Growing up I remember the phrase, “kill two birds with one stone”. I never really figured out why I would want to kill one bird let alone two at one time. I did, however, figure out that this phrase was actually stating that it is better to be able to accomplish two tasks with one action. Think about it…what if we had to carry separately each individual item that we currently have as an application on our phone? Personally, I would have to carry a phone, caller ID, answering machine, calculator, memo pad, computer for email and internet browsing, a game system, calendar, appointment book, watch, weather station, and a GPS Navigation system. It would take me five hours just to find all of that stuff to leave my house in the morning, but I kill two birds, or in this case 12 birds, with one stone called a smart phone. Two birds with one stone just make things easier. My smart phone has the power to complete all the other tasks on its own. Our passage in Romans is teaching us this same concept. One commandment has the power to fulfill all of the rest.
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Romans 13:8-10 (NKJV)
While this passage covers five of the Ten Commandments, the message is that the simple act of loving our neighbor fulfills the law. Seriously, we would not murder someone we truly love, nor would we steal from someone that we really love. Therefore, if we love God’s creation the way that He expects us to, we would by default not sin. Default is like cruise control or autopilot. Without thinking about anything it just happens. Paul is writing to the Romans and is instructing them that if they love their neighbor those commandments will automatically be fulfilled without even having to give it any thought. This is not the first time that this thought was introduced in scriptures. Jesus was being questioned by the religious leaders of the day about what was the greatest of God’s commands. Knowing that if He put any one commandment in more importance over the other they would be able to bring accusations against Him, Jesus answered that the greatest commandment is to love God and the second is to love our neighbor. Jesus said it, Paul preached it, and you and I should live it. By loving God with all that we are and loving our neighbor and treating them the way we want to be treated, we will by default accomplish all of the law. Love is killing all of the Ten Commandments with one stone.
Dear Heavenly Father, we ask that you would come and fill our hearts with your love. Teach us how to love you and love others. We know that if you can help us master love, we will be able to master all of your commandments and live a life that pleases and honors you. We pray this in the name of our loving savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.