The Beauty Of Second Greatest Commandment

Matthew 22: 39 – And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Mark 12: 31 – The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.

God’s Word is so brilliant, practical, realistic and achievable – “Love Your Neighbors”. Who are your neighbors? In my opinion, my neighbors are the people in my circle of daily life. My neighbors can be my real neighbors who stay next door. My ‘neighbors’ also can be the people around my life, example my parent whom I stay together with, my colleagues who sit around me, my team in workplace, my church group, my church small group, my Saturday futsal kakis and etc.

Imagine if the verse changed to “Love every single one in your church” or “Love every single one in your country”. If a church is just 10-15 people, maybe that is still possible. But what if the church is about 400 people? How is it possible to think about 400 people all the time or on regular basis? God knows that we sure got ‘neighbors’ unless that person works alone at his home and stay by himself in one island.

Since ‘neighbors’ can be so plentiful. So, I divide it into two categories. One category is the ‘regular neighbors’ in your life. Another category is the ‘irregular neighbors’. Regular ones are those you meet regular or daily. Irregular ones are those you don’t know when you will bound into them. Since you don’t know when you will meet those irregular neighbors, I think we should give priority to focus on the regular neighbors first.


Is Saying, ‘Oh My God’ A Sin?

I think I first learn about this and gain some conviction about this topic after I read what Douglas Jacoby wrote about this. This is the link –

In short, what I learn from Douglas Jacoby is, I shouldn’t use those words / phrase. Reading about this topic again help me to understand why those words / phrase should be avoided.

Another author, Tony Warren, put it this way

But the fact is, saying “Oh My God” (OMG) this way, references God in vain. i.e., it is evoking God without a serious reason, reducing His value and dishonoring the title. In fact this devaluing is inherently part of the very definition of the word vain. Using the name without real purpose.

The word vain essentially means empty, or void of any real value. To take God’s name in vain is to evoke it in a hollow or meaningless way, without real significance or purpose to Him. It is essentially to treat the word God in a valueless way. So it really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that “Oh My God,” used in this frivolous way, isn’t really a call for God the father, it is simply used by habit or as an purposeless exclamation. Certainly it isn’t an act of Christians agreeing with, evoking, praising or petitioning God. The truth is, this phrase is almost always little more than a bad cultural or social habit.



Old Covenant vs New Covenant


It is defined as agreement or promise between two or more parties. Example, God would never again destroy the earth with a flood (Gen 9: 8-17).

Old Covenant

Old Covenant also can be called the law of Moses (Mosiac Law). God gave the Israelites some laws after they are out of Egypt. But, no covenant has been made because a covenant is made when both parties agree with it. Old Covenant was made during Moses’ time in Exodus 19, as the Israelites agreed to obey God. In verse 5,

Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”

So Moses went back and summoned the elders of the people and set before them all the words the Lord had commanded him to speak. The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said,” So Moses brought their answer back to the Lord.

The book of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deutronomy consist all the Mosaic Law.

Some common area from Mosiac Law:

  • Observing Sabbath.
  • Circumcision and strict diet.
  • Feast or Festivals. Example, Passover.
  • Offering, Sacrifice or Tithing. Examples, Sin Offering, Guilt Offering.

Prophesy of New Covenant

In Jeremiah 31: 31-33,

“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I too them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, thought I was a husband to them, declares the LORD.

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, “declares the LORD.

“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

The Connection – From shadow to light

Therefore do not let anyone judge you buy what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. – Col 2: 16-17

The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming – not the realites themselves. – Heb 10: 1

Old Covenant is the shadow for New Covenant (Col 2: 16-17). Example, before you see someone, you will see the shadow first (assuming right angle of light).

Old Covenant came first but overriden by New Covenant. Another word, Old Covenant is obsolete now (Heb 8: 13). Analogy, someone wrote a will in 2000 and he wrote a newer one in 2007. This means the old will in 2000 became obsolete.

New Covenant cannot exist without Old Covenant.


There are too many differences we can find when we compare Old Covenant with New Covenant. But, I will just focus in the area of access to God.

Old CovenantNew Covenant
Who can access?High priest (Heb 9: 7)Through Jesus (John 14: 6; Eph 2: 18)
When?Once a year (Heb 9: 7)Anytime
Where?Holy of holies. (Heb 9: 1-7)Anywhere
What sacrifice need to offer?Blood from animal of no defectJesus Christ own blood (Heb 9: 12)
Need to offer sacrifice continually?Yes.(Heb 9: 25; 10: 1)No. Jesus die once and for all. (Heb 9: 11-12, 25-28)


Today, we do not need to obey the Old Covenant (Mosiac Law) because it is obsolete. If this is the case, should we never read Mosaic Law from now? Certainly not. Indeed, we should continue to read it but with a different perspective, to understand the purpose of the law, rather than to take it literally. Example, the reason why the Israelites were restricted to strict diet and need to be circumcised due to health reason.

I like how Douglas Jacoby phrased it, “It is not a sin to observe a special day (Romans 14: 1-6), but it is a sin to try to make others do so.”



  • Shining Like Stars – by Douglas Jacaby.
  • Life Application Study Bible (NIV).



A Way Out

As a Christian we know that using illegal software is unrighteous. It is theft. If you take one year to develop a fully functional well tested software, using all your brain power and precious time, will you want someone to get it just RM5 and you don’t even earn a single cent from that RM5? Of course not, right? The bible says, “Do to others, what you want others to do to you.”.

Living in this country, illegal software is so prevalent. Even though, government has enforced much action to be taken, they are still out there for you to get it, so easily. The difference is too big, just RM5 you can get a bunch of softwares worth up to RM10,000. Indeed, a big temptation to Christian. Besides this, there is another issue. The original software is expensive. A software price can cost more than a brand new pc! Example, Window XP Pro OEM version costs RM500 which is half a price of a new pc. Also, there aren’t many retail shops to get original software, especially window operating system. Many do not realize that OEM version is only entitled for those who are buying a new pc.

Being an IT student and as a Christian some many years back, I have already started to think about it. I feel bothered by myself using illegal software because of the earlier question. But, what can I do? It is too much money to buy all original softwares for a student.

But, I still want to pursue to do what is right. So since then, I began to do to find solutions. And, finally I got it. The solutions is to use freeware or open source softwares.

The first column are all the freeware or open source software you can consider to use to replace the paid softwares which is at the second column. The third column I divide it into 2 main categories of usage: Corporate and Home. Actually, there are many softwares free for home use but definitely not for corporate use. So, do check their website for confirmation and for any latest changes.

Freeware / Open Source SoftwarePaid softwaresFree forDescription
UbuntuMs Window XP/VistaHome * and Corporate useThere are few open sources Operating System (OS) besides Ubuntu. But, I think Ubuntu is one of the most user-friendly, just like Window XP.
OpenOfficeMs OfficeHome and Corporate useIn Open Office, Writer is like Ms Word; Calc is like Ms Excel; Impress is like Ms PowerPoint in Ms Office.
AVGNorton AntivirusHome use only
KerioZone AlarmHome use onlyFirewall
We-BlockerTo filter pronography
SpybotHome and Corporate useCan scan and clean up spyware.
AdwareHome use onlyCan scan and clean up spyware.
7ZipWinZipHome and Corporate use
GIMPPhotoshop or Fireworksfor graphic design
HTMLKitDreamweaverText Editor
AceFTPWS FTPto upload or download your files.
RegcleanClean up your registry
MySqlSQL Server 7 or Ms AccessDatabase
WinMergeUsed during Implementation stage in Software Development

* Home use is another term for Personal use or Non-Commercial use.

The above are just some of the freeware or open source softwares I’m using. There are more out there.

Question: I am buying a new laptop now. The vendor asked if I would like to have Window Vista Home version or Professional version. Which version should I get?
My Answer: Normally if you are classic ASP or .NET developer, you might need IIS which is available in Professional version. And if your pc or laptop will be used in a corporate network, you should buy Professional version. Otherwise, you can just get a Home version.

Question: Where can I get all these freeware or open source softwares?
My Answer: You can easily download the latest version from or from their website. They will even send a CD to your home for free. Example, Ubuntu. I went to their website and send my information and requested for a CD to install Ubuntu. Within two weeks, I received the CD and it is all free!

Question: I have downloaded Open Office and tried to use it. But, how come it is not the same like Ms Office and not easy to use?
My answer: I know that you might have some difficulty to use Open Office compare to Ms Office which you have been using all your life. But, I think this is because you are not used to it yet. But if you hang on there for a little while, you will get comfortable with it. Actually, with Open Office, example Writer, you can save your file as .doc (an extension for Ms Word). Same goes to other file type like .xls (an extension for Ms Excel) and .ppt (and extension for Ms PowerPoint).

Last but not least, say no to illegal softwares. It is stealing. And God does provide a way out (1 Corinthian 10: 13).



I love these sentences by Thomas A. Jones in the Introduction in the book Teach Us To Pray.

If we rely on nothing but human power, the life Jesus calls us to is impossible. On his own, not even the most stable, most healthy, most intelligent and most determined person can do it. Only as we intimately connected with God through prayer will we continually find the forgiveness, strength, inspiration and direction needed to live the life Jesus described and expected of his followers.

I also like when he used the below pie charts about prayer.

He says “Prayer is not the only thing needed by disciples. It is just the most important thing.” Take notice the word Worship in these two pie charts above. Now, let’s go to another book, The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren.

In his last chapter, Living with Purpose, he says, “What will be the center of my life? This is the question of worship

So, which one is the center, Prayer or Worship? This makes me think about the greatest commandment, Love God. And it means relationship with God. And Worship, Prayer, Study (I assume bible study) are in the same category, relationship with God. Another word, God is the center. That is my conclusion who/what should be the center.

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