Date: June 8, 2023
I use the BLESS method every morning for my devotional.
B - Bible Verse
L - Listen for God's Word and pray
E - Explore the History and meaning
S - Study the Key Words or Phrases
S - Summarize and Share
You can read more about it by going to: What is a Faith Journal?
B - Bible Verse: "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:18)
L - Listen for God's Word and pray: Heavenly Father, help me to understand the profound meaning of loving my neighbor as myself. Open my heart to receive Your Word and transform my thoughts and actions. Teach me to let go of grudges and seek reconciliation instead. May Your love flow through me to touch the lives of those around me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
E - Explore the History and Meaning: Author and Context: The book of Leviticus is a part of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible traditionally attributed to Moses. Leviticus contains laws and regulations given by God to the Israelites, including instructions for their relationships with one another. This verse emphasizes the importance of love and forgiveness within the community of God's people. God commands His people not to seek revenge or hold grudges against their fellow Israelites. Instead, they are to love their neighbors as they love themselves. It is a call to show compassion, kindness, and forgiveness, reflecting the character of God and fostering harmony within the community.
S - Study the Key Words or Phrases:
Revenge: Seeking revenge involves inflicting harm or seeking retribution against someone who has wronged us. God calls His people to reject the desire for revenge and choose a path of love and forgiveness.
Grudge: Bearing a grudge means holding resentment or ill feelings towards someone, harboring a deep-seated animosity. God's command challenges us to let go of grudges and choose reconciliation and love instead.
Love: Love, in this context, encompasses an active and selfless concern for the well-being of others. It involves treating others with kindness, mercy, and respect.
Neighbor: The term "neighbor" in the Bible extends beyond literal proximity. It includes not only those who live nearby but also anyone we interact with, emphasizing the universality of our call to love others.
S - Summarize and Share:
Have you ever found yourself wanting to get back at someone who wronged you or holding onto a grudge? It's tough, but here's something incredible: God has a different plan for us. He tells us to love our neighbors just as much as we love ourselves.
In a world where revenge and bitterness are all too common, God calls us to choose a different path—a path filled with love, forgiveness, and reconciliation. I know it's not always easy, but it's what sets us apart as followers of Christ.
Loving our neighbors means treating them with the same kindness, understanding, and respect that we desire for ourselves. It means letting go of grudges and working towards healing broken relationships. It means extending forgiveness and showing mercy, just as God has shown us.
Imagine a community where everyone embraced this commandment. A community where forgiveness flowed freely, where conflicts were resolved with love, and where restoration and unity thrived. That's the kind of community God envisions for us.
Let's live out this beautiful commandment. Let's choose love over revenge, forgiveness over grudges. Let's be intentional in our relationships, extending grace and understanding. When we do, we reflect God's character and display the transformative power of His love.
Remember, you're not alone in this journey. God is with you, guiding you every step of the way. Let His love shine through you as you love and bless those around you. Together, let's make this world a better place—one act of love at a time.
Bible Cross References:
Matthew 5:43-44: "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
Matthew 19:19: "Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself."
Romans 13:9: "The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not covet,' and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
James 2:8: "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, 'Love your neighbor as yourself,' you are doing right."