True Christ followers want to please God above all else

Your Neighbor is God Appointed
Justifying Ourselves – Part 2

Scripture Reading:  Leviticus 19:15-18

Key Verse: Luke 10:29

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

As we studied in yesterday’s devotional, it is easy to justify ourselves when it comes to getting involved in other people’s lives.  Doing something for others is usually a costly adventure in one way or another.  The expert in the Law that asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” understood the implications of loving a neighbor as we love ourselves.

This begs the question, how do we know whether we are justifying our actions or being wise in the stewardship of our time and money.  I struggle with that issue more than most other issues in my walk with God.  I want to help people without enough resources to enjoy a healthy life, but it is difficult not to cross the line of enabling their poor behavior.

The first thing I do is to seek God’s wisdom.  I tell God I am willing.  In fact, I’ve told God that I am “willing to be made willing.”  True Christ followers want to please God above all else, so we must continually be prayerful about this question: Who is my neighbor and how do I love them like I love myself?

The second thing I do is do what is consistently stirring in my heart.  God has promised to work in us both to “want” and to “do” His good purposes (Philippians 2:13).  If a thought is not fleeting but constant, I feel God is in it.  Be sure to act upon these consistent nudges or desires.

Father, I want to love people as you want me to.  I will be careful to listen to my heart for direction today!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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