Jesus was the greatest man who ever lived. God in human form, He personified love.
With His words, He encouraged His followers to not be afraid. He welcomed children into His presence and spoke blessings over them. He taught truth in story form, speaking a language the common folk could understand.
Jesus demonstrated love with His actions too. He stretched out His hand and touched society’s untouchables. He sat down and spoke with those considered a lower class. He shared meals with tax collectors and others whom the day’s religious leaders shunned.
Jesus didn’t just teach or preach about loving others. He lived it, and we’re commanded to follow His example: “Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:20 NLT).
Note the word sacrifice. Loving mankind cost Jesus everything. He gave up His rightful place in heaven and became a humble servant (Philippians 2). He suffered false accusations, physical abuse, and the abandonment of His friends when He needed them most. Ultimately His love for you and me cost Him His life.
Jesus’s life of love sets the standard, and it’s a high one. How many of us would give up everything for someone who didn’t appreciate us or acknowledge that what we were doing was for their benefit? How many of us would give up our own ambitions to pursue relationship with someone who wasn’t interested in reciprocating friendship? How many would love someone who intentionally hurt us?
Loving us cost Jesus everything but He was okay with that because He is love. When we’re in relationship with Him, then He indwells us. That means He empowers us to love—truly love—others as He did. Sacrificially.
Do you have a person in your life who’s difficult to love? Be encouraged. Jesus knows all about your situation, and He’ll give you wisdom to know how to respond. Regardless of the specifics, acknowledge and confess any negative thoughts or feelings you have toward that individual, and ask Jesus to make you a conduit of His love for him/her. He’ll show you what that ought to look like.
Remember—hurting people hurt people. Chances are good that this person bears a wounded heart. Your demonstration of love might be exactly what’s needed for him/her to experience healing.
Know you are loved,
#bgbg2 # devotions #LoveLikeJesusLoves