I have often thought of the question, "What is Love?" Many would say it is wanting to be near to another person. To enjoy their company. To share good things with others that you are concerned about. To be intimate with another. Yet if this is all there is to love, it is then shallow. Jesus states in Matthew that it is easy to do good to those who do good in return. It is also easy to share with others if they will share what they have with you. It is easy to greet one another if they will greet you in return. How then can we know if someone loves us?
1 john 3.16a By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.
Certainly this is extreme, to die for another, yet it is this very extreme example that drives home the point of what love is. The point? To lay down your life for another. To consider the welfare of another so important that you are willing to meet that person's need before your own. Unselfishness.
A mother needs a new pair of shoes to wear. Her son or daughter also need a new pair of shoes. She has enough to buy only one pair. Guess who will be the one to get the shoes? Her child! Why? Because protecting his/her feet is more important to her than protecting her own. Why is this a good example... because the child cannot buy the mother a pair of shoes, nor can the child benefit the mother in any way. It is a one way sacrifice.
Jesus Himself carries the fullness of love one step further. How? Remember that we are sinners (rebels) and as sinners destined to death. To help us have eternal life He went to the cross and died so that we might live. He did this for every single person on the face of the earth whether they would accept Him or not. The gift of eternal life is given to all and not just those who will follow Him. Even those who blaspheme His name will receive eternal life.
It is sad to note though, that those who reject the gospel and His way of life will be spending their eternity in the lake of fire. That being the choice of all those who reject the truth. Those on the other hand who accept the gospel and His way of life will be saved from the lake of fire and receive blessings.
rev 1.5 5and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
These are the reasons that He gave us the great commission... to go into the whole world and preach the gospel. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to an understanding of God's way that they may escape the fire and be saved. He even empowers those who believe and guides them so that they can reach the world with His truth. If we fail to walk with Him in His power it is we who have fallen short and not God who loves all. Even this He is willing to forgive us but what sorrow will be in the heart of God when the punishment is given to the lost.
This is why God sent His Word into the world. This is why His Word, who is Jesus, came to lay down His life for humanity. Even to those who reject Him. Even those who killed Him by nailing Him to the cross. He did this to offer the chance at life with Him in eternity because He loves them.
On earth Jesus humbled Himself and washed the feet of His disciples to make them clean. He humbled Himself so that He may wash us in His own blood cleansing away the sin that stains our soul. The Word who created all, humbled Himself at the feet of His creatures to make them clean, to give them life. He gave His all to save the world even though He knew that many would not come to a right stance concerning God His Father. All that He could possibly do He has done and will continue to do right up to the final moment. Whatever the cost He will pay it. Why? Because He loves us, both the follower and the rebel.
What else can He do? ...Nothing! All that can be done is being done.
What can we do? ...Follow Him and do the same works with the same love He has shown us.
Not with the emotions of the soul but with the spirit of love in your heart.
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