"We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth." (1 John 3:16-18)
I asked myself a few weeks ago what one word described God's love more than any other word. The word that kept coming to mind was sacraficial. Sacrifice means to give up something of value for someone or something considered to be of more value or importance.
Jesus gave up His life because he considered us to be more valuable than Himself. Read that again if you need too. That is one of the most humbling things to ever cross my mind. Jesus also gave up Heaven to come and rescue us. He gave up every pleasure on this earth to teach us how to love sacrificially. For most of us it's been easy to love out of our abundance, but that's not the way Jesus loved.
Over the past six months the Lord has shown me how people are loving the way Jesus loved. Some have given up vacations to go on short term mission trips in other countries. Some have sacrificed their family dynamic by taking in a stranger and calling her their own. Some have decided to take a break from their favorite drinks like Starbucks and soda and purchase water filters for the thousands who are dying each day because of unclean drinking water. Many have sold their homes and moved to other countries to share the gospel. Fathers have sacrificed good paying jobs for lesser paying jobs in order to spend more time with their family. Many have simplified their lives and given away clothing and other household goods to those in true need. Some have skipped lunch in order to buy gift cards for the homeless. Another friend gave up a job she loved so she could stay at home with her children. No matter the scale of these sacrifices, they all please the heart of God.
Sacrificing for others is the example Jesus left us with. I have a long way to go but praise God for working on me. Lord, continue to show me how me, my stuff, and my desires for this world can decrease so You alone can increase.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. Please help me to live a life that demonstrates my grateful heart as I put others before myself. I love you, Lord.
Suggested Reading: 1 John 3