Love for Neighbor

Open Your Bible

Leviticus 18:1-30, Leviticus 19:1-37, Psalm 133:1-2, Galatians 5:13-16

This year my two oldest kids have become the best of friends and also the worst of enemies. The way they provoke one another exhausts a mother and necessitates the response: “you are a team, and you need to make this right because a team is at its best when it is operating together.” I wish I could tell you that my kids immediately respond in kindness. Instead, it often takes prompting and tears until they have resolved their conflict and decided they are buds again.

When it comes to making things right with our community, we too need external prompting—from the Holy Spirit. It isn’t as simple as it sounds to love your neighbor when we are prone to looking out for “me, myself and I.” In Leviticus 19, God offers a plan for a redemptive community that is unlike the world’s culture. In the world, people abuse and cheat to get ahead. They lie and steal to look better than their neighbor. They harbor revenge and let little issues spin into lifetime rifts. The world is fickle with its love and glorifies one’s success at the expense of another—if something or someone stands in your way, you have the right to take advantage of it. 

The family of God can often feel not so different from the world’s relational drama. Paul warns the church of what will happen if they treat one another like the world treats one another: “But if you bite and devour one another, watch out, or you will be consumed by one another” (Galatians 5:15). The devil prowls around like a lion looking to cause division in the church, your communities, and your households. But God says, “How delightfully good when brothers live together in harmony!” (Psalm 133:1).

God doesn’t see people or communities as expendable commodities. He sees them as image-bearers (Genesis 1:26), beloved, cherished members of His family. So, God calls His people to fulfill the laws of holiness by “[loving] your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). 

God’s community is different; it is set apart from the world to be an example of His holy communion. Because we are a team in the family of God, we can count the cost of relationships, as Christ counted the cost for us and lay down our lives for one another. In Christ’s loving-kindness, we can find the courage to fight for unity and wrestle with forgiveness even when it feels impossible.

When we find it impossible to work out our differences, I know Jesus makes it possible. Yes, there is work to be done when we would rather retaliate than restore relationships, but God is doing a good work in each of us. Moving us towards respectful care for one another—a holy unity.

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38 thoughts on "Love for Neighbor"

  1. Brandy Deruso says:

    Lord you are good and your mercy endureth forever

  2. Lauren A says:

    Behind on my reading but wanted to comment because I’m constantly being nudged with passages that discuss letting go of resentment. I have a really difficult relationship with my MIL and because of actions she took in the past and continues to do when visiting I get anxiety even before she comes. It causes issues with my husband because it’s still his mom, even though he can see how toxic her actions are at times. I have prayed for her, prayed to let go of my resentment, prayed for peace between us. I know in my heart though that I am still bitter and it’s so difficult to fully move on when she isn’t going to change. I know I’m called to be better though and want to desire to be.

  3. Kendra Elliott says:

    I was really in awe of how much God loves us, that he gives us these boundaries to live within, that we can draw close to him, despite our own flesh.

  4. Susan Lincks says:

    My love to you all!

  5. Lehua K. says:

    @Dorothy I was wondering the same, with Jacob, Leah, and Rachel. I’m wondering if these rules were set in place by God to avoid conflict, drama, and tension in the family, because Jacob’s household was full of it. At the same time, I think what Jacob did in taking Leah as his wife and caring for her (despite his love for Rachel) was a kindness, because he was tricked by his uncle Laban and given Leah first. He fulfilled his covenant to Laban by marrying her and staying with her. Jacob must have been so patient to work 7 years only to get tricked with marrying Leah, and then working another 7 years to marry Rachel. It’s hard to understand Biblical times for sure, and it’s definitely not a happy arrangement, but that’s my thoughts on why these particular rules came about.

    I fell behind on my readings since I was at a business conference in Washington last week. I am almost caught up. It takes longer, but I love reading your comments because they add so much value to my life and understanding of what we’re reading! It’s neat to see how this book ties in with Jesus’ sacrifice and also many stories from the Bible (Ruth and Jacob come to mind). How tough it must have been to live in those times, especially as a woman. Even though present times are challenging as well, I’m thankful to God I’m here now, and not then!

    Praying for all of the requests shared. <3

  6. Kimberly Z says:

    @Rhonda J. Glad to hear you guys are managing. Praying things get easier down there every day.

  7. Kimberly Z says:


  8. Kimberly Z says:

    About being patient haha. @Nads I loved your comment tonight. You put it into a great perspective. @Jennifer loves Jesus your post was great as well. I pray I can always remember to love others well for God because God is for us.

  9. Kimberly Z says:

    @Laine Hefferly I loved your comment about being patient. This is something I struggle with when it comes to dating specifically. I constantly hear my mom telling me to just be patient with the process. If I am lucky enough to get married one day I don’t know if my family would say the same

  10. Kimberly Z says:

    @Laine Hefferly I loved your comment about being patient. This is something I struggle with when it comes to dating specifically .

  11. Elizabeth Melendez says:

    I’m having a hard afternoon. I need this. Thank you

  12. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I know lately my dad has been getting under my skin, and I pray that I would be gracious to him and treat him with love and respect.

  13. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray that I would live in unity with the people around me. That whenever possible, I would choose peace.

  14. Debby Blake says:

    @jenniferlovesJesus thank you for the beautiful commentary and prayer today!

  15. Rhonda J. says:

    Hey She’s! Down here in Fort Myers trying to figure out where to go now that the elation of the storm survival is leaving and reality is setting in! So many needs, so much loss, so much confusion! But so many church groups are out and about helping, giving, praying! Again, we are fine, just flooded bottom space and garage, and my car, But God- He supplied our power back on last night and a rental car.
    I have prayed for and with many people the last week, and if you remember, that is what I have been nudge to build confidence in- the praying for people aloud! Well, its flowing out pretty easy now! Thank you Lord for letting me be a spokes person for your love! I have Two neighbors going to church with us Sunday and others asking my churches’ name!
    I too am learning more in Leviticus this time! I love SRT, it has been a source of wisdom and guidance these past years! And of course love all my sister she’s!
    Please keep all of us in your prayers!

  16. GramsieSue says:

    Thanks to you all for such wisdom and love in your comments. This is truly a wonderful study of what I considered a difficult book. Who knew? Lol Have a blessed weekend sisters. ❤️

  17. Dorothy says:

    Leviticus 18:18 says, ““While your wife is living, do not marry her sister and have sexual relations with her, for they would be rivals.”, so does that mean Jacob sinned by marrying both Leah and Rachel or is God changing the rules some since His people have lived in Egypt and returned? When I read this that thought popped into my mind. I know the two of them were rivals when it came to Jacob’s attention, the Scripture tells of it. It’s amazing some of the that we remember.
    God’s love for us is UNBOUNDING, LIMITLESS, FOREVER, BEYOND COMPARE and MOST OF ALL UNCONDITIONAL. As long as we have faith and ask for forgiveness God, Christ and the Holy Spirit will love us.
    Be blessed and remember YOU ARE LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY sisters.

  18. Foster Mama says:

    JENNIFER LOVES JESUS ♥️- I have already sent your comment to my mother and sister and it is blessing each of us abundantly — praying with and for you.

    Thank you SEARCHING ♥️

    God bless each of you… thankful for how you each bless my life.

    Blessed Thanksgiving to all those north of the border!!

  19. Traci Gendron says:

    Our world is filled with division lately. God help me be the example of how to live in harmony. That is a big ask. I live where I’m the oddity. We have a young man that carries a sign in our Old Town area that says “F*&$ Christians”. A young girl that used to work for me went up and talked to him. He wanted no part of it. It is a university town and very liberal in its thinking. I struggle. I don’t really care for it. I pray God will put believers in my path. That we can strengthen each other in our faith and to stand firm with God. And in that way I can learn to love my unbelieving neighbors.

  20. Nads says:

    I also really loved Leviticus 19 and sharing it with all of you! I didn’t realize that rising up (not just honouring) for the elderly was Old Testament…I love that.

    Chapter 19 was so specific in places — I know God is gracious with me but it made me think of how often I fool myself that it’s good enough when I’ve almost / kinda met the mark!

    13″Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker OVERNIGHT” (no wiggle room here…no room for “I promise I WILL pay, I just need to…”)

    14 “‘Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord. (How would the deaf or the blind ever know?! BUT GOD sees and loves them enough to protect them and his people enough not to allow them to defile their own holiness that way.

    Does that make sense?!

    I mean them as analogies of course of REACHING for the HOLINESS God calls us to, thanking God for His great mercy but not settling for “almost” or only the things we can’t “get away with”. I am thankful for how this has convicted my heart towards a higher standard for myself. God help me!!

    {I’m a Occupational Therapist– I do the opposite of putting stumbling blocks in the way of people with disabilities, I promised :) }

    Have a blessed weekend my sisters ♥️ and, for those in Canada, a truly blessed Thanksgiving weekend!!

  21. Foster Mama says:


    Thank you and AMEN to your prayer!

  22. Michelle Patire says:

    @Foster Mama- good to see you!

    Man, since moving back with my family, the past two years God has taught me SO MUCH about having patience and graciousness with them. The verse in Galatians is a reminder of the love I need to continue to foster. God, heal me of my need to control, and help me trust YOU to sanctify my family. Help me lower my expectations and let them see grace in me. God grant me grace upon grace!

    Blessings to you Shes. You are beautiful!!

  23. Sarah Ritchie says:

    I will pray for Marie and her child today.

  24. Sarah Ritchie says:

    What a beautiful connection Kenya, thank you for sharing!

  25. Allison Bentley says:

    I too fell in love with Leviticus today! It’s all just came together- maybe not a perfect package but one with a crooked bow (me). Thank you Jesus for your bloodshed!! Praying for you sisters today- that we all can obey the Father and reap the benefits of His love!!!

  26. Maria Baer says:

    Oh JENNIFER LOVES JESUS— thank you for this beautiful prayer.

  27. Eileen Dowd says:

    Today I fell in love with Leviticus! Who knew! It took you all, my SRT sisters, to dig deep and read Gods Word and honestly begin to comprehend God’s laws and His reasons. Wow. Sisters, please pray that I would eat a bit better, I’ve lost weight I don’t need to lose! Everyone, be blessed md have a lovely weekend!✨✨✨

  28. Jennifer Loves Jesus says:

    There is a profound sweetness of calm as my heart remains anchored to God. As we wait for answers, or healing, or relief from pain, there are shadows of unknown before us. Slow down. Let the peace of God quiet our minds and rest our heart on Him. He will provide. Answers will come. Relief will come. As we trust, God will work. Whether walking or waiting, we are called to live by the Spirit. Kindness will color the moments that pass and create a testimonial tapestry for those we encounter in our day to day living. One breath at a time. God’s supernatural power to strengthen and provide shows up best when His people display the fruit of trusting Him in the hardest trials. Jesus showed us how to love from hard places. Worry will not change the hard things, but will only bring despair and a clouded heart. Only a calm heart, trusting our Holy Father, will settle and strengthen us. Let there be love and mercy and peace flowing out of our lives. By God alone we can do all things through Jesus who strengthens us. He walked it out first. We only need to reach out and take His hand. May we love well today. May I love well today. Father, help me love well today for You. Because You are for me. Bring healing and recovery, hope and courage, joy in Jesus. Amen.

  29. Danielle B says:

    @jenniferlovesJesus praying your mom’s surgery went well and she is recovering peacefully

  30. Angie Mills says:

    God commands us to be holy because He is holy. He also commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves.

    It is significant that the call to holiness toward our neighbors comes AFTER the provision for atonement. We cannot be holy or love our neighbors as ourselves in our own strength. We will fail. We fail constantly at doing this. We need atonement for these sins. God provided that atonement through Jesus. As a redeemed people, living by the power of God’s Holy Spirit within us, we are transformed into people who can be holy and love our neighbors as ourselves.

    Today’s reading opened with the truth “I am the Lord Your God.” This truth was reiterated after every type of command given. We are to obey God and follow His ways because He is Lord. He is our Ruler & Master. He is our King.

    The first command given in these chapters are for the people not to follow the practices of the land of Egypt, where they used to live, or to follow the practices of the land of Canaan, where the Lord is bringing them. We are not to follow the ungodly practices of the past or the ungodly practices that will come in the future. We are to follow God and His ways now.

  31. Angela Flowers says:

    I’m thankful that we have a community to hold on to, for fellowship and accountability to others. God is holy, and I am not, although every day I strive to be more like him. I’m grateful to Jesus Christ more than ever for being our ultimate sacrifice, as we read about what those sacrifices entailed. I have enjoyed this study so much, and mull over it throughout my day. What a God we serve!

  32. Kenya Rafferty says:

    I love how the last few reading plans all came together today. A reminder of where they’ve been – coming from Egypt in Exodus. A nod to Boaz who allowed Ruth to glean his fields. All along, God desires His people to live harmoniously and in love with one another. To be bearers of His spirit and grace.

  33. Kelly (NEO) says:

    A holy people representing a holy God who are known for their love for others…hmmm, that sounds familiar.

    GRAMMISUE – praising God for your good news

    LAUREN GW – continue to press into Jesus. Thankful you are experiencing a little calm in the stormkelly

  34. Felicia P says:

    My mind went to Ruth as well when I read Leviticus 19:9-10.

  35. Aimee D-R says:


  36. Searching says:

    A lot to take in from today’s reading at first glance. For me, it comes down to love your neighbor (treat people with kindness (including ourselves), offer help, be a good example…) and to obey and honor the Lord our God. He has provided for us (people) through the ages, instructing, guiding, rebuking, punishing, loving, forgiving, making a way for us to live eternally with Him. I can never be thankful enough for the second, third, fourth and many more times that He has forgiven me and provided yet another opportunity for me to use the good sense He gave me to read His word, follow Him and make better/good choices.

    Praise the Lord, GRAMSIESUE, for the good report.

    TAYLOR – praying for peace, guidance, wisdom, relief from anxiety.

    FOSTER MAMA – so good to see you! ❤️

  37. Toni Olson says:

    It is hard to live in this world but this world is only temporary and our real home is with Jesus♥️

  38. nicolette banwell says:

    I loved the focus of community In today’s reading. Only in today’s reading Lev 19:10-11 did I understand the context of Ruth collection grain Boaz’s field. God is good and his plans are good!