I Love You

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a]31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:30-31 NIV

Whether you are a believer or not you have probably heard this commandment. In the text to come I am going to make clear who our “neighbors” are that we are supposed to love and if I neglect to include you then forgive me, I love you too.

Lord my God,

I love you

Believer,

I love you

Non-believer,

I love you

My family, all of them,

I love you

Alcoholic, Drug Dealer, and Drug Addict,

I love you

Liar, Cheater, Swindler, Thief, and Con Artist,

I love you

IRS, Insurance Agent, Lawyer, Judge, Government Employee, and Car Salesman,

I love you

Bully, Thug, Hitman, Mob Boss,

I love you

Murderer, Rapist, Molester, Serial Killer, and Terrorist,

I love you

Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Kim Jong Un,

I love you

Person who gets on my every nerve at work,

I love you

Hookers, prostitutes, call girls, exotic dancers, both male and female,

I love you

Porn Addict and sexual deviant,

I love you

Doer of good deeds and doer of evil,

I love you

Self-righteous hypocrite,

I love you

Jew and Gentile,

I love you

Black, White, Native, Asian, Latin and any other races and ethnic groups I failed to mention,

I love you

White Supremist,

I love you

KKK Member, Free Mason, Isis, and Islamic Brotherhood,

I love you

Obama, Trump, Democrat, Republican, Independent, and whatever the other middles are called,

I love you

Homosexual, Transgender, Gay, Lesbian Bi-sexual, and Homophobe,

I love you

Police Officer, Military Member, Socialist, Communist, Anarchist, and Protester both peaceful and violent,

I love you

My Neighbor, which covers anyone I failed to mention,

I love you

My Self,

I love you

Some on this list you may wonder how I could ever love them. You may see them as vile, despicable, evil people or groups that do not deserve love. You have never been more wrong. Hate the sin and love the sinner sums up how Jesus sees us. He ate with people like the ones I’ve listed above. I included myself in this list, in more than the last entry. There is not a person or group who is less loved by God than the very best person you can think of. There is not a person more loved then the worst person that comes to mind. In our last breath, we are loved whether we accept Jesus or not. God loves us so much that he gives us the choice to love Him or reject Him. Even though we are vile, despicable, evil creatures He still came to this earth in the form of Jesus and died for us on a rugged, splinter filled cross, cursed, and forsaken in our place. While we spit in his face, beat him, pierced him, and mocked him he proclaimed, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” and died for us. We are not worthy of his love and grace, but he gives it to us. Others we may see as unworthy of our love and grace, but we should still give it to them. Because we love someone and offer them grace and forgiveness does not mean we condone what they do or agree with their sin. To forgive someone does not mean that we accept what they have done. God will dole out consequences for their actions as he does with us. We should hope that no matter how bad we see a person’s actions, they will find Jesus’s love and forgiveness; that their minds and hearts can be changed, and their sin washed away. Who gives us the right to condemn someone because they did something horrible in our eyes? Where is the line drawn for forgiveness or condemnation? We all want justice unless we are the ones on the receiving end. Romans 12:19 says, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the scriptures say, ‘I will repay, says the Lord.’” ESV. It is not up to us to hope for the suffering of others. Yes, we should love justice, but also mercy. We are not to seek revenge as stated in scripture but hope for the redemption of the lost. If you are reading this with anger in your heart toward another, rethink the reason for your anger. Often our anger is because we don’t agree with what someone else believes or does. Anger is for the most part selfish. We didn’t get what we wanted from someone or they did not meet our expectations, or they are doing something we consider wrong. If God became angry every time I did something wrong I would have been destroyed as a child by his wrath. He does not put degrees on sin. ALL sin is against God so who are we to say one sins more than another or is less deserving of God’s or our forgiveness.

I love you, all of you. I hope that you find the peace and salvation offered by almighty God through his son Jesus Christ.

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