Romans 12:10, “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;…”
In the last few weeks the Covid-19 virus and the Executive Orders from Government have changed everyone’s lives. With our efforts to practice social distancing and staying at home as much as possible, the room/space for the worries of life have a greater opportunity to begin to grow in our minds. During times like this, it is very important to continue to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). To continue to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts and offer ourselves a living sacrifice to His service (1 Peter 3:15; Romans 12:1). In this effort, it is very important for us to always consider our brothers and sisters above and beyond ourselves. If someone asked you, What is the main reason you practice social distancing during this Covid-19 issue? What is your answer? Because the Governor said to do it? There is an Executive Order from the Civil Government? All of these are good reasons, but there is one more important than these. The Lord taught us in Matthew 22:37-39 to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” When the Lord says “the second is like unto it” He is teaching us much concerning our service to Him. When considering the words of the Lord in the context of Matthew 22:37-41, we must understand that Jesus is not giving new commandments, but summarizing the ten which He delivered to Moses in Exodus. By examining the ten, we can easily see how the Lord summarized with two. If we Love the Lord with all our, hearts, soul and mind, we will never place anything before Him. Neither will we worship a graven image or take His name in vain. If we love our neighbor as ourselves; the acts of murder, stealing, covetous or false witness will never enter into our minds. The “second is like unto it.” When considering the Lord’s summary of the Commandments, it should be understood that without grace, we can do neither. It requires grace for us to Love God and to love one another. John said that “We love him because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We need God’s Eternal Grace to have love in us, and we need God’s temporal grace to help us love as we should. Truly brothers and sisters, the first and foremost reason why we should consider practicing social distancing is loving our brothers and sisters. Honestly, I’m not that much afraid of catching Covid-19. I kinda think lot of folks, including me, have probably already had it. But the thought of me being part of my 81 year old mother catching this dreadful virus keeps me from visiting her and hugging her (something I very much would love to do). My love for others in the Kingdom of God should not be above the love I have for my mama. I should love and care for every member of the Church the same. That’s the primary reason why I practice social distancing. I love the Lord’s people. The Church has been such a great blessing to me. I’ve been and still am saved by/through the Church. Not from the eternal consequence of my sin, the Lord did that alone, but the Church has saved me from many temporal troubles. I would love to hug the necks of those I love. But I stay away, not for my benefit, but for their safety. I love each of you and am looking forward to the day when I can shake your hand and hug your neck again. Until that time comes, I will patiently wait on the Lord and pray for you often. Please don’t forget to pray for my family and I when you pray to our Heavenly Father.
In hope and love,
Elder Ronnie B. Loudermilk