DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: Create love margins for others

Don't use boundaries and schedules as excuses not to show love to your neighbor.

Pastor Joel Juni
Contributed / Joel Juni
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In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus answered the question of what was the greatest commandment in the Bible. He tells them to love God with everything they have and to “love your neighbor as yourself.” Once we love ourselves, we can love our neighbors well. Once we see ourselves the way Jesus sees us, we can see others the way Jesus sees them.

We must have time and love margins created in our lives, so we aren’t so pressed for time and space that we don’t even consider helping others when we come face to face with need. How often do we drive by someone stopped on the side of the road without stopping? How often do we walk past the homeless or hungry without looking at them? How often do we ignore our spouse, family, or friends because we have better things to do?

I’m not suggesting we help so many people that we run ourselves into the ground. It is essential we have good boundaries, so we don’t burn ourselves out, but many of us use boundaries and overfilled schedules as excuses for not showing the love of God to our neighbor. This shouldn’t be the case! We shouldn’t be so busy that there are no margins for others available in our schedule.

Every human is loved by God and has infinite value. We often ignore the people outside the margins of social norms. Would we ignore Jesus if He was in the same situation? If Jesus was naked or hungry, would we ignore Him? If Jesus was stuck on the side of the road, would we drive past Him without a second thought?In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus explains to His disciples, “Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. … Inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” This is a difficult truth to hear, but it is coming from Jesus, so it is most definitely the truth.

We are called to receive and treat every person as if they are Jesus. Wow, that changes things! Whether friend or stranger, we should receive, treat, and love them like they are personally Jesus. What would our world look like if we lived in such a manner? May we begin to increase our love margins and find out!


“You are the salt of the earth. But, if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again?” (Matthew 5:13).

Joel Juni and his wife Jennifer are the pastors of Restoration Christian Church in Park Rapids.
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