Leviticus 19:18 (NLT)"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. Early in Moses's day, when God laid out the groundwork for the formal law revealed to humankind through the holy spirit's inspiration, Moses begins to write these words in Leviticus chapter 19. Leviticus 19:2 (NLT) 2 "Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy. And in those words, we see God's purpose and very nature revealed. Throughout the rest of chapter nineteen, God gives a commandment and follows it with this powerful repeating expression, "I am the Lord your God." To understand the essence of that expression and to understand chapter 19 of Leviticus, we must first hold in esteem verse two, "...You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy." We could explore depth within this simple sentence in dozens of entries. The point to focus on in this devotional is that God is asking us to imitate his character. Following verse number two of Leviticus nineteen, we see the revelation of God's character leaping off the pages. He emphasizes respect, honor, rest, pure hearts, and the point focused on today, love for one another. Leviticus 19:18 (NLT)"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. This commandment reverberates throughout the word of God. In Matthew 22:39, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, James, 2:8, to name a few. It was Solomon who first took it even a step further when he penned, Proverbs 24:17 (NLT) 17 Don't rejoice when your enemies fall; don't be happy when they stumble. We see God's clear intent on the surface of the text; we are to love one another. So why draw out this simple point from Leviticus, a book often known for its obscurity? To draw out this point, to be more like God, we must love one another all the more, even despite one another's faults. Moses writes, "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite..." Take note! He does not stop right there. God does not want us merely "playing nice" with one another. It's not enough to extend grace in not pointing out all our grievances; he goes on to write, "but love your neighbor as yourself." Why are we to do this? Because we are to reflect the character of God, and that is to choose to love one another. To be more like God is to love one another all the more.
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