“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”” Mark 12:30-31
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
“one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:6
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,” 2 Peter 1:2-3
The Lord has given me an amazing love and compassion for and sensitivity toward all people; He has given me His love. His Spirit lives in me; it’s as though I feel His heart beat through me. But what about the dirty smelly raggedy people? What about the cruel people? What about the ugly, the odd, the wacky ones? What about the ones who look different, who talk different, who think different, who live differently? What about the homeless? The ones who hurt me? And hurt others? The criminals? The addicted? The weird and unusual? The young, the old, the in-between? The locals? The high and drunk and disheveled and hurting? The foreigners? The ones who never take showers? The ones with icky yucky torn clothing with stains and holes? I love them all. Every single one of them.
The Lord does not make qualifications when it comes to love commanding us to love some of our neighbors and not others, one set of people but not another, one kind of person but not those kind over there, the ones we’re in the mood to love and the ones who treat us kindly and not the other ones, this person or that person, sometimes and not other times, etc., but how can we possibly love our neighbors as ourselves without any qualifications, without any conditions, regardless of our thoughts and feelings on the matter, regardless of what others say and do or don’t say and do, how can we love them all?
The Spirit of Christ LIVES INSIDE His followers, and He gives us ALL WE NEED to live godly lives, and He is OVER, THROUGH, and IN US, and He POURS His love into us which can then flow out of us so that we can OBEY HIM in LOVING OTHERS the way He calls us to love. Dirty smelly raggedy people included – and all the others also.
ALL for HIS GLORY, Amen!