I post these threads for those folks who might not, for whatever reason, be able to go to church on Sunday Morning. I value my church time on Sunday Morning so if you cannot go I will have church with you. If I could see you I would pat you on the back and shake your hand, for the ladies might even give you a hug, shoot I don’t care, might even give the guys a hug. It is my hope and prayer that you enjoy the post and our time together. With the topic in mind I invite everyone to read. I will apologize up front; it is not my intention to step on anyone’s beliefs. If I do, I did not mean to. I am getting better and understand more than I did, but I still have a ways to go, so be patient with me. I just went to shine a little light and spend some time with what I hope are friends. Last but not least to give Glory to the God, who for me and my belief system, makes all things possible. This one is kind of long so hang in there; I got on a roll and didn’t want to cut anything out. The Beatles tune we are going to talk about this morning is “All We Need is Love”. The Beatles were asked to come up with a song containing a simple message to be understood by all nationalities. "It was an inspired song and they really wanted to give the world a message," said Brian Epstein. "The nice thing about it is that it cannot be misinterpreted. It is a clear message saying that love is everything." How much better would this old world of ours be if we all took that attitude? I asked that question in another post about success. How would it be if success was defined as showing that you love everyone (one thing to say it and another to show it) and everyone loved you. If at the end of my life, the preacher man can say this about me, I will figure that I have done alright. This would be easy to do if we only had to love the people that we choose to love. I will say it right up front there are some folks out there that it is just difficult for me to love. As much as I try they just rub me the wrong way. It would be easy for me to say, you rub me the wrong way and I don’t want anything to do with you. By the way I don’t care if you don’t love me either. So stuff that in your pipe and smoke it. As a Christian/believer that is not the way that it works for me. There has been a thread or two that I have read, it would be very easy to jump right in blasting away, for me (I stress for me), that is not the best thing that I feel I should do. I believe Jesus is very clear about this; we don’t have a choice when it comes to love. We are to love everybody, even our enemies. We are supposed to love our worst enemy, maybe even go out of our way more to love them, as much as we do our best friend. Our heart must be with malice toward none; with charity for all. This is very easy to say but it is another thing to do it. Matthew 5:43-44 … You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you … Man o man how tough is that to do, love your enemy? My first inclination is not to love them but make them pay for what they have done to me. I want to make them pay big time, I am sure we all have heard the phrase don’t get mad get even. Has anyone else had feelings like this? I sure have. This is exactly the person that scripture tells us we should love. Just like our very best neighbor or friend. Not only that, Jesus goes on to say that you should pray for those who persecute you … Ask God to help your enemies. May to give you the ability to love them more. When it says we are to love them, there is more involved that just saying that we love them. Real love involves several characteristics (see 1 Corinthians 13). Two of those BIG characteristics are doing and enduring. Jesus exemplified love by what He did. That enemy that we hate, we are to show them that we love them. Instead of spitting in their eye or “getting even” we should try to help them. We are to pray for them, give them a helping hand when they need it. Show them what the Love of Jesus is all about. This is what Jesus did, He went about doing good. He healed the sick. He fed the hungry. He comforted the mourner. He died on the cross for everyone, even those who hated Him the most. Even thought we do not deserve it He paid the price that we could not pay. Even for those that hated Him and hung Him on that cross. While Jesus was doing good he also endured persecution, mockery, insults, betrayal, injustice, sorrow, physical pain, separation from His Heavenly Father, and death itself. That is what love really is. It is doing good and enduring evil. When it is real love (not just saying you love them) is when you do good to a person that you are enduring evil from at the same time. So while this person is beating you down to the ground you are to love them. Now this is a special love, I admit. The love that Jesus speaks of here is “Agape” which is a sacrificial love that has as its greatest desire to meet the other person’s need. There is one thing that I know for a fact about love, if you are open to it God can enable you to love anybody or everybody, but nobody can force you to hate anybody. If you hate someone it is because you choose to hate them. Because even the greatest hatred can be removed by the love of Jesus. It is your choice, the attitude you take. Matthew 5:45 … so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. When Jesus says that we must love our enemies so that we may be sons of our Father in heaven, He’s not saying that this is what gets you into family of God; or even if this is how you become a child of God. What Jesus really meant by this statement was this: “That you may be “Father-like.” That is, when you love even those who do not love you back, and perhaps even hate you, then you are just like your Father in heaven. Now please understand exactly what Jesus is saying. You are not like God in heaven because you love other people; you love other people because you are like your Father in heaven. 1 Jn. 4:16 says, “ So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” When you look at your Father and the way He treats others, you see that He, too, loves everybody; even those who do not love Him. Ps. 145:15-16 … The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. Think about this: The sun shines on Afghanistan just like it shines on America. It rains in N. Korea just like it rains in America. God gives air to the Muslim just like He gives air to the Christian. God sent Jesus to die for the terrorist just like He sent Jesus to die for the diplomat. That’s why Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 5:46-47 … For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Let’s try to put this in Kentucky English. If you love those who love you, your best buddy, the ones who got you’re your back … BIG WHOOP! Everybody does that! That ain’t no big deal. It is when you are loving the one that has done you wrong in some way, that is showing the love of God. Like I said at the start you are going to run into folks you are going to rub you the wrong way. Somebody somewhere at sometime is going to do you wrong. They are going to hurt or do something to you that is going to make you mad, make you hate them. When this happens there are 4 ways that you can respond to this: • Attitude of Retribution (eye for an eye) … “If you hurt me, I’ll return that same hurt to you.” • Attitude of Vindictive Vengeance … “If you hurt me, I’ll hurt you more.” • Attitude of Hardened Indifference … “If you hurt me, I’ll just ignore you & have nothing to do with you.” • Attitude of Christ … “If you hurt me, I’ll love and serve you.” Just as the Father wants to turn sinners into saints, we ought to desire to turn our enemies into friends. The only way you can do that is by loving them. Jesus sums up all He has said to this point in this simple statement: Matthew 5:48 …You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Now obviously the word perfect there does not literally mean perfect in the sense we usually think of it. A. T. Robertson …The word comes from telo, end, goal, limit. Here it is the goal set before us, the absolute standard of our Heavenly Father. It means to reach the end for which you are intended … maturity. What Jesus is saying is this: When it comes to your enemies you make in life - grow up! Have a love that is so mature and so strong in the Lord Jesus Christ, that through Him you can love even your most bitter of enemies. All you need is love All you need is love All you need is love, love Love is all you need. Hope you enjoyed the read and our time together. Have a great symptom free day!