The Greatest Act of Love

The Greatest Act of Love

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Each weekday morning, we’re going to spend a few minutes in a passage in John. Here’s the goal: read it, pray it, share it. Every post will have a passage of Scripture, a short prayer, and a question to meditate on and talk about. In a few minutes every day, we can prepare our hearts for all that God has planned in this season of Lent. 

Read: John 15:12-17
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. [13] Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. [14] You are my friends if you do what I command you. [15] No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. [16] You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. [17] These things I command you, so that you will love one another. (ESV)

What’s the greatest act of love in the history of the world? There are a lot of worthy candidates. There have been so many selfless acts and costly displays of affection. In this passage, Jesus sets a new standard for love. The most loving thing that has ever been done was when Jesus went to the cross for his own enemies, shed his blood for people who had rebelled against God, and died the death they deserved.

Peter put it this way, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). Paul said it too, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8) But maybe John said it best, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. [10] In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).

We know love because we know what God did through his son Jesus. Our whole paradigm of how to love changes because we know Christ. His death for us is a model for how we can love other people. 

Lord, remind me again how wonderful and how loving Christ’s death is and set it as the great example in my heart. We do not love the way the world does, we love the way you love. Shape my heart to be more like yours today. Amen.

What’s the most Christ-like act of love you’ve experienced? How is Christ’s love different than the world’s view of love?

Has the Spirit put anyone on your heart to love sacrificially? How can you lay your life down in little ways for other people?

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