For February 16, 2020
Isn’t it amazing how easy it is to express our love towards others when they are reciprocated? We want to feel safe, and not vulnerable when expressing one of our strongest emotions—without feeling victimized. How often do we avoid the people whom we feel will reject us, or not reciprocate our kindness, or somehow will show through their words and actions that they do not have our best interests at heart.
So many personal, family, and social relationships fail when we choose not to consider how the other person’s concerns are just as important and/or valid as our own. As relationships break down, conflicts arise because we have not learned to listen and respond (instead of reacting out of hostility).
Death is the ultimate price anyone can pay to demonstrate his or her love. Nevertheless, the Lord Jesus Christ did this for us when He forever payed our sin debt as John 3:16-17 (NLT) teaches:
For 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God was beaten, spat upon, insulted, and crowned with thorns. Yet He still was yet willing to be stripped of his clothing, affixed to a wooden cross with metal spikes driven through His hands and feet. Then He was crucified on a hill between two thieves in front of thousands of mocking people.
He could have resisted sacrificing Himself for our benefit by commanding tens of thousands of angels to come to His rescue. Instead, He gave His life as the supreme payment for our sins. Three days later, He rose from the dead, declaring that all power is given Him in Heaven and earth. His love for us raised Him from the dead and caused Him to ascend into Heaven where He intercedes for us today.
His love prompted Him to give us His Holy Spirit to comfort us and abide in us until He returns for us. Then we will forever know His vast love and glory in full measure.
We show Christ’s perfect love as we forgive others when our anger tells us to retaliate with violence. As we show mercy instead of seeking justice for bring wronged, and we extend goodwill towards the unlovable, we are practical demonstrations of Jesus’ love in our world. Here, His Spirit is active within us to supply us with the ability to express our benevolence towards others—just as He did—without being driven by selfish recognition or repayment.
God’s redeeming love as demonstrated through Christ emphatically proves that He wants what is best for us despite our acceptance of it, for Christ redeems all humans everywhere—even those who refuse to accept His love or believe in Him. No longer is there anyone without the hope for redemption. The Lord Jesus Christ left His deity and glory just to show us what true love looks like, and not because of what we sinful humans could ever do for Him.
Is love the answer? 1 John 4:10 tells us that true love is not based on our loving expressions towards God. Instead, it is by how much He loved us and sent His Son to pay for our sins. Only through His unselfish love can we honor the Lord as active demonstrations of His amazing grace. God’s love lifted us from despair into His glorious presence forever.
What a Wonderful Savior!