God’s power and love flowing through us. It should not always be something that Liberty Life Center puts together and orchestrates. The cities should be in our hearts individually and we should be givers of His love and His nature on purpose to those around us. Of course my heart is for Davie. But I live in Sunrise and I love it too, and the surrounding cities. Because God has placed the people in my heart, I want them all to know Him and I want to be a part of their answer. I am praying for how to demonstrate that in a personal way as well as a Church. I hope you will join me in that prayer request as we pursue answering the cry of God’s heart. Love your city as you want others to love your city.

It is the same with the nations. The news media causes us to form opinions about nations and their inhabitants. But the truth is that God loves ALL of His children and He is commanding us to do the same. There are innocents in every land. And those that are doing evil are just depicting what they have been taught or what has been done to them.

We must remember Paul was once Saul. Yet God saw him as ferocious for the Kingdom of God. We must pray and intercede for all nations and all people and ask God for His love to overtake us so we can see and feel through His eyes and heart.

Dear Lord,

We are understanding the seriousness of these commands to us. You are looking for a partner who will love like You do. You sent Jesus to show us how to change the world with selflessness and unconditional love. Would You please forgive us today as we realize we are not walking in all the ways You meant for us to love?


We pray that You will help us to see others, cities and nations as people You love and care for, and not just as something in the way of our own personal dreams, but as the answer to your dreams. Give us Your passion to pray like never before with heartfelt love for all of them. Let us be the ones who will stand in the gap for them. Let us be the ones you entrust with Your power as we choose to love You and them with all of our hearts. Let us flow in the miraculous—not for the sake of how we feel when your power is demonstrated—but in the end result for THEM. We love You Lord, and we are asking for Your heart and the ways to reach them with Your love.


In Jesus’ name we pray.

Amen and Amen.

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