Thursday, June 29 | Sacrificial Love
Read 1 John 3:16–18
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
Love in the way of Jesus isn’t easy—at least not at first. We are called to love sacrificially, at great cost to ourselves. We are called to love when it’s difficult and when we don’t feel like it. We are called to love when it’s against our self-interest. We are called to love with our actions and in tangible ways. This is the way Jesus loves, laying down His life for us. Most of us find this extremely difficult. We are more apt to act when it’s convenient, give out of our surplus, or help when we get thanked or honored in some way. But the more we practice the way Jesus loved, and the more we remain connected to Christ, the more the Holy Spirit enables us and transforms us into people who can and want to love like Jesus does.
- Reflect on a time recently when you went out of your way to love someone. What did you do? What caused you to love that person in the way you did? Now, on the flip side, reflect on a time recently when you made a choice not to act in a way that would have served someone else because you were busy, or it was inconvenient, or you were afraid. What was different about that time than the one where you went out of your way? Knowing that loving like Jesus takes practice, and without putting any shame or guilt on yourself, what might you learn from both examples?
- As you think about loving others sacrificially, what transformation or change do you need in yourself to help you grow? When you think about practicing love, what comes to mind? How could you get started?
God, I want to love like You. I want to go out of my way, be inconvenienced, be disrupted, and love with abandon. Help me to release my grip on my own agenda, to allow space to love, and to slow down and see when and how to love those whose paths I cross. Transform my self-centeredness and grow my heart’s capacity to love. Amen.
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