LIVING IN LOVE TO THE NEIGHBOR
If one speaks the truth in one's heart, one will walk up rightly and work righteousness. This one will then be living in love toward the neighbor. For love toward God always produces love toward the neighbor. And if we live in hatred of the neighbor, it is because we are acting in hatred of God. So serious is the matter.
One cannot face toward the north and toward the south at the same time. One cannot open one's mouth and keep it shut that very same moment. And because God demands that we love the neighbor, it is an act of hatred against God to hate the neighbor.
For that reason David, in Psalm 15:3, in answer to the question as to who will dwell with God in heavenly glory states, "He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor." And one of our versifications declares:
He that slandereth not his brother
Does no evil to a friend;
To reproaches of another
He refuses to attend.
Wicked men win not his favor,
But the good who fear the Lord;
From his vow he will not waver,
Though it bring him sad reward.
Plainly what we do today here below reveals whether we will dwell above and taste God's love, when we are called out of this life.
No, we will not earn a place in God's house by our works here below. We can earn nothing from Him upon Whom we depend for everything. But to those whom God has chosen to live with Him in covenant fellowship, He gives that new principle of life that causes them to love Him. And in that love we will watch our tongues and fight against slander, backbiting, gossip, and foolish speaking of every sort. And we will call all of these deeds acts of hatred against God.
Then we will agree with David that holiness must be found in us, if we are to live with our holy God. And we will fight against all the unholiness that still remains in us.
Psalter versification: 24:
on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number
the Bible in One Year
Quote for Reflection:
let us learn that none are partakers of true faith, except those who are scaled with the Spirit of adoption, and who sincerely call on God as their Father; and as that Spirit is never extinguished, so it is impossible that the faith, which he has once engraven on the hearts of the godly, shall pass away or be destroyed. John Calvin