During this Holy week we are called to dig deep.
All the ordinary deeds done every day to relieve the corporal or spiritual needs of others are true works of mercy, if done in the name of Christ.
For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in my name, because you are Christ’s, amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward. (Mark 9:40)
We should not be satisfied merely to keep the commandments of God, but should always be ready to do good deeds, even when they are not commanded. Loving your neighbor as yourself isn’t always easy. That’s why God made it a command. He knew we’d struggle. Making it a command is actually to our benefit. How is that? We have to do it on purpose, be intentional about it. Sometimes even out of our need.
Too begin to love your neighbor as yourself, you need to know two things: you need to know what love is and that you are loved.The Bible tells us “this is love. Not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent his Son as a propitiation…” (1 John 4:10). You are the object of this love. God loves you. Knowing this is imperative. And not just loved in a general kind of way, but deeply loved and unconditionally loved. We tap into this when we understand that God loved us first. He’s the source of our love. God loved us even before Jesus gave Himself for us. God the Father is the source of all love. Before we can give this love we need to receive it for ourselves. You can’t give what you don’t have.
We need to love what He loves – us. The Bible even tells us that the Father loves us as much as He loves Jesus (John 17:23). How dare we not love what the Father loves. Learning to love ourselves prepares and helps us to love our neighbor.
Grace takes the seed of His love and the soil of our heart and creates fruit for the kingdom of God. Giving people the benefit of the doubt is loving your neighbor. Supporting your neighbor when they are struggling is loving your neighbor. Your choice to love is planting the seed that supports your soul.