No Greater Love

Have you ever considered why God would open Holy Scripture—His beautiful, written revelation of Himself to man—with a love story? I think it perfectly captures the heart of God in His dealing with mankind, that He would use love, romance, and marriage as the opening to the great drama of redemption.

In Genesis 1 He creates paradise for His first couple to enjoy. He initiates their courtship and blesses their union. But by chapter 3, a tragic event has marred the newlyweds' bliss. A selfish and foolish choice brings great loss and difficult consequences. None of this has taken the Creator by surprise, however. Although it will be of great cost to Himself, He has a plan for their redemption.

Revelation reveals the Lamb who was slain, fulfilling God's requirement for mankind's sin. This Lamb came in the form of man, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer. He demonstrated to us true love through His sacrificial death on the cross.

He explained true love to us in John 15: "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (v. 13). This is reiterated in 1 John 3, "We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (v. 16).

Reading these words, you may be tempted to imagine that true love is being willing to step in and rescue someone in mortal danger or taking heroic measures to save someone's life while losing your own. But this kind of "true love" is to be lived out every day, moment by moment.

True love is not an emotion, although true love carries with it the wonder and delight of pleasurable emotions. True love is not something we "fall in" and "out of." True love is simply the demonstration of God's character.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

True love is what Jesus calls each of us to, as His disciples, when He states, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24).

For most, that will not require the loss of physical life, but it will require the death of our selfishness-which may be even more difficult. A daily denial of selfishness, out of love for our Savior and love for others, is what "no greater love" is all about.

Today, consider what "denying self" and demonstrating true love looks like in your own life, and share with us what you discover. 

About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner is the author of Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior and is a frequent guest on Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the blog. Kimberly's passion is Christ and she … read more …

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