Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrated his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Expressing love as God intends is becoming more rare in this self-absorbed world. We tend to, by nature, only want to love others as long as we get something in return. We seem to selfishly always have our needs in the back of our minds, no matter how pure our intentions may seem on the surface. But God calls us to love others as He first loved us. It’s not about warm fuzzy feelings or primarily by how we feel. It’s about sacrifice; putting off one’s self for the sake of others. If that’s not hard enough, we are to do it without expecting anything in return!! Impossible you might say. Humanly speaking… yes! Only by allowing the Holy Spirit within us to refine our hearts, can we begin to love as God first loved us.
Before Jesus came to save us, we were all condemned sinners. Dirty, unholy, unrighteous and doomed to eternal death! If you think that’s a bit harsh, have a read of Romans 3:9-19. It doesn’t matter what we think, God looked down at us and saw filth! All He saw was a rebellious people who did what they wanted. God had every right to justly leave us all to our demise and eternal destruction, for none of us deserved more. But He didn’t. Despite our sinful ways, God chose to do what none of us deserved… to reach out in love and save us. When Jesus came to die for us, He was fueled by His love for His Father and us. Throughout His life He selflessly served others, no matter who they were or what they had done. Yet so often all He received in return was defensive anger, abandonment, emotional, physical and spiritual turmoil, and in the end a loneliness and death that none of us could ever imagine or comprehend!! Why did He do it??? Because He loves us! Jesus doesn’t love us based on how we treat Him. His unconditional, gracious love goes directly against any type of superficial, shallow love this world expresses so lavishly. That’s why a Christian who lives a life transformed by Jesus’ love in their hearts will stick out in this world like a lighthouse in the blackness of the night!
I’ve been really challenged with this lesson over the years, and I must say I can’t think of many lessons that have extended me as much! There was always a desire deep down to have any love I gave to others reciprocated in some way. However I am slowly learning that God’s love is all I need to fill and equip me to love others unconditionally. The more I grow as a Christian, the more I realize how sinful I am by nature, and how awesome God’s unconditional love for me is!! As a result I am driven more than ever to love Him by living for and trusting Him completely with my life!
So how has Jesus touched your heart? I would love to hear how God love has changed your attitude to others and how you interact with them.