A while back I wrote How do you love a sinner inspired by a conversation I had had. Today I want to talk more about loving those who we cannot see as deserving of our love. My thoughts immediately go to Jesus and what He did on that cross. He took on the punishment for sin for every man, woman and child that would ever live. People who would hate and reject Him. Why did He do this knowing who we are and what we will do? He died loving us the way we are. He didn’t wait till we got the answer right or did what is right. He loved us and still loves us. He was asked what commandment was the greatest this is what He answered.
Matthew 22:36-40 (NKJV) 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
It is all about His love. Love does not mean you agree with what one says or does. You love them because of who you are and who rules your heart. If you truly love Jesus nothing anyone says or does will ever diminish your relationship with Him. If you love others as He loves you they will come to know His love. By this love they can be made new as His love when you received it made you new. I am far from perfect and do not love any where close to the perfect love of Christ but it is what I am striving for. I want to love as He loves me. Many say I am wrong to involve myself with people who are living sinful lives, but guess what we all sin. Jesus said to look upon a woman with lust in your eyes was to commit the sin of adultery. Then in 1 John and in Matthew hate is equal to murder
Matthew 5:21-26 (NKJV)
Murder Begins in the Heart
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause[b] shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
Raca [N] [H] [S] vain, empty, worthless, only found in Matthew 5:22 . The Jews used it as a word of contempt. It is derived from a root meaning “to spit.”
Jesus was often criticized by the Pharisees because they din’t like who he spoke and ate with. Tax collectors and prostitutes being a couple of groups of people that were considered unacceptable (unlovable by our current way of thinking). To have anything to do with them was wrong and made you unclean. Yet Jesus loved these people and because they knew He loved them they left their former lives and followed Him.
People don’t change because you tell them to. They do not change because of fear or hate. All; these things do is drive them away from love. They change when they know they are accepted and loved as they are. When you fall in love you want to do everything you possibly can to please and make happy the one you fell in love with. This is what happens to a person who experiences the love of Jesus.
I am not perfect and do not love as He loves but I am His vessel and submit myself to be used by Him. Asking daily for His love to flow through me and touch the lives I come in contact with each day. Thats my purpose. I won’t say it is easy. Everyday I come across at least one person who is so hateful that it is hard to show even the smallest kindness to, and sometimes I fail, but I do my best to allow Him to love through me. This is when the battle isn’t in the words or actions but in my mind, but thats a topic for another day.
God bless you and your loved ones always.