Are you in love?
Have you been in love?
Have you ever loved someone so much you’d be willing to die for them?
I never knew just how much I could love someone until my son was born. The love I have for my child is unlike any other earthly love I’ve ever known. Many say that they always knew that they would love their children, but didn’t realize they would be in love with their children. That might sound a little odd, but if you are a parent, you understand what I mean.
“…God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” 1 John 4:16 (NLT)
The essence of God is love. Love and relationship. This is a craving that has been placed in every heart. Sadly, babies who are ignored and not held and interacted with not only don’t thrive, some don’t even survive.
Dictionary.com defines love as “an affectionate concern for the well-being of another” and “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.”
Love is being willing to give up all you hold dear for the benefit of another. Love is a sacrifice.
What is sacrifice?
It’s “the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.” (Dictionary.com)
Many Americans have sacrificed their lives out of love for others, to give them freedom. These men and women have my highest respect and thanks. We are not surprised to hear about people giving their lives for their own children, but to give their lives for complete strangers—that’s amazing.
I know that it is impossible to wrap our minds around why bad things happen. From our human perspective, it simply doesn’t make any sense. A classic argument used to either deny God’s existence or to justify the refusal to worship God goes something like this: “If God is good, why do bad things happen to good, innocent people? A loving God wouldn’t allow that to happen.”
Bad things do happen. Evil exists. We don’t live in a perfect world. But I love and serve a perfect and perfectly loving God. God sacrificed His ONE AND ONLY SON for me. He allowed His innocent Son, who did nothing wrong, to be publicly humiliated, brutally tortured and beaten, and savagely executed for a crime He didn’t commit. At the moment of His death on the cross, Jesus paid the price for my sins, and at that instant, He was separated from God, His Father. This was the ultimate bad thing happening to a perfectly good, utterly innocent person. I will admit, that as a parent, I will give up my life, but I can’t even fathom what God did.
Think about it, if sacrifice is defined as giving up something that’s prized for something more desirable, what does that say about how God feels about you and me? He wants a relationship with you and me, so much that He sacrificed His ONE AND ONLY SON. And He did so although we sin and rebel against Him (Romans 5:8), making us essentially strangers to Him. God sacrificed His Precious Son, and Jesus Christ died an agonizing, horrific death so that you and I will be able to experience total and perfect love forever. We never have to be alone. God values us so much that He never wants to be separated from us.
THAT IS REAL LOVE!
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted….”
John 3:16-18 (MSG)