Volume. XIX, No. 26
Sunday, 09 January 2005

Loving my neighbour

Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 19:19, 22:39; Mark12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Gal 5:14)

In my younger days, I heard many people interpreting this verse - saying that in order to love your neighbour, you must first love yourself. But one former Ex-Uniting Church Pastor, whom I came to know some ten years ago, stated emphatically that this is not what is implied in the Bible. The implication in the Bible is straightforward - We have to love others as much as we love ourselves! Everyone loves him/herself just too much. People love their own selves so much that they just can't be bothered loving others. And so God gave us the commandment to love others as much as we love ourselves. This is also the message from the Pastors & Teachers of the Bible-believing Churches, as I have read from their articles, even from Pastor Ki sometime ago. It is not that we don't love ourselves enough and so we can't love others. No, no way! We just love ourselves too much. We are just too selfish. Even recently, I've been hearing people saying that we have to love ourselves. But if we think that we don't love ourselves, God would not have commanded us to love our neighbour as ourselves. But God knows our heart, that it is deceitful above all and corrupt and selfish, all lovers of our own selves. As the Apostle Paul says in 2Timothy 3:2 - "For men shall be lovers of their own selves"

Now this commandment of God to love my neighbour as myself, is by no means a trivial commandment. It does not come naturally to us. It is contrary to our nature, just as all of God’s commandments are. Basically because every human being only lives for himself. “Self First” seems to be the motto engraved in the heart of every person from birth.

In order to love our neighbour as ourselves we need to have Christ's love in us. And this is given to us by the Holy Spirit as the Bible says in Romans 5:5 “...the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost and is given unto us” {which is translated in the NKJV as “...the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us”}

Only a born-again believer who has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him and thus having the love of Christ in his heart will be able to love his neighbour as himself and possibly even more than himself. This is because of the transforming power of the Holy Ghost, which changes our selfish attitude of “loving myself” into loving others. However, this does not happen instantly. It is a process whereby the Born-again believer yields himself daily to God through the gentle persuasion and leading of the Holy Ghost. The believer has to constantly crucify his flesh with it’s passions and it’s desires, allow the Holy Spirit to discipline his soul and be constantly renewed in his mind.

As the Holy Spirit transforms the life of the Believer, the Believer will be able to reach out in love to his neighbour and see the worth of his neighbour’s soul. He will gladly spend and be spent for his neighbour’s sake like the Apostle Paul and so love his neighbour as himself.

Loving my neighbour is definitely not by loving myself first.

Love is……………..

Love is obeying God's commandments. (John 14:15)
Love is making my brother or sister feel important (unknown)
Love is accepting my brother just as he is. (Romans 15:7)
Love is praying with my brother
Love is laying down my life for my brother (1 John 3:16)
Love is spending and gladly being spent for my brother (2 Cor 12:15)
Love is refraining from eating meat, if it makes my brother to fall (1 Cor 8:13)
Love is lifting up my fallen brother (James 5:19)
Love is not keeping a record of my brother's faults (1 Cor 13:5 NIV)
Love is not doing wrong to my neighbour (Romans 13:10)

Love is doing good to all. (Galatians 6:10)
Love is looking after widows and orphans in their time of need. (James 1:27)
Love is walking the extra mile (Matt 5:41)
Love is not seeking my own ( 1 Cor 13:5)
Love is loving the unlikeable

Love is rejoicing with those who rejoice, weeping with those who weep (Romans 12:15)
Love is not rejoicing in the wrong ( 1 Cor 13:6)
Love is rejoicing in the right ( 1 Cor 13:6)

Love is turning the other cheek (Matt 5:39)
Love is not back-biting
Love is not retaliating (1Peter 3:19)
Love is not lustful
Love is not jealous (1Cor 13:4)
Love is not boastful (1 Cor 13:4)
Love is not having evil thoughts (1 Cor 13:5)

Love is patient (1 Cor 13:4)
Love is kind (1 Cor 13:4)
Love is pure (1 Peter 1:22)
Love is humbling myself (Colossians 3:12)

Love is not a feeling, it's an act of my will (Don Francisco)

Love is forsaking all and following the Lord (Luke 14:33)
Love is taking up my cross and following Jesus (Matt 16:24)
O Lord grant me thy Divine Love - the love of Jesus Christ.....

Dn Edwin D’Mello

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question 84: What doth every sin deserve? Every sin deserveth Gods wrath and curse, both in this life, and that which is to come.

Please pray for healing for Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, & Sisters Myung Ki, Aranka Rejtoe & Susan Varadi Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me (John 14:1).

Please pray for - Journey Mercies for Ps Ki & family (USA), Elder Lee (Spore, Cambodia), Brothers Chilton Chong, Jason Tan & Joseph Lo and Sisters Emily & Rosalie Gan, Rachel Soon & Tina Cheng, Dn & Mrs Tony Law (Adl), Sis Michiko Law (Japan), Bro Tae Yul Lee (Adl) & all others on the Missions Trip; Missionaries - Bro Phanith & Family and the Pailin Church & School; Missions Teams preparation to Cambodia, Jan 10-31; Ministry of Elder Peng Kiat Khoo at Hope Church; Victims of the tsunami in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, East Africa & other parts of the world; All Hopefuls away; Comfort for Sis Michiko Law on the passing away of her grandmother & for Bro James Tan on the passing away of his mother.

Praise and thank God for - journey mercies granted to Pastor Ki & family (USA), Elder & Mrs Peng Kiat Khoo (Melb, Adl), Dn & Mrs Tony Law and Bro Lincoln (Warrnambool), Sis Wendy Gong (Alice Springs), Bro Dillon Chang (Adl), the Chong family (Adl), the Chung family (Adl) & Brethren from Ebenezer BPC (Melb).

Hospitality: Please fill the hospitality roster in the foyer for Elder and Mrs Khoo if you are able to invite them for lunch/dinner during their stay in Adelaide.

Flowers: Please fill in the flower roster for 2005 in the foyer if you are able to provide flowers for the Sunday Worship Service.

Looking Ahead: Missions Trip to Cambodia, January 10-31.

Looking Ahead: Sunday School Outing, February 5.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041