Aug 26, 2012

Greater Love

What is love?

Not the mushy feeling of romantic love that come and goes like the tide.  Or the "we have fun together", friendly, spunk, non-committal love.
What is real, honest-to-goodness, last forever, kind of love?  The kind that you can shower on a child, or your husband, or any friend, or any stranger that will encourage them, strengthen them, make them all that they were meant to be?

Love is sacrifice.  "Greater love has no one than this: that to lay down one's life for his friends."   Sacrifice is costly. To be sacrifice it must be given without expectation of getting anything back.  I think we never truly understand love until we have poured ourselves out for someone who will not reciprocate.

Sure, we serve people. But have you ever stopped to question your own motives? Have you ever realized that deep down in the hiddenest place in your heart, the motive for serving people is often to gain their affection or their thanks?  I have.  That's not love.

I have loved the unlovely...but found it was relatively easy to love the unlovely when I knew they would respond with gratitude - even hero-worship. And so I plumped my ego to a terrific size by service as I gained back the praise of the people I helped. Then I woke up to the realization that I didn't really love THEM at all. I merely loved their love. Then I realized one thing more. I realized that I stopped loving people that I knew didn't care a straw for me.  I could love the unlovely, but I wouldn't love the ungrateful.  I realized I didn't really know love at all.

When Christ went to the cross, He opened His heart unreservedly for the world. He offered His blood for people He knew would never love Him back. Unreservedly. Without hesitation. He fed the crowds knowing those crowds would turn on Him.  He did not consider that miracle ill-placed. He loved Judas with an open heart knowing Judas would betray Him.  He did not consider that love wasted. He poured Himself out in service daily - hourly - for the people who would shout for Him to be crucified. He didn't look back on those days and hours with regret.
He didn't stop loving us when we didn't love Him. He didn't grow impatient in His love while He waited for us to respond to Him.  He just LOVED. Plainly, purely, simply, overwhelmingly, powerfully, astoundingly.

Love's definition is this: Give everything. Expect nothing. Forgive without limits.

Today, pour out your life in service to others. Not for praise or fame or to be well-respected by them. Not to gain friends or followers or loyal supporter. Serve with your words, with your actions, with your prayers. Sacrifice for the ungrateful, the unloving, the unworthy, the despicable. Sacrifice your spare time, and sacrifice the time you would have preferred not to spare. Serve in the Name of Jesus, to display His love to an ungrateful world.

That, my friends, is Love.


Post a Comment