Love is a messed up word these days.
Sexuality has become the replacement for true love.
As a youth pastor, I witnessed young gals have a revolving door of boyfriends, whom they supposedly loved. Guy after guy would return the statement of I love you, but really meant to say I lust you.
When discussing the topic of love, it’s vital for Believers to connect with God’s design and purpose of love. In 1 John 3, God calls John to write some incredible words of wisdom, on loving one another.
It’s interesting that his first words in this chapter are as follows:
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us…” (3:1) John speaks of God’s love before our call to love.
Soon enough, we read John’s shift in focus toward our duty to love each other.
He warns us, “do not be surprised…if the world hates you“. (3:13)
Clearly, showing love to people who do not know Christ, will not always have great returns. John wants to be clear that our lives must reflect Christ’s love always; despite the outcome of showing that love!
For me, the crux of this passage is found in verses 16 to 20. John writes:
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” (3:16)
All of a sudden it turns to us and our calling to lay down our lives for each other, if the situation should present itself. That’s absolutely crazy right? Yet, it is the highest form of showing love; we should strive for this kind of love.
This concept reminds me of Francis Chan‘s book, “Crazy Love“. Chan emphasizes that sacrificial love is the greatest love that humanity can ever truly fathom. Looking at Christ’s example, He died out of an eternal sacrificial love. Now that’s some Crazy Love!
Chan challenges us as Believers, to think about this eternal sacrificial love everyday of our lives. While driving to work or while wandering around a grocery store; allow that thought to saturate our minds.
Eventually, it will radically change how we live and love people in our day-to-day lives.
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How can our churches embrace sacrificial love?