Love is an Act of Sacrifice
Love is a sacrificial act. When we learn to look beyond ourselves and place others before us, love is able to shine through more greatly. This is what Christ’s life showed us. It was the tangible and real example of how to live in this world. When God calls us to love above all else this is the kind of love He is calling us to. There should be nothing above love. This is the difficult part though. To love others above ourselves is no easy feat. It takes recognizing our selfish and self serving ways. It requires us to be with God so that His spirit can fill us with the longing to serve others. As we live this way, we begin to derive joy and happiness from this kind of service. We are filled with an overflowing abundance, because as we pour out God fills us up.
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?
1 John 3:16-17 NIV
This is reminiscent of the golden rule. Who’d have thought that it came right from the Bible?! These are all great questions to ask ourselves daily. To be followers of God we must set ourselves apart. Our ways are not the ways of this world. These questions help us to understand how we are supposed to love. They give us guidance on what our moral standards need to be in order to be representative of the love of Christ. Living a life that we voluntarily sacrifice from the trappings of this world demonstrates that no thing can have a hold over us. God wants to give us His perspective and what better way than through questions. “When we show up and bring our pain and questions to the only one who can do anything about it, we will not necessarily find Him there to give us answers, but He’ll be there to ask us the right questions.” (Pastor Levi Lusko, Fresh Life Church)
Do to others as you would have them do to you. “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.
Luke 6:31-34 NIV
A Story of Love:
I used to be a very demanding person. I had very high expectations for everyone around me. Worst of all, my husband got the brunt of it. When he did not do something specifically the way I would do it, I would get so angry.
I hated this attribute in me. I wanted so badly to just be easy going and let it go. Yet somehow I had built up these expectations that ruled me. When I finally started recognizing them I would pray that God would release me from their rule over me. I didn’t want to carry any more anger with me over such silly things.
Recognizing those expectations and choosing to actively let them go has been one of the biggest saving graces in my marriage and life. I no longer get angry over small things. I don’t need everyone around me to do things the way I do things. I have learned to pause, breathe and pray if ever I feel the urge of anger or discontent start to rise in me.
Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.
Considerations for your planner:
- Write down someone who has been unkind to you recently. How can you show them love?
- What questions has God placed in your life? Write them down and ponder how He might be trying to get you to move in your life differently.