October 17, 2018
“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.” – 1 John 3:16
I consider myself to be a loving person. I’m not just talking about the cliché feeling of love, but sacrificial love; a love that will give up self in order to show love to others. I love my wife, my children, and my church in this way (or at least I hope I do even though I know I don’t do this perfectly). But I cannot take the credit for this. You see, I grew up with an amazing father. My dad showed me, my mom, and my siblings what true love is. He showed us sacrificial love. And much of why I love the way I do today is because I learned it from my father.
We live in a world today that is very short on love. And to a certain extent, I can understand why; the vast majority of people now grow up with very little or no example of true love in their life. In fact, many people now grow up with a mother or father that would leave them before they would sacrifice for them. But take heart, I have good news! As wonderful as my father is, he also is not the perfect example of love. You see, many of us might say, “I would give everything for the ones I love!” But this is impossible, because you don’t own everything. There is One, however, who does own the entire world. And this One has literally given everything up for us. The one and only perfect example of sacrificial love is Jesus Christ. When we have received this incredible love, we then love others. Not because we have seen perfect love in other men and women, and not because those around us deserve it…heaven knows we don’t deserve the sacrificial love of Jesus! No, we love because He first loved us. We love because we have received the perfect love of Jesus.
Heavenly and loving Father, we could never fully express our gratitude for Your love. We recognize that we do not deserve it. And we recognize that it is sacrificial and perfect. Father, fill us with that love so that we can love those around us. And as we do, let them see Your perfect love in us and be drawn to Your Salvation.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon