A royal challenge for Christians today,
“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well.” (James 2:8)
The sovereign or supreme law of God is that we love our neighbors with the same concern and care that we have for ourselves. James is not speaking of mere emotional affection; rather, the command is to pursue meeting the physical and spiritual needs of one’s neighbors with the same intensity one naturally gives themselves. Sadly, this great command has gone unfulfilled by too many professing to be Christians. Believers who would never consider committing “adultery” or “murder” are nonetheless “transgressors of the law” because they have failed to love their neighbor as themselves. So today, be a neighbor to someone in need and by opening your heart to them and then you will indeed show that God’s love abides in you (ref. 1 John 3:17).
On a side note: As I was scrolling through Google Images last night looking for a picture of a homeless man I came across a familiar face, Melvin D. Taylor. Melvin is a fixture in my community (Columbia, TN). In the warmer months you will see him sunning on a bench or relaxing under the shade of a tree. When the weather turns cold, he will generally retreat to the warmth of the all night Laundromat or McDonald’s. He is kind and gentle soul always willing to talk about God’s love for humanity. You can read more about Melvin here. Though urban legends about his past freely circulate I have another idea about why Melvin is here. I believe that God brought Melvin to Columbia as sort of a test, just to see who would practice the royal law. I am sure that in your town there is a Melvin or two, or a hundred; men, women and children who would benefit from your mercy and love. So rather than talk, study or debate about who and how to help (which seems to go on ad nauseam) it is time for you to act. You know who needs your help. You know who needs your mercy. You know who you can be a neighbor to… So go!
Other post in Devotions From The Epistle of James: