The Power of Love: God’s Love Part 4

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In my last two posts we learned that God’s supernatural love is both humble and others centered. Today we will explore the final attribute of God’s love:

God’s love is sacrificial.

The first two characteristics we’ve looked at were primarily about attitude – how you see yourself and how you see others.  This last one is all about action! Because the truth is:

Love is not known until it is shown.

Being others centered will require sacrifice and God is our example of this:

 “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners…  For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” Romans 5:8,10 NLT

When I was a new believer, I had the hardest time believing God loved me. I would cry out to Him to prove to me that He loved me. I wanted to feel His love. I needed to be convinced He loved me. I was loaded with shame which had put up an artificial barrier between me and God. Have you ever felt the same way?

Well, His answer to me will be the same answer for you. No matter how often or how long I cried out to Him, He simply did one thing – He kept pointing me to the cross. Over time is sunk in. I finally understood and accepted the fact that when Jesus says He sacrificed Himself for the whole world, that included ME! It also includes YOU.

The cross is the PROOF of God’s love for YOU! It wasn’t just words, it was action.

Just as God proved His love for you by showing it to you through sacrificial action, you can say you love someone all you want, but until your actions match your words it’s not real love. Jesus says it this way:

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13 NLT

This can be done by sacrificing your time, your money, giving your undivided attention, giving support, standing with a friend when no one else is… eating the browning banana so your kids can have the ripe ones, or maybe cost your very life.

As Christ-followers, sacrifice is what we do. It is the beginning, middle, and end of all our relationships, just as it was with Jesus. We are called to sacrifice for the benefits of others.

When a relationship is not working, someone is not sacrificing. It may be you, or the other person, is not sacrificing their pride, time, priorities, or agenda.

“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 NKJ

Sacrificing can make you feel like you will end up with less, when actually you end up with more. The principle of giving and receiving is sown into the very fabric of God’s creation. It is a spiritual law just like gravity is a natural law. If the person you are sacrificing for doesn’t reciprocate, you can rest assured, God will. He sees your sacrifice and will reward you for it.

Important note: It is important to be led by the Holy Spirit when you live a life of sacrifice. You must steward your time and resources according to God’s leading. You don’t have to do this with most small sacrifices, but they can build up. And, of course, the big ones need wisdom. There can be a danger of over-extending yourself and burning out.  Stewardship is not selfishness, so it is important to know God’s desire for each situation.

But don’t be afraid to live a life of sacrifice. Know this:

You are never more like Christ than when you are sacrificing for the benefit of others.

May God’s love be poured out to you, and through you, this Christmas season.


Your Turn

  1. When you hear the word “Sacrifice” how does it make you feel? Why do you think that is?
  2. In what ways do you think you can sacrifice more in your daily life?
  3. What have you done with God’s sacrifice – giving His Son to you for the forgiveness of your sins? Have you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If so, are you sacrificing your time, energy, fears, and maybe even your reputation to share this Good News with others? If not, who can you share your faith with today?