The Message

By PASTOR BILL MYERS,

Do I have to love everybody?

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these” Matthew 12:30-31.

When we read and meditate on God’s Word, we find that basically everything falls under these two commands from God. Did you know that the Ten Commandments were given in two parts? The first part deals with our love for God and the second deals with our love for others.  So, when Jesus gave the two commands in Matthew, He wasn’t negating the other commandments.  They are part of loving God and loving others.
Do we really have to love those that are mean to us?  Yes, we do.  We’ve all given God more than one excuse why we shouldn’t have to love a particular person after being mistreated by them.  But our loving Heavenly Father commands us to look beyond what they have done and love them because they are His children just like we are.  Siblings should get along in a family and since we’re part of God’s family, we should get along also.  Is it easy?  No, it’s not.  We should spend time in prayer in order to have “love” to give them.  Remember, when we give love to someone, we are giving them God because “God is love.”
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Matthew 5:44.
I know there have been times in my own life when I’ve been mistreated, falsely accused, hurt, angry, etc., and I wanted to rip those verses from the Bible. But over the years, I’ve discovered His ways are better than mine.  No one has God’s peace in their lives when they live with hatred toward others.  It’s a miserable feeling when we hate.  Peace and love go hand in hand.
“Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.” Luke 6:28.
By choosing to love and forgive those that hurt us, we are giving our pain and emotions to God who will handle the situation!  He knows what’s best and by doing this, we will win the battle and celebrate the victory. 
Again, is it easy? No, but the more we choose to forgive and love those around us, the easier it becomes.  When we look back over a situation years later that had caused us to get upset and angry, we see it was a smaller problem than we had thought and not worth losing our joy over.  And many times, we can’t even remember the cause of the problem.
God is love.  Let’s give God (Love) to those who hate us. In return, we will feel the weight of the burden lift from our shoulders.  

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