IF YOU LOVE OTHERS ALL THE TIME, YOU’LL DO WHAT’S RIGHT ALL THE TIME.
Bible Reading of the Day: Read Romans 13:8-10.
Verse of the Day: “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
“I don’t see how you can remember all those commandments,” Cassandra told her best friend, Josie.
The two girls were doing their homework together in the school library.
“What do you mean?” Josie asked. She and Cassandra had had many conversations about God and Jesus. Josie was a Christian, but her friend Cassandra had just started going to church with her.
“You know,” Cassandra said. “All those ‘Don’t do this’ and ‘Don’t do thats.’ How do you keep ’em straight?”
“I don’t know,” Josie answered. “It’s not like that. . . .” Her voice trailed off, and her gaze searched around the library table. Finally, her eyes fastened on her math book. “It’s like this,” she said. “How much is one plus one?”
Cassandra’s eyes narrowed as if she were expecting a trick. “Two,” she said.
“How much is two plus two?”
Cassandra’s expression became more confused. “Four,” she said, “but I don’t see—” “How much is three plus three?” “Six,” she answered. “Why?”
“How do you remember all that?” Josie asked, a twinkle in her eye. “I just know it. But that’s different,” Cassandra protested. “That’s just arithmetic.” “You’re right,” Josie said, “it is different. But not the way you think. God’s commandments are even easier to understand than addition and subtraction, because you really only have to remember one thing.”
Josie reached for her paperback Bible. She thumbed through the pages, then stopped. “Here. It says, ‘If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law.’” She pointed to the page. “See?”
Cassandra read the words, her lips moving slowly and silently as she read. “What’s that mean?” she asked.
“It means, the one commandment to remember is to love others. If you do that all the time, you’ll do what’s right all the time.”
Cassandra shrugged. “I can remember that,” she said.
TO DO: The Israelites used to wear phylacteries, which were small leather boxes in which they kept some of God’s commandments. You can make a variation of a phylactery, using yarn and cardboard, for each family member to wear on his or her wrist. Write the “Verse of the Day” on a small piece of paper and stick it in each phylactery.
TO PRAY: “Loving Father, thank you for loving us. Help us to love others through your Holy Spirit living in us.”