The Law of Love

Opening Prayer

Rest in God’s love for a while, thinking about how he has shown his love for you.

Read Romans 13:8–14

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. 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.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

The Day Is Near
11 And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Reflect

We can never keep God’s law simply by trying hard. The miracle is that our obedience doesn’t start with us, it starts with God.

We ended yesterday with the observation that what we owe someone isn’t necessarily the same as what they deserve, and here we have a continuation of that theme.

A debt is something I owe to someone having first received it from them, but in God’s economy the debt of love is not like that. I don’t owe you love based on the love you have shown to me; I owe it to you based on the love God has shown to me. My debt is owed to him, but he asks me to pay it to you.

I could never repay the incredible love he has lavished upon me, but he doesn’t ask me to—what he wants is that I “pay it forward”—that I love others with the same selfless, sacrificial, all-consuming love. And when I do that, I will fulfill all the requirements of the law without even trying.

Apply

To whom can you “pay it forward” today? What is some special word or act that would show God’s love?

Closing prayer

Continue to praise God for how much he loves you, and you’ll find that your heart is far more able to love others as he loves them.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider