Hi all, lets have a chat about love. In fact love’s bottom line.
This might suggest I am going to chat about romance, candlelit dinners, holding hands, walks on the beach, bunches of flowers, boxes of chocolates…
But it’s not. But if we take it to heart….it will cost us…..and probably more than a box of milk tray and a bunch of daffs from the garage….
Unchallengeable, bottom line love requires sacrifice.
The greatest love we can give is sacrificial love, or, more practically, when we say “no” to ourselves in order to say “yes” for the benefit of another.
It’s that simple, that hard, and that amazing for the other person. Jesus prophetically explained love’s bottom line for us in the Bible in the book of John Ch 15 v13 when He said:
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
In other words, sacrificial love takes all guesswork out of play and replaces it with a rock solid message……
I am willing to set my own comfort and well being aside to secure your well being and comfort.
That’s not to suggest, we go out immediately and give away a kidney and a gallon of blood…..
Instead, we can look for ways in our daily relationships where God would call us to sacrifice what we desire and instead love someone else sacrificially, by listening, by helping, by encouraging, by giving…..
Before Jesus endured horrendous torture and was crucified, he revealed a human nature desiring to live and avoid the painful consequences of God’s plan.
He even asked God if there was a “PLAN B.” But instead of choosing Himself He sacrificially chose God’s will.
In the greatest love moment of all time and eternity he chose faith over feelings.
To communicate true love like Jesus did, sacrificing His life, we too have to choose between our feelings and our faith every day and in every setting that involves people.
And when we go against those feelings to love others by limiting ourselves, we communicate true, Jesus-powered, sacrificial love.
When Jesus volunteered His life, trusting in God’s will and plan, He gave us the gift of forgiveness of our sin (salvation), He rescued us from all our sin and guilt and shame, (redemption) and allowed us to live with Him forever (resurrection). In other words, He laid down His life, so we might have life.
Whenever you love sacrificially, you lift the burden for someone else.
Without Jesus’ sacrifice, we would not have salvation, redemption and resurrection. Jesus modeled the ultimate act of love, now we need to do the same, and love sacrificially.
Sacrificial love isn’t about what we take up for ourselves, but what we give up for others. It’s a matter of the will, not the heart. Instead of demanding, try serving. Give up the desires for yourself and instead give your self, by listening, by helping, by giving your time, by encouraging, by giving, by offering affection…..
To sacrifice, you have to operate under authority.
Jesus, operating under God’s authority, volunteered for the one-way trip to the cross. Despite His own feelings, He sacrifices Himself to do the right thing for someone else, that’s us.
Moments come daily where we can choose to love sacrificially or love selfishly.
When we choose our self, we lose the opportunity to do something great. It may cost you, your time and your busy timetable for the day.
We should not do it though to impress other people, or to shout it from the roof tops. We’re just called to do it because Jesus loves us and we want to show His love to others……
Perhaps the best part about sacrificial love is that God is watching. He’s not unjust. He knows you and your desires to serve your self. When you put your self aside, He will not forget.
Hebrews Ch 6 v10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.
God uses our sacrifices to develop a better version of us.
If the greatest commandment involves loving others, and the greatest love is sacrifice, then we should really focus on improving our own sacrificial love.
The Lord bless you and keep you,