Throughout the scriptures, there is a common thread. Actually, I see two, although they are tightly intertwined. The first thread is obvious: YAHWEH, the ALMIGHTY GOD, shows how much He Loves us and Treasures us, from Creating us to sending His Son, JESUS, to redeem us. The second thread is about us, humanity; how to live the best life possible, Worshiping and Loving our LORD and each other. He created man for companionship, for Him and for each other. He doesn’t need us, yet He desires a relationship with us. Humans, on the other hand, can’t live without that relationship. Before you start to argue the point, allow me to clarify: without a relationship with the LORD, we merely exist. To truly live, we must rely on Him as our LORD and as our primary companion — Yet we find it so difficult to acknowledge this Truth.
Think you’ve got your life under control? Really? I just finished reading an eye-opening book, “The Seat Beside Me” by Nancy Moser. If you truly think you’ve got it all figured out and that you are in charge of your life, I would encourage you to read it, and focus on the story of Dr. Anthony Thurgood. He had it all together, too, large and in charge….. until he realized he didn’t. Don’t read it if you find the thought of not being in control a disturbing concept!
I tend to be controlling and “in charge” until I remember where my “best thinking” has taken me. I have a difficult time asking for and accepting help, yet if I read (and follow!) the Word, that is exactly what I should be doing.
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NASB
Got that, self? “Woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.” Here are more verses in favor of working together rather than (selfishly) alone:
“…… and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds …..” – Hebrews 10:24 NASB
“For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ” you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:14 NASB
If – When we choose to love our neighbor as GOD commands, it becomes easier to link ourselves with their needs and offer help, whether physical or spiritual.
“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak Truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” – Ephesians 4:25-27 NASB
“Do not grieve the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD, by Whom you were Sealed for the Day of Redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as GOD in CHRIST also has forgiven you.” – Ephesians 4:30-32 NASB
Easier said than done! It is in our sinful nature’s to hold all of the evil within us. Bitterness can easily take hold of us when we feel we have been wronged. Wrath, anger, clamor, slander, malice – I have not only felt them, I have exercised them exceedingly in the past. I still contend with bitterness at times when it appears that the persons who have wronged me seem to prosper while I struggle. It’s not fair! Even so, this is what my LORD and my GOD ask of me:
“Let the Word of CHRIST richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with Thankfulness in your hearts to GOD.” – Colossians 3:16 NASB
Why does He ask this of us? For this reason:
“There is ONE body and ONE SPIRIT, just as also you were called in ONE HOPE of your calling; ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD and FATHER of all Who is over all and through all and in all.” – Ephesians 4:4-6 NASB
“For GOD SO LOVED the world, that He gave His ONLY Begotten SON, that Whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For GOD did not send the SON into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” – John 3:16-17 NASB
If we truly love our “neighbor” as ourselves, won’t we want them to experience the Life, Love, and SALVATION as offered by our LORD, just as we do?