This is the third in a three part series that uses 1 Peter 3:15 to answer the question, “HOW do I love my neighbor without being weird?” Follow on the blog, Instagram and Facebook.

BUT… did you notice that 1 Peter 3:15 begins in the middle of a sentence? The first word BUT links this verse to what comes before it, so let’s back up—

Peter wrote these words to the church at a time when you could be seriously harmed—even killed—for being zealous for good, for God. Christians were forced into colosseums to fight to the death with wild dogs and lions. They were tied to stakes and lit on fire like candles in Roman gardens at night. They were turned in by their neighbors and even their families. In fact, Peter was later crucified because of his faith in Jesus. So was Peter’s wife. In fact, she went first.

Loving Jesus—and your neighbor—wasn’t just inconvenient, it was dangerous. In many parts of the world, this is still the case. Yet even when our faith in God is a life-threatening condition, Peter’s comforting advice is, “Have no fear of them. Do not be troubled.”

That’s why some of my best advice for how to love your neighbor is, “DO IT SCARED.”

The first phrase of 1 Peter 3:15 looks a lot to me like the first and greatest commandment. Do you see it!

The second half of 1 Peter 3:15 looks like the second greatest command, doesn’t it?

I used to think it was hard to love my neighbor. Then, when I did it, I KNEW it was hard!

It really is, I won’t lie.

I never had time; it was always inconvenient. My house was not Instagram-worthy. I made mistakes. I was often rejected.

I also knew the PEACE of walking in obedience even though I had no clue what I was doing.

I knew the GRACE God gives when I go where He says even when I am scared out of my wits.

I knew about PERSEVERANCE and PURPOSE, CONNECTION and COMMUNITY, FRIENDSHIP and FULFILLMENT.

And I knew the inexpressible JOY of making much of Jesus.

What do you think is the hardest part about loving your neighbor?

This is the third in a three part series that uses 1 Peter 3:15 to answer the question, “HOW do I love my neighbor without being weird?” Follow on the blog, Instagram and Facebook.

"I want to love God and love my neighbor,
but I don't know how."

 

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