For this, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:9-10, NASB
I know at this point you are saying, “I got it. I know what grace is. Please don’t give me the definition again.” I believe that grace is so important it bears repeating again. Grace is the underserved love and favor God has for us. Grace is a gift that God has given us through Jesus Christ. Grace is not something that we can do on our own. God has already given us grace. The Roman Road shows us the way to God. After we have taken the Roman Road, like all people who love God we wonder what we should do now. Or in other words, “What shall I do to show God and others that I love God?”
Let’s go to Romans 13:9-10. These two verses sum up the Ten Commandments, but it also shows us what love looks like. I John 4:19-21 explains it to us like this: “We love because he first loved us. 20 Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21 The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.” So you cannot show God and others that you love God without loving your neighbor.
This demonstration of love comes from developing a relationship with God or as I say honoring God’s grace. When we first start a relationship with someone new, it is exciting. We always want that new person to see us in our best light. We worry about what they think of us until we are comfortable with that new person. At some point in our relationship we let the new person see more and more of our imperfections. If that person can still love or even like us at this point we begin to be ourselves. Our relationship with God is like that. We want God to see us as perfect and deserving of God’s love. We try to be perfect or what we think of as perfect in front of God. The more we grow, the more we know how flawed we are and we start letting God heal our flaws. This I believe is a lifelong process of developing a personal and communal relationship with God. Jesus said in Mark 2:17, “ . . . Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” Sin is a form of illness and Jesus came to heal us and save us from sin. You will be surprised how much your love for your neighbor increases when we are healed through God’s love because we can open ourselves up more and live without fear.