“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” 1 John 3:16 ESV
“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 ESV
“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Eph. 5:2 KJV
How’s your love life? Please read the verses above. What do you see? See all the conditions? We should love others when they’re good to us, kind to us, nice to us, generous to us, giving to us, love us, share with us, encourage us, compliment us, help us, serve us, take time for us, acknowledge us, accept us, reach out to us, communicate well with us, give us gifts, are good neighbors, close friends, validate us, approve of us, speak well of us, bless us, etc., right? That’s not what it says, is it? God commands us in His Word to love Him with all our hearts and to love others. Without conditions. Simply to love. How so?
In plain English, in His Word, in His words, “to lay down our lives.” Just like Jesus. We are commanded to love like Jesus did. He laid down His physical life. We may or may not be called to lay down our physical lives. Regardless, we are called to lay down our lives. To lay down our plans, agendas, what matters to us, our likes and loves, our preferences, our lusts and dreams, our selfishness and self-centeredness, our very selves, our wishes and wants, to humble ourselves before God and others, and to love with His love. No matter how people treat us.
So how’s your love life? I don’t know about you, but I have a much easier time loving people who are loving toward me. But Jesus doesn’t limit His command to love others to the loveable. There is no role model like Jesus when it comes to love. He died a heinous death on the cross in the ultimate act of love so all those who would repent and believe in Him as Lord and follow Him would be forgiven by God and given eternal life. There is no greater act of love and sacrifice than this one. He didn’t sacrifice His life just for the loveable. He simply loved.
Sacrifice, yes. When we love others like Jesus commands and teaches us to love, we will be called to sacrifice. To die to our self-centered ways.
Are you stuck? Do you keep finding yourself loving others until you get to that one difficult person? Or people? Call on the name of the Lord. He will give you the love you need to love the people He calls you to love. For it is in His name, in His strength, for His glory, we must love! If your love life needs some work, call on God almighty in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!