January 13 – LD 2, Day 6: Love God and Our Neighbor
by Prof Herman Hanko

Read: Luke 10:25-37.

To love God means to seek the glory of God, to desire to live in fellowship with him, and to be obedient to him in all things. To love him with all our hearts, minds, soul and strength means to love him with all our being and to love him without interruption – day and night, with every thought and desire, with every word we speak, with every gesture and activity of our bodies.

Who is my neighbor? The tribal chieftain in some Pacific Island? No. Some headhunter in Africa? No. Some bag lady on the streets of Philadelphia? No. My neighbor is my wife, my children, my parents, my fellow saints, my classmates, my colleagues at work. My neighbor is the one I bump into in my life, the one whose path crosses mine, the one who needs me, the one who can sometimes annoy me no end, the one who persecutes me. . . . I must love my neighbor.

This is the mirror of the law.

Let us look into it.

Each one of us. This is the question our teacher asks each of us individually: “What does the law require of us?” Each one of us? What does the law require of you? Of me?

Do I love God with my first thoughts on waking up? Do I love him as I am dressing, combing my hair, shaving? Do I love him when I walk to the bus stop? When I sit in the classroom? Do I love him when I go to work? When my colleague makes my life impossibly difficult? Do I love him when I am sick? When I am on my deathbed? Do I love him with every thought I think? With every desire in me? With every emotion? With every word? With every activity of my body?

What is your answer to all these questions? When the law is the mirror into which we look, then we see ourselves reflected in that perfect law of love. It is not a pretty picture that is reflected from that mirror. It is, in fact, so ugly that I shrink back in sheer horror. Who is that ugly monster there in the mirror? Why, it is a reflection of me!

Why am I miserable with trouble, suffering, grief, pain, disappointment? Well, no wonder. Look at what I am. And God is a holy God who is satisfied with nothing less than perfection.

The teacher makes us learn some pretty hard lessons! And we do not like to learn them.