Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011 … God’s Sacrificial Love

Passage of the Day: John 3: 16For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

My Journal for Today: In John MacArthur’s exposition of God’s character this month in Strength for Today, he has been looking at God’s character of love in the past few days. Yesterday we saw that Godly love is unconditional, yet confrontational (as to our sin). Today, in this very familiar verse spoken by Jesus, which you probably know by heart, we see that God’s love is sacrificial.

In the Old Testament, we read from Isaiah’s prophesy about the Messiah, how our Lord would carry the grief of the world as He sacrificed for all mankind (see Is. 53: 4 [linked]). And the Apostle Paul carried this theme of sacrificial love into his teachings about how we, as Christians, must live and love for others before self (see Gal. 6: 2), thereby fulfilling God’s law of love.

SCRIPTURE: Galatians 6: 2 Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Every time I read this verse I’m convicted about how lacking in sacrifice my love for others is offered at times and how conditional it can become with my expectations for recompense as I offer to help others. Praise God for His mercy in the face of my self-driven “love!”

Sacrificial love, of course, was always the teaching of Jesus; and He modeled it so convincingly and perfectly for all mankind. He commanded ALL His disciples, not just the original twelve, to love one another, even including our enemies (see Luke 6: 35). And His command of love becomes infinitely tougher when He said to believers that we’re to expect nothing in return. However, in the greatest sacrifice of all, for anyone who receives the free-offering of God’s cross-bearing love, God is willing to give nothing less than the greatest reward of all … Heaven.

Is that not the deal of a lifetime?

I believe that those who really “get this” and demonstrate lives of “living sacrifice” (as Paul wrote about in Rom 12: 1); … to these, I believe, God will bestowed the greatest rewards in Heaven. As Jesus taught, the least shall be the greatest [Matt. 23: 11-12]. So, I’ve got a long way to go when it comes to my love quotient … to choose to be humbled as a servant as I show God’s love to others … prayerfully more today than yesterday and even more tomorrow than today.

My Prayer Today: And so, I pray, Lord that You help me grow in Your love as I choose to love others before self. Amen

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