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Love Your Neighbor

 
h1={color:#000;}. Love Your Neighbor

Copyright 2017 Dean Chicquette

Published by Dean Chicquette at Shakespir

 

Cover by Dean Chicquette

Photo by FreelyPhotos.com

 

 

 

{color:#000;}
p<>{color:#000;}. Mat 22:37- 40 NAS

{color:#000;}
p<>{color:#000;}. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

{color:#000;}
p<>{color:#000;}. And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.

{color:#000;}
p<>{color:#000;}. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

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Shakespir Edition License Notes

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Dedication

We dedicate this book to our Lord Jesus Christ

 

Also

 

To all the readers of our other books. We pray that you will find inspiration to allow Holy Spirit to love your neighbor as yourself.

Table of Contents

Introduction – a Qualified Yes

Chapter 1 – Definition of Love

Chapter 2 – Love Your Enemies

Chapter 3 – Moses vs Jesus

Chapter 4 – Citizens of Another Kingdom

Chapter 5 – What About Swords

Chapter 6 – Greatest Act of Love

Chapter 7 – The New Commandment

Chapter 8 – Sons of Hate

Chapter 9 – The Greatest Commandment

Chapter 10 – Imitate Love

Chapter 11 – Cleansing Each Otherwise

Chapter 12 – Overcome Evil

Conclusion – A Call to Obey

End Notes – The Armor of God

Finally

About the Author

[] Introduction

Qualified Yes

Just because Jesus said it, a confessing Christian will immediately say, “yes” to their need to love God and their neighbor as their self. But it is a qualified ‘yes’. The qualification is often dressed in a cogent, rehearsed set of reasoning that not only diminishes Jesus’ teaching to a guideline but effectually and functionally reduces it to being inaccurate or even a falsehood.

We are all indoctrinated from birth to believe that we are more important than anyone else. We have transformed God’s mandate into a statement that reads something like, “We can and should love our neighbors as long as they do not interfere with our self-defined highest good.”

At the heart of this reasoning are the unspoken thoughts, ‘reaching my highest good is more important than you reaching your highest good’ or ‘I’ll love you as long as you love me better’. Accepting this reasoning gives birth to a right to hate those who do not love us the way we want them to love us. If we do not like what they say or do, we claim they have offended us. This right to decide who offends us is taken as a God given right to hate them, to hurt them, and to offend them back, but without recourse. Loving your neighbor becomes, ‘Say what!’ In the end, we carry this philosophy to the extreme and treat God like we treat each other.

Then there is this command to love God, to love Him with all you are. This command to love God is transformed into, “I’ll love all the good that God will do for me and everything else is evil and should be cast out.” If we do not like our life and the circumstances in which we find ourselves, we believe we have the right to hate Him for not completing us in the way we want to be completed. In the end, we love Him as long as we believe He is loving us better than anything or anyone else.

God’s right to make a charge against our plans has been transformed, by our self-for-self-seeking souls, into our right to make a charge against God’s plans for us. Like the gentleman we think God should be, he instead becomes the servant to our desires. We have transformed Him into an idol to which we bow as long as IT performs for us the highest good we have determined for ourselves. Otherwise, we throw Him into an everlasting pit of human rage, into the fire of our scathing souls. The very soul created to humble itself to God, or be damned, has damned this God who will not humble Himself to us. Christ’s invitation for us to obey Him becomes Him having to obey us.

Jesus said we were to be like His Father and love everyone equally. He went on to define such behavior as being as perfect as His Father is perfect. He did not say that we were to try to be perfect, but He said we were going to be as perfect as each moment needed, just like the Father is complete in each moment of need. What an awesome promise this is. Yet we look to ourselves and to our desires, including our desire to serve Him, and demand He fall in line with our plans. Here we are promised everything needed to be like Father yet we continue to doubt and quickly turn to reason as the god needed to solve life’s problems.

When we prefer this person over another, we are not raining God’s love equally upon each soul we meet. We glorify our preferences, even our willful choices, and justify even those actions which are boldly contrary to Father’s will. Father has not called us to love those who love back but to love those who will take advantage of us. But instead, we call Christ to our side to judge those we hate and punish those who take advantage of us. In short, we ask the Christ of Love to hate the world He so loved that He died to save it.

We conclude that Jesus is a good friend to have in a fight. We reason, He is God and cannot be defeated. He died once and now lives forever. He might as well hate those we hate or He could at least let us be the ambassadors of His hate poured out on them. Living from this paradigm, we cannot begin to enter into God’s plan, purpose, or process. We stand outside God’s will, right beside Satan himself.

When we, as Christians, embrace the spirit of self-for-self, we disengage from Jesus’ self-for-others and His call for us to enter into eternal communion with love and light. Oddly, we might have perfect doctrine but we end up with imperfect behavior and results. The result of Christ’s teaching is God loving through His children. The end to perfect doctrine is the hate of those who disagree with our perfect doctrine.

Also, our need, needing something other than what we have, has damned the call to love God and God in mankind. To justify this behavior, some have declared there are two races on this earth. God’s people and the offspring of various other groups, like the giants who were the children of fallen angels. We can love those like us and hate them who are not like us, right? Makes sense. But, God in Christ is not just reconciling the Jews to Himself, but also the Gentiles. He is not just reconciling the Jews and Gentiles but also the whole world. He is not just reconciling the whole world, but all of creation.

It is well to remember that the New Testament teachings of Jesus stand directly opposed to the Old Testament rules. An eye for an eye has been transformed in the command to “Love those that hate you and pray for those who despitefully use you.”

Yet some, to justify hate, see God as set in concrete, like some statue we can measure, weigh or replicate. God becomes a foundation upon which we tread instead of the life we get to live. His creation becomes a set of measurable laws at work instead of a loving Father loving His creation to a new wholeness we cannot imagine.

We have yet to see Him as He is. The heart of God’s person is a VERB, not a noun. The ‘I AM What I AM’ is also ‘I AM What I WILL BE’. Now that is dynamic, not static. We, in union with Him, are dynamic in His dynamo. We are not frozen in Him but called to live His loving others through us. We become His humans being His love.

God took time out to take away humanity’s guilt for hating Him. This is dynamic. This realization should spark us on to living His rule of dynamic order. Right now, any hate we may have for our life is forgiven. We are challenged to agree with God and forgive ourselves and them. We are to pray for ourselves and them. The challenge is not for us to gain God’s power and force God behavior on ourselves or others but to flow in and with His Loving through us to others. What we have deemed impossible remains impossible. ‘Loving ourselves’ has been transformed into loving others. But, when we face this impossible call, we can learn that all things are possible in God.

We see God best when we love. To watch one soul die should cause us to weep. When the lights go out, God goes out. To force God out of His temple is called murder. Killing is destroying the temple in which God dwells. Yes, we, like God, demand justice. But we can miss the completed work of justice already exemplified. All the striking needed for us to have the justice we need was expressed on Christ. Because of this, the noun Law has been replaced with the verb Love. We have been taken to the place of right standing before the God in our minds, hearts, souls, and strength. When we agree with God’s verdict, we can do His impossible command to love our neighbor as our self.

This story was just shared with me:

A young boy packed two lunches. His mother asked what he was doing. He said he was going to have lunch with God. In the park, he sat down by a homeless woman and gave her the extra lunch. They giggled, laughed, and enjoyed each other. Then he left for home. The homeless woman was singing and dancing down the street and met another homeless woman who asked, “Why are you so happy?” She replied, “I just had lunch with God.”

Let us have lunch with God.

Chapter 1

Definition of Love

{color:#000;}
p<>{color:#000;}. 1Co 13:4-8A NAS

{color:#000;}
p<>{color:#000;}. “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;”

John goes on to tell us, God is love. He does not have love, but His very nature and character is love. That means:

God is patient.

God is kind.

God is not jealous.

God does not brag.

God is not arrogant.

God does not act unbecomingly.

God does not seek His own.

God is not provoked.

God does not take into account a wrong suffered.

God does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.

God bears all things.

***

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Love Your Neighbor

Caught in the everyday reality of the opportunities, if not need, to love those around us, how exactly can we do so when we are often bent on doing just the opposite? Love Your Neighbor is an exclamation point to Dean Chicquette's earlier book titled Simply Grace. In it he draws us from a flesh-self identity to really settling that we are united to Christ Jesus. Believing this, he further declares Jesus' intention has not changed. Christ, by His Spirit, now in us is just as eager to draw all humanity to Himself. Looking at how Jesus first accomplished this is revisited in Love Your Neighbor. He encourages us to draw so close to the Person of Love that in each moment we recognize those God has sent us to love. Without compromise, he challenges us to step into a life of Jesus' Self-for-others. As you read through the book it is more of a cleansing of the soul than an enriching of the mind. Yet, through repetition and challenge, you leave wanting to exercise that which first seemed impossible, love your neighbors even if they are you enemies.

  • ISBN: 9781370230013
  • Author: Dean Chicquette
  • Published: 2017-08-25 23:20:08
  • Words: 13226
Love Your Neighbor Love Your Neighbor