“This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:9-11
They say, “Talk is cheap.” It is easier to say you will do something than to actually do it. We say we love someone, but when we express love through sacrifice and proven actions, we communicate something truly beautiful.
A prison ministry team was walking into the prison when they met with a woman who was in obviously distress. They didn’t ignore her, but instead listened to her story, shared a meal with her, gave her a ride home, and prayed and cared for her. Upon reflection, the leader said, “Love happens when we leave our comfort zone, when we ignore what is unlovable and actually see a person who is loved and precious — even if only God loves her.”
In 1 John, John explains that God loved us before we paid any attention to Him — in fact, we didn’t love God. God proved His love for us — he displayed and expressed His love in the ultimate sacrifice. God sent his Son to live and die as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. We didn’t realize we needed His love or His sacrifice.
John continues to explain — God showed His love to us through the sacrifice of His Son; therefore, we should go forth and love others. Just like we didn’t know that we needed God’s love or His sacrifice, likewise, there are others all around us that need authentic sacrificial love expressed to them and proven through our words and our actions.
Father God, thank you for loving all of us, even when we are unlovable. Thank you that you love people so much that you send those who know your love to share it with those who don’t yet know you. Help us to love others sacrificially, remembering that you proved your love for us through the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus. In His name we pray, Amen!
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